An Iranian UAV dubbed “Gaza” on display at Qatari defense show DIMDEX. (Breaking Defense)

DIMDEX 2024 — Iran has made a rare appearance at a Middle East defense show with an extensive stand here in Qatar, showing an array of arms, full-sized naval weapons and models of unmanned aerial vehicles, including one named “Gaza.”

Iran unveiled the Gaza in 2021, but its current model is making its debut at the Doha International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference, known as DIMDEX 2024, equipped with mock-up smart bombs.

Representatives at Iran’s stand told Breaking Defense that the Gaza is a medium-altitude, low-endurance (MALE) UAV, has a payload capability of 500 kilograms and is purportedly already operational. According to officials at the stand, the drone has satellite communication capabilities and has a maximum flight altitude of 35,000 feet. An airborne synthetic aperture radar meant to detect surface and underwater targets can also be equipped on the platform.

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While the name of the drone is sure to raise eyebrows amid Israel’s conflict with Iran-backed Hamas in Gaza, Iran also aimed to signal its arms prowess with a 20mm naval machine gun and a 12.7mm four-barrel artillery system. All systems at the stand are developed and produced by Iran and, one official said, are open for export to any country “except Israel and [the] US.”

Tehran also made a point to show of its Sevvom Khordad medium-range air defense system, which purportedly shot down an American MQ-4C Triton in 2019 — just yards away from American defense contractor Northrop Grumman, which makes the UAV on which the Triton is based.

Iran’s stand at the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX 2024) in Qatar. (Breaking Defense)

No actual naval vessels were on display but mockups of ships of different sizes were shown, including fast intercept boat CM-90, the Midget submarine and a 94-meter frigate vessel showing helicopter dock. Representatives at the stand did not disclose details about future projects or capabilities and declined to answer Breaking Defense’s questions about any autonomous capabilities of the ships.

Next to brochures about Iran’s different weapons in different languages including Arabic and Russian, the Ministry of Defense debuted the CM-35A anti-ship missile, as well as an airborne version with a purported maximum range of 35 kilometers. A representative at another stand said that for the first time, Iran was advertising a number of ballistic missiles in brochures, including the AD-200, BM-250, BM-125 and BM-300.

Elsewhere, Tehran was showing off a land-based early warning system dubbed SL-ASR3 connected to a C4I command and control system, which one representative said had received a fair amount of interest at the show. Rifles, including Iranian-built Kalashnikov AK-47 and machine guns also took part in the Iranian stand.

In all, reps said eight Iranian entities affiliated with the ministry of defense were displaying their systems in Doha, but the Islamic Republic was not the only group about which US officials are certainly wary. Elsewhere at the show a delegation of the Taliban from Afghanistan loitered, observing the international arms on sale.