Sultan graces BRIDEX opening
By Sonia K. & Farah Ahmadnawi

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Minister of Defence and Supreme Commander of Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) and His Majesty King Abdullah II, King of Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan yesterday morning consented to officially launch the opening of the 2nd Brunei Darussalam International Defence Exhibition and Conference (BRIDEX) 2009 in Jerudong.

Their Majesties were accompanied by HRH Prince General Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, HRH Prince 'Abdul Azim, HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik and HRH Prince 'Abdul Mateen.

Their Majesties officially launched the BRIDEX 2009 with the scanning of their palms on the workstation console, activating the visual displays on the workstation.

Immediately after the launching, demonstrations began with an aircraft manoeuvre by the Republic of Singapore Air Force with its F16 fighter aircraft, which is also known as the fighting falcon and followed by air displays from the Bell 412 and the Sukhoi SU-30 MKM strike fighter aircraft from the Royal Malaysian Air Force leaving the audience in awe.

The event was followed by Their Majesties proceeding to the Viewing Gallery to watch the sea and land-based fascinating demonstrations which included the FNSS Savunma Sistemleri AS, Turkey, ACV-300 IFV and Renault Trucks Defence, Sherpa 3.

This was followed with a performance by the maritime capabilities which comprised North Sea Boats, Surabaya Indonesia (LS&A of Brunei), Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs) and in the backdrop were Republic of Singapore Navy, Endurance; United States Navy USS Russell (DDG-59); French Navy, FNS Somme (A629); People's Liberation Army-Navy, China, Guangzhou; and Indian Navy, INS Khuri (P49).

Finally, after the demonstration, Their Majesties consented to visit the West Wing and East Wing of the Exhibition Halls where they had the opportunity to tour and view the products of the participating exhibitors.

This year, there are over 250 exhibiting companies from 25 participating countries involved in the exhibition, with 300 VIP delegates representing 40 countries. The total area of the Bridex compounds this year covers 7,000 square metres. - Borneo Bulletin (12th August 2009)