by : Retd. Col.
Rosoboronexport, Rostec’s member, will set up a joint Russian exposition at the International Special Operations Forces Exhibition SOFEX-2018 to take place on May 8-10, 2018 in Jordan’s capital Amman.
“SOFEX is a serious platform presenting abundant opportunities to meet partners from Jordan and other Mideastern and North African states. I have no doubt that Russia’s exposition will stir interest in everyone. Naturally, the visitors will be able to learn lots of useful facts about most demanded on the world market weapons labeled ‘Made in Russia.’ They include 100-plus pieces of military equipment deployed in special operations units of Russia’s Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior and Federal Security Service boasting considerable experience in fighting terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized crime,” says Director General of Rosoboronexport Alexander Mikheev.
Being one of the largest exhibitions of gear and systems for special operations forces in the Middle East and North Africa, SOFEX has been conducted since 1996. Russia started coming to the event in 1998. Hosted by Marka RAF base of Jordan, SOFEX is conducted under auspices of King Abdullah II of Jordan and His Royal Highness, LtGen, Prince Faisal Bin Al Hussein. The exhibition is focused on various aspects of special operations forces deployment, including training, transportation, fire and comprehensive support.
Russia’s booths will house Tigr- and Tayphoon-K-family vehicles, BTR-80/80А/82А personnel carriers, A-220M 57mm light artillery system, Kornet-E and Kornet-EM AT missile systems, night sights and vision devices, compact radars, RPO PDM-A Shmel-M rocket-assisted enhanced-range infantry flame thrower, 2B24 82mm mortar, MGK Bur small grenade launcher, various grenade systems and small arms from pistols to sniper rifles and to Kalashnikov’s latest assault rifles, as well as man-portable AD systems Igla-S and Verba, Strlets-based super-short range SAMs for the Igla MANPADS, RShG-2 rocket-assisted assault grenade, ammunition, etc.
Another reason to visit the company’s booth is to have a look at the unique characteristics of the TOS-1A heavy flame-thrower, which among other Russian systems enjoys consistently high demand on the world arms market. In the Middle East, the weapon’s popularity has been on the rise recently due to its outstanding performance in large-scale anti-terrorist operations.
The gamut of Russian weapons and systems brought to Amman is accounted for by the magnitude of today’s threats and challenges facing the Middle East and North Africa, let alone the heightened interest of foreign partners in them. Besides, many of them proved their outstanding characteristics in combat fighting as part of Russia’s Aerospace Force contingent in Syria.
Rosoboronexport will be happy to let all visitors test their shooting skills at the SKATT simulator of the 5.56mm AK-101 Kalashnikov assault rifle, 9mm Yarygin magazine pistol, and 9mm Kedr submachine gun.
Since Russia and Jordan enjoy strong and time-tested ties, its military and technical cooperation established as far back as 1981 has been progressing so far. After 2000, Jordan received IL-76MF transports and Kornet-E ATGMs. The country started production of the Russian-designed RPG-32 Nashshab (Arabic for archer) grenade launcher.
“The military and technical cooperation between Russia and Jordan have a considerable margin for future growth. Plans include meetings with military and political authorities of the host nation to discuss current and future projects in the sphere. Russian specialists will also participate in the Middle East Special Operations Commanders Conference to pave the way for the actual event the next day,” stresses Alexander Mikheev.