ALMHULT, Se. – The international furniture designer and retail conglomerate known as IKEA officially announced this week that beginning July 1st, a new line of defense oriented products will be available for purchase through its website and select retail outlets around the world. IKEA, best known for its line of furniture and home accessories, first unveiled its new product line in February at the International Defence Expedition & Conference, otherwise known as IDEX, at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre in the United Arab Emirates.
Flanked by veteran defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics, representatives from IKEA’s Defense Research & Analytics Group presented potential consumers with their signature line of ready-to-assemble defensive combat products. From mobile anti-aircraft systems to compact tactical carbines, IKEA displayed an uncanny ability to integrate their existing sales mantra into the defense and security industry.
“At IKEA we have a slogan, ‘You do a little. We do a little. And together we save a lot,'” Mayda Sorenson told prospective buyers during a live-fire demonstration of the Ready-To-Assemble Personal Defense Weapon, a compact assault rifle designed for special operations forces. “The RTA-PDW can be easily assembled in a high-stress situation, even by an inexperienced operator, in under eight minutes,” Sorenson explained, adding that every product, including the RTA-PDW, comes packaged with user-friendly assembly instructions in twelve languages, including English, French, Arabic, and Chinese. “At IKEA we believe in providing quality products at an affordable price,” Sorenson said before demonstrating the RTA-PDW’s burst-fire capabilities on a practice dummy.
This reporter spoke with Lieutenant General Khurshid Rasheed of the Iraqi Army’s 9th Armoured Division. Iraq’s Ministry of Defence recently purchased some fifty Ready-to-Assemble T-3 Mobile Anti-Aircraft Systems from IKEA for use in their fight against the Islamic State. At a cost of less than a third of other systems, such as the Patriot Air and Missile Defense System manufactured by American defense contractor Raytheon, the T-3 performs just as well, if not better, according to General Rasheed, who said, “It took some time to understand the instructions but my men were able to assemble two of these systems in just a few hours time.” The General added that during assembly, his soldiers discovered a majority of the anti-aircraft systems were missing two or three required screws, but nonetheless performed “exceptionally well” during live-fire exercises.
The RTA T-3 Mobile Anti-Aircraft System and other similar products are only available for purchase online or through IKEA’s corporate office. However small arms, such as the RTA-PDW and other weapons, including ready-to-assemble landmines, will be available for purchase at select IKEA outlets beginning July 1st. IKEA’s Jeddah and Riyadh locations in Saudi Arabia were among the first to receive the new inventory.