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DUBAI: Dubai air show takes precautions against intruding drones

In the wake of the loitering munitions attack on the Saudi Aramco oil processing facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais in September, Dubai air show is taking precautions against intruding unmanned air vehicles.

The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority says it banned unmanned air vehcile flights in a 8nm (15km) radius from the centre of Al Maktoum International airport between 13 November and 21 November.

Al Maktoum airport also has at least one Russian-made Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile and gun system positioned on the east side of its grounds for air defence. The show organisers decline to comment about the Pantsir on site or other air defences deployed.

The UAE army has 50 Pantsir-S1 systems in service, according to Russia’s state-owned news agency, TASS.

Russian export agency Rosoboronexport said in September, four days after the Saudi Aramco attack, that it planned to showcase an upgraded Pantsir-S1M self-propelled anti-air gun-missile system at the show as a counter-UAV defence system.

“Recent events in the world have shown that the effective fight against reconnaissance and strike UAVs, as well as other air attack weapons, is becoming increasingly important to ensure the protection of high-priority facilities, including strategic transport hubs and infrastructure of major oil and gas and nuclear power companies,” said Rosoboronexport’s director general Alexander Mikheev.

“In this regard, at the Dubai air show, we will not only discuss with our Arab partners the implementation of existing contracts but will also hold talks on the latest Russian counter UAV systems, highlighting them as a distinct area of work.”

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