Technologies to the Fore
Defence exhibitions across the world attract considerable attention, but one which is a must attend is Eurosatory held biennially in Paris. The reason is simple: some of the best and latest technologies are showcased here and one gets a worldwide perspect
Defence exhibitions across the world attract considerable attention, but one which is a must attend is Eurosatory held biennially in Paris.
THE STOCKHOLM INTERNATIONAL PEACE Research Institute (SIPRI) has pointed to a steep increase in military spending by nations including Russia, China, India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Britain, Germany, France and Japan. Though in 2013, the global military spending was $1.7 trillion, a decrease of nearly two per cent from 2012, the broader trend has been several countries are spending more on arms.
As per SIPRI, the two per cent drop has been attributed to budgetary cuts in military spending in the United States, still the top spender in the world. The United States alone is responsible for more than one-third of all military spending. Meanwhile, China, Russia and Saudi Arabia sharply increased their spending between 2012 and 2013. Beijing invested 7.4 per cent more in its armed forces, bringing its total budget to $188 billion. Saudi Arabia rose from seventh to fourth in the world. In 2013, its military expenditures totalled $67 billion, an increase of 14 per cent from the previous year.
SIPRI report also noted stark growth in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East as the West spent less. The head of SIPRI’s military expenditure programme, Sam Perlo-Freeman, said the causes stemmed from more than one factor. “In some cases it is the natural result of economic growth or a response to genuine security needs,” Perlo-Freeman said. “In other cases it represents a squandering of natural resource revenues, the dominance of autocratic regimes or emerging regional arms races.”
Africa – led by oil-and-gas-rich nations Algeria and Angola — spent more than any region in 2013 with a total increase of 8.3 per cent year-on-year. Meanwhile in Asia, China’s bolstering of its military, combined with territorial disputes with neighbouring countries, prompted Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam to also spend more.
Russia Outspends US
SIPRI ranked Russia number three on its list, noting that it had invested a greater percentage of its GDP in its military in 2013, beating out the US for the first time in a decade. Moscow spent 4.1 per cent of its GDP on its armed forces, barely overtaking Washington, which spent only 3.8 per cent of its GDP on the same sector. Perlo-Freeman said a slowing of economic growth could reverse this trend.
“The goal of building up military capability has been seen as more urgent [by Moscow] since the Georgia war in 2008, which revealed serious shortcomings in Russia’s military technology and readiness,” he said. And, now the Ukraine crisis. “[However] the economy is a key factor, including especially oil and gas prices,” he added. “Many observers believe that the State Armaments Plan is based on over-optimistic economic projections, so that this may act as something of constraint on the rate of increase of military spending.”
Moscow’s deployment of troops along its south-western border with Ukraine has worried Western leaders, who are trying to de-escalate tensions between Russian Presi- dent Vladimir Putin and the transitional government in Kyiv. The SIPRI report noted that the perceived threat of Russian military aggression could also have an influence on EU military spending, which has dropped in the face of the eurozone crisis.
Lack of Transparency in Middle East
In 2013, military spending has continued to rise in the Middle East, a trend that’s been going on for years not only resulting from the tense political situation, but also the high revenues from the sale of oil. Saudi Arabia has the world’s fourth largest military spending budget. In Perlo-Freeman’s view that’s not only due to strategic concerns: “The military budget is a way of channeling oil revenues into the private bank accounts of leaders — that is one factor that makes military spending very attractive.” On the whole, data on military spending in the Middle East tend to be quite opaque, the SIPRI expert said. There were no data available for Iran, Qatar, Syria, Yemen or the United Arab Emirates in 2013.
Eurosatory Indicates Trends
Defence exhibitions across the world attract considerable attention, but one which is a must attend is Eurosatory held biennially in Paris. The reason is simple: some of the best and latest technologies are showcased here and one gets a worldwide perspective with regard defence over here. Unlike exhibitions in US which is so US-centric, exhibitions held in Europe are seemingly for the world as European markets are limited.
Defence & Security Technological Continuum
Originally devoted to defence, Eurosatory has gradually expanded into the security market. While the contexts of use differ greatly between defence & security, the products are definitely on the same technological continuum. Eurosatory has taken these developments on board and now invites new categories of defence and security product buyers. The markets of the future are without any shadows of doubt Southeast Asia and Latin America.
The Air-land to the Exhibition Heart
ALAT (French Army Light Aviation) has chosen Eurosatory for its 60th anniversary celebration, thus boosting the airland aspect of the fair. Aviation delegations from many countries are participating in the event.
On the discussion side, Eurosatory is developing its conferences. In particular it will be holding the SIMDEF seminar on “Simulation, a means to preserve operational potential” organised by ADIS, the European Club for Countertrade & Offset (ECCO) symposium on trade with Turkey and the Land Operations Forum.
Eurosatory 2014 will have two-thirds of the exhibitors from foreign countries (51 countries have registered) including new ones such as Japan and Argentina. The venue for all products of the land and airland industry, Eurosatory will mirror the latest trends in 2014. It may be too early to say what they all will be, but big changes in the robotics industry are already on the way.
Every two years, the entire Land and Air-land Defence and Security industry and market meet during the Eurosatory tradeshow. In 2012, Exhibitors number increased by 9.3 per cent, 53 countries and international organisations were represented. Over 50 per cent of exhibiting companies had their chairman or CEO attending the show and over 450 new products were officially presented. All these factors contributed to cons Olidate Eurosatory as the world leader trade show in the domain.
What’s New for 2014?
Eurosatory strives to present the entire international offering and the whole land defence & security industry and supply chain, from raw materials to finished products. The exhibition endeavours again to cover the full spectrum of defence and security equipment in all price groups, from new, complex and high-ticket most advanced technology systems, to more affordable and tried-and-tested solutions, that particular countries prefer.
Eurosatory intends to maintain and develop the exhibition’s security section, which is actually linked to the defence domain through technology. Therefore, two new technology clusters are being created: ‘Civil Security and Emergency Response’ and ‘Critical Infrastructure and Sensitive Facilities Protection’. Such a growing focus on security also brings new visitors either from government departments seeking to equip emergency response forces, or from the private sector, scouting for solutions for people and assets security.
For new exhibitors, a “Discovery Village” will be set up for very small businesses taking part for the first time in Eurosatory. Featuring 6m2 fully-fitted stands, it is an opportunity to discover and benefit from all exhibition’s features and audience at the lowest cost.
Airbus Helicopters’ EC645 T2 on display