Let the DSEI madness commence

DSEI is almost upon us and everyone from exhibitors to journalists (and protesters) begin their preparations for the week-long show.

As global defence spending is on track to continue on its upward path, this years’ exhibition is expected to be the biggest yet.

Over 1,600 exhibitors and 34,000 visitors from 120 countries are expected to descend on the Excel Centre and the Shephard journalists’ schedules are packed full.


The scope of exhibitors continues to expand and this year the importance of innovative technologies, from UAS swarm systems to 3D printing, will be reflected with a new innovation hub forming part of the inaugural Joint Zone, which will be nestled between the colossus land, air and naval zones.

The land zone alone has expanded by 52% and is offering a packed agenda of speakers throughout the event on a wide variety of topics. This includes a keynote address from General Sir Nicholas Carter, chief of the general staff.

Some of the focus in the land zone will be on the continuing threat from Russia and the impact it is having on European defence spending. Many nations are upgrading and bolstering their armoured vehicle capabilities, such as Germany, France and the UK who are all upgrading vehicles or embarking on modernisation programmes, such as the UK’s MBT fleet upgrade.



Over in the naval zone, announcements on new frigate designs are hotly anticipated by Beth Maundrill who expects the industry to be a buzz following Wednesday’s release of the national shipbuilding strategy which could see BMT and Babcock go head-to-head on the design contract.

Seven warships will be on display at the exhibition, including HMS Argyll, the Royal Navy’s Type 23 Duke class frigate; HMS Puncher, a Royal navy Archer class patrol vessel; and BNS Pollux, a Belgian Navy ops vessel.


The air zone will host a static display of over ten aircraft, demonstrating some the latest advances in avionics. In news celebrated by Shephard’s rotary editor, Helen Haxell, the display will be dominated by defence helicopters, including Chinook, Apache, Wildcat and Merlin.


In reflection of the current instability that is gripping world politics and the evolving nature of warfare and security threats, the security zone has been expanded to include an exciting cocktail of exhibitions on a wide range of topics.

These include the challenges of mass migration, next generation cyber warriors, cyber intelligence and capabilities, urban warfare and emerging security trends from the IoT to wearable devices.


We’ve got our comfortable shoes on, notebooks and cameras all set; we’re ready, are you?

You can find Shephard’s full show news coverage online throughout the week.

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