Eurosatory Tilts Towards Security Business
The highlight of this year’s event was 370 new product launches, up from 350 in 2010. The 152 delegations from 84 countries confirmed that economic gloom or no gloom, Eurosatory is the destination for land and security business.
DESPITE A DIFFICULT ECONOMIC environment, Eurosatory 2012, a leading land, air and security event, pulled off a strong performance this year. The barometer being the increasing attendance by international exhibitors and visitors and Eurosatory reported growing percentages—70 per cent and 48 per cent respectively. The 152 delegations from 84 countries confirmed that economic gloom or no gloom, Eurosatory is the destination for land and security business.
The highlight of this year’s event was 370 new product launches, up from 350 in 2010. The clusters for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)-unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs); simulation; operational medicine; day and night vision; defence and security operational individual equipment; high technology subcontracting; embedded electronics and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives (CBRNe), etc were ticking with activity.
Securities Business to the Fore
While defence spend in most developed economies are getting slashed, the need, however, to enhance security capabilities has opened up opportunities for those in the securities business. The British think tank, International Institute for Strategic Studies, has reported that defence spend by European NATO states dropped by an average of 7.4 per cent per country in real terms between 2008 and 2010, with double-digit drops in France, Italy and Spain.
Eurosatory consolidated its position in security (police, civil security, fire service) by gathering companies which displayed dedicated or dual offering. About 40 per cent (560 exhibitors) belonged to this segment.
The largest group of exhibitors was from the US (158), followed by the United Kingdom (109) and Israel (59), not to miss out on the Russian, Indian, Chinese, Korean and Indonesians who swarmed the event. This time five new pavilions were added and four of them were from the East—Indonesia, Korea, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates and from the West was Turkey.
The refrain at Eurosatory, no doubt, was that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) had to continue looking East to keep their businesses going. The Asian pie, with India leading, was hard to ignore for any OEM. The need to woo the Asian buyer was evident. The worldwide arms market is said to be worth over $1 trillion a year.
At the event, the European Defence Agency (EDA) announced that it was partnering with 17 leading European defence firms to undertake a study of the land system industrial base. The study will look at capability gaps and possible conflicts in five-year, 15-year and 30-year increments. The effort hopes to identify what capabilities the European land defence industry, which comprises 25 per cent of all European defence spending, may need to address in order to effectively meet future threats.
Good Indian Presence
For Indian companies, Eurosatory offered a platform to enhance their presence in the world defence markets, to explore opportunities to become a part of the global supply chain, to form joint ventures/partnerships, etc. The Indian pavilion was well attended and there were about a score companies including the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited; Defence Research and Development Organisation; Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited; Bharat Earth Movers Limited; Bharat Electronics Limited; Bharat Dynamics Limited; Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited; Mazagon Dock Limited; Ordnance Factory Board; MKU Pvt Ltd; Offset India Solutions; Alligator Designs; Avaana; Micromet ATI and others.
The Indian delegation was led by the Minister of State for Defence, Dr M.M. Pallam Raju, who in an exclusive interaction with SP’s Land Forces said, “Eurosatory is an important event for India as we get to see here the latest offerings from OEMs from all over the world. As we have embarked upon a modernisation programme of the armed forces, attending such events is always beneficial. The government is committed to providing the best equipment to the Indian soldier.”
New Products and Innovations
The amazing number of new product launches, mostly in the securities business, is indicative of the growing needs to counter asymmetric threats. The Russians, the Israelis, the Chinese were displaying wares with lethal consequences. Take, for instance, the Russians who launched the ‘terminator’ tank—Uralvagonzavod BMPT with four anti-tank missile launchers, a 7.62 machine gun, 30mm AGS-17 automatic grenade launchers and a two-man turret with dual 30mm cannons on top. The exposition of the Russian delegation comprised 14 companies of the militaryindustrial complex, representing about 200 products and solutions.
The Chinese had the Sky Dragon, a surface-to-air missile system with a 50-km range and 80 per cent shoot-down efficiency. The system is said to be capable of aiming 12 interceptors simultaneously and can track up to 140 concurrent inbound threats.
Eurosatory, over the years, has been driving home the point that defence technologies are dynamic considering that newer threats are emerging faster and deadlier. The warfighters have to be equipped with arms and communication technologies that give them the fighting edge.
Eurosatory, over the years, has been driving home the point that defence technologies are dynamic considering that newer threats are emerging faster and deadlier