DSEI 2017 – A look back at the world’s biggest arms fair

DSEI - the world’s biggest arms fair
DSEI 2017 © Paige Ofosu

Government Europa looks back to Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2017, and ahead to the agenda for next year at the world’s biggest arms fair.

DSEI 2017 hosted more than 1,600 exhibitors and 36,000 visitors from more than 50 countries, making it the world’s biggest arms fair. The event was held at the ExCeL centre in London, UK, and was attended by some of the world’s foremost defence equipment vendors and manufacturers.

These sellers attend the event in order to meet ministers and representatives from some of the largest militaries around the globe. Attendees in 2017 included:

  • 3M;
  • BAE Systems;
  • Raytheon; and
  • Northrop Grumman.

As well as private sector companies, the event was attended by high-level representatives of the UK’s Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force and Joint Forces Command, as well as delegations from as far afield as Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

How might DSEI 2019 differ from this year’s event?

DSEI 2017 was divided into a series of areas which represent the breadth of modern defence requirements and capabilities, including: land; air; maritime; cyber; future technologies; and ‘in the field’.

The 2019 DSEI event will cover a similar breadth of topics, divided this time into five specific sections which help to target products directly to address the individual needs of each military. The sections are: air zone; land zone; naval zone; security zone; and joint zone.

Otherwise, it is expected that many stakeholders at the highest levels of defence procurement, equipment and policy will be in attendance at the event next September.

How do stakeholders feel about DSEI?

Dr Julian Lewis MP, Chair of the UK’s House of Commons Defence Select Committee, said that the biannual DSEI events are a vital opportunity for defence stakeholders to ensure that their capabilities are up to date. As well as the world’s biggest arms fair, the event ensures that global militaries are ready to face new and emerging threats.

He said: “DSEI is a highlight within the defence calendar. I use it to find out what the most recent developments are in every technological area affecting for defence. Without DSEI I fear this sort of interaction, information exchange and knowledge of developments across all domains would be lost. DSEI is an invaluable international biannual event.”


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