Eight Michigan firms head for Middle East defense expo

LANSING — Business leaders from eight Michigan companies will join the Michigan Economic Development Corp. at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) Feb. 17-21 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

IDEX is the largest defense exhibition in the Middle East – North African region, featuring the latest technology across land, sea, and air sectors of defense. Participating in IDEX allows Michigan companies to gain access to global leaders, policy, and decision makers; profile their technologies and projects; meet global defense contractors; and reach thousands of prime contractors, manufacturers,  and international delegations.

The Gulf Cooperation Council countries are spending heavily on defense, with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates reporting the largest defense budgets in 2016. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest importer of arms, of which 64 percent are imported from the U.S.

The participating Michigan companies will travel with MEDC to take part in pre-arranged business matchmaking meetings with prospective partners, distributors, and buyers. Matchmaking meetings were arranged by the Michigan Arab Gulf Center located in Dubai. Participants will also receive an in-country briefing about doing business in the region and receive their own kiosk in the Michigan booth at the show.

  • AAR Mobility Systems (Cadillac) – Designs, manufactures, integrates, and services a variety of mobility products to support military and disaster relief operations and is a provider of defense, aerospace, and commercial aircraft after-market products
  • Cignys (Saginaw) – Manufactures ground support equipment, leveling jacks, mobilizers, electrical enclosures, and build-to-print contract machining
  • MCM Learning (Warren) – Delivers training products and services, including military and non-military technical manuals, technical data and configuration, maintenance planning and management, testing and evaluation, training and support, sustaining engineering, manpower and personnel, translation, and facilities and infrastructure
  • Mistequay Group (Saginaw) – Manufacturer and custom-engineering provider with specialized product lines in linear motion with a focus on aerospace ballscrews, and driveline products using constant velocity prop-shaft and half-shaft components
  • Oasis Advanced Engineering Inc .(Auburn Hills) – Engaged in research and development of modeling, simulation, training systems, and embedded electronics and optical devices for military applications
  • Thunder Technologies Inc. (Rochester Hills) – Manufactures custom industrial hose and expansion joints while specializing in unique problem solving for hose assemblies and expansion joints in the defense industry including all naval, land, and air applications
  • VectorRock (Ann Arbor) – Cybersecurity consulting firm serving all industries with valuable or sensitive information and protecting business assets through penetration testing, vulnerability assessments, reverse engineering, and network monitoring
  • Riveer Environmental (South Haven) – World leader in the design and manufacture of closed loop wash systems, aircraft clear water rinse systems, deployable vehicle wash systems, and corrosion prevention wash systems

Riveer Environmental has been a client of MEDC’s International Trade Program since 2012. Riveer Director of Military Programs Jeff Rowan also traveled to Eurosatory Defense and Security Expo with MEDC in June 2018.

“The Middle East is a fast-growing segment to our military business and Riveer is looking to expand on the opportunities we have already established as well as the prospect of new customers and opportunities,” Rowan said. “The venue is an excellent platform for vendors to meet with potential clients and we are looking forward to a successful show. As a world leader in wash and rinse systems for vehicles and aircraft, the environmental conditions of the Middle East make our products essential for keeping crews safe and equipment mission-ready.”

MEDC’s International Trade Program is committed to increasing Michigan’s exporting opportunities by helping businesses identify and enter key emerging foreign markets. Export sales facilitated by the MEDC International Trade program totaled more than $641 million in fiscal year 2018, surpassing the goal of $630 million. This puts the International Trade program-to-date total facilitated export sales more than $2.6 billion. Top reported countries for export sales include Canada, Mexico, China, and the United Kingdom.

The Michigan Defense Center is the state of Michigan’s lead voice on the defense and homeland security economy and guides the state’s policies and programs to protect and grow this important sector of the economy. The MDC acts as a liaison between the state and defense interests in the federal government, defense agencies, the defense industry, academia and the defense community and supporting organizations. For more information on the Michigan Defense Center, visit: http://www.arsenalofinnovation.com/.

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