An impressive 32,169 visitors attended Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2013, a rise of 13 per cent on the previous record in 2011. The exhibition featured 1,489 exhibitors, representing 54 countries, and included 40 international pavilions. 97 official delegations from 56 countries attended, marking a 30 per cent increase on DSEI 2011, while the number of additional VIPs who attended increased by 20 per cent to 1,034.
The event enjoyed the strongest ever attendance from UK ministers and the MOD. Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, provided a keynote address on the show’s opening day which highlighted DSEI’s importance as a showcase for the defence industry:
“This exhibition is an excellent example of the opportunities that we can create when government and industry work together, hand-in-hand, with a shared objective.”
Joining forces This point was exemplified by the signing of the Corporate Covenant on the penultimate day of the event, when Mark Francois – the Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans – was joined by representatives from BAE Systems, ISS Facility Services, BMT Group and General Dynamics UK in order to pledge their support for the Armed Forces community. The UK Capability Showcase, staged by UKTI Defence & Security Organisation further highlighted the link between government and industry.
Other ministers who attended included: the Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne; the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Andrew Robathan; the Minister for International Security Strategy, Andrew Murrison; the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint; and the Lords’ Spokesperson for Defence, Lord Astor of Hever. Michael Moore and David Jones, the respective Secretaries of State for Scotland and Wales, also attended.
The MOD also fielded a strong team, epitomised by the attendance of the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Houghton and Chief of Defence Materiel, Bernard Gray.
DSEI’s expanded seminar programme included significant contributions from an enviable roll-call of senior military personnel such as: the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas; the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford; the Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Peter Wall; and the Chief of Materiel (Land), Lt General Chris Deverell.
The calibre of international stakeholders was also high: DSEI welcomed guests from new and traditional markets including high calibre representatives from the Middle East, India, South America, South and Far East Asia, Australasia, United States and Europe.
International pavilions Nations making their debut among the record 40 international pavilions included Japan and South Korea, clear evidence of the importance that these key emerging players place on DSEI. India, a previous exhibitor, increased its presence significantly, mounting both public and private sector pavilions.
Other newcomers include Chile, which joined Brazil in representing Latin American growth markets, while the UAE was among the list of Middle Eastern nations at the event.
Six zones of exhibitors In total, DSEI 2013 enjoyed a strong exhibitor presence across each of its six dedicated zones: Land, Air, Naval, Security & Special Forces, Medical & Disaster Relief and the award winning Unmanned Systems Showcase.
Visitors to the Land Zone witnessed Nexter Systems unveiling the Titus armoured vehicle, while Finnish company, Patria introduced its Next Generation Armoured Wheeled Vehicle concept. Air Zone highlights included daily briefings from the RAF presentation team, fixed-wing static displays such as the Eurofighter Typhoon and Spitfire, as well as rotary static displays including the Merlin Mk II and Wildcat.
In the Naval Zone, Rolls-Royce unveiled a new design for maritime patrol craft, while the Victoria Dock hosted an enhanced waterborne demonstration programme and a record flotilla of eight warships. This included two vessels from the Republic of Korea, marking the first time that the Korean Navy has visited London since the 1960s.
Demonstrating its strength as the fourth pillar of DSEI, the Security & Special Forces Zone was expanded fivefold on its 2011 footprint to accommodate 70 exhibitors, while the Medical & Disaster Relief Zone showcased products from a wide range of first-time exhibitors such as Lifesaver Systems, Prometheus Medical and Safe Patient Systems.
Unmanned systems showcase Another popular highlight was the Unmanned Systems Showcase, which included a daily scenario demonstration of Northrop Grumman’s unmanned ground vehicle systems.
Headlining the demo programme was CUTLASS, Northrop Grumman’s latest generation UGV for the remote handling and surveillance of hazardous threats and Andros Titus, the company’s newest and most intelligent member of the Andros family of UGVs.
Offering visitors a compelling and highly informative focus on the growing unmanned systems sector, the dedicated Unmanned Systems Theatre hosted a number of leading experts such as Cairns Police, Australia who explored factors affecting the wide spread use of UAS by Queensland Police. The seminar theatres across all 6 zones were often standing room only across the week, further highlighting the popularity of all the sessions and the event as a whole.
“The records broken this year demonstrate that DSEI continues to strengthen its position as the world leading defence and security event,” said Event Director Duncan Reid.
“Traditional markets such as Europe and North America were well-represented, whilst the significant growth in presence of emerging markets like the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, bodes well for the future.
“Even at this early stage I can confidently predict that DSEI 2015 will outperform this year’s edition due to the lasting relationships forged with the UK MOD, international delegations and exhibitors – who have already re-booked more space for the 2015 show than they did in 2013.”
DSEI 2015 will take place at ExCeL London from 15-18 September 2015