Every two years Eurosatory takes place at the Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Center. On this leading event, dedicated to land forces and homeland security, exhibitors present a variety of vehicles, equipment, means and systems that are suitable for defence and internal security requirements. Organised in spacious exhibition halls and outdoor area, the event attracts global participation. For professionals involved in the industry, the expo offers optimum opportunities to interact with international delegations, experts and media to discover new business opportunities at the global level.
This year’s edition took place from 11 to 15 June 2018 and was attended by a host of dignitaries, industry leaders, journalists and uniformed personnel. There was a total of 1,800 exhibitors and 220 delegations from 150 countries. Organisers had to add a third exhibition hall to handle additional exhibitors and delegations who have almost doubled in the past decade.
The first noticeable trend at this year’s exhibit thus was the increasing number of attendees. The biggest foreign presence remains the United States, followed by Germany, the United Kingdom and Israel. But what was noticeable was the emergence of very strong players whose increased competitiveness reflects both geopolitical trends, for example, strong growth in the presence of Turkish and Australian exhibitors, and a technological evolution favoring the promotion of dual-use products.
However, as any good businessman knows, it is not enough to have a good idea and/or product if you cannot connect it to the market and a potential buyer. Today’s land forces market seems totally dominated by the concept of connectivity in a rather different way than before. Conventional weapon platforms and armaments are only one part of the overall requirement. They still dominate the show, but there appears to be a slow and definite change pointing in a different direction. New technologies, particularly in the field of remotely controlled weapon platforms and unmanned aerial vehicles are mushrooming. Weapons countering such platforms are obviously equally popular. For example, we saw a number of technologies and products in anti-drone/UAV role. Similarly, homeland security is gaining importance. There are also enough indicators pointing towards increasing importance of ISR, EW and cyberspace. Hybrid warfare is a reality and expos appear to confirm that.
Integration could also be seen across the spectrum down at the equipment level, especially in an attempt to better couple manned and unmanned systems on the ground, the way Air Forces have been trying to do in the air. The new version of Nexter’s TITUS land vehicle which could be seen performing in dynamic demonstrations at the show is a typical example of that trend, as unmanned vehicles both airborne and ground are fully integrated to the Tactical Infantry Transport and Utility System.
High tech innovations are usually the most publicized during shows like this, but the increased threat troops face on a daily basis is an increasingly hybrid mix so industry displayed smaller equipment, in particular new flak jackets for infantrymen. This new generation of bulletproof vests is meant to resist hardened ammunitions and protect from bladed weapons.
Last but not least, much of the talk at Eurosatory was also dominated by current efforts to restructure the arms industries, with KNDS (which merged the German Kraus Maffei Wegman and the French Nexter in 2015) revealing its first joint project, the EMBT (European Main Battle Tank).
Indian participation at Eurosatory was subdued with a small India Pavillion in the main hall (Hall 6). India’s neighbours on the other hand had taken pains to showcase whatever is being produced in their countries. With a large number of international delegations visiting such prestigious shows, it may be a wise act to showcase brand India through a well-crafted initiative at the behest of the Government or Indian Industry.