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EXHIBITIONS AND CONFERENCES

25 Sep 13. An impressive 32,169 visitors attended Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2013, a rise of 13 per cent on the previous record in 2011. The exhibition featured 1,489 exhibitors, representing 54 countries, and included 40 international pavilions. 97 official delegations from 56 countries attended, marking a 30 per cent increase on DSEI 2011, while the number of VIPs who attended increased by 20 per cent. DSEI 2013 enjoyed a strong presence across each of its six dedicated zones: Land, Air, Naval, Security & Special Forces, Medical & Disaster Relief and the award winning Unmanned Systems Showcase. Visitors to the Land Zone witnessed Nexter Systems unveiling the Titus armoured vehicle, while Finnish company, Patria introduced its Next Generation Armoured Wheeled Vehicle concept. Air Zone highlights included daily briefings from the RAF presentation team and static displays such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, Merlin Mk II, Wildcat and Spitfire, stationed at the entrances to ExCeL and on the dock edge. In the Naval Zone, Rolls-Royce unveiled a new design for maritime patrol craft, while the Victoria Dock hosted an enhanced waterborne demonstration programme and a record flotilla of eight warships. This included two vessels from the Republic of Korea, marking the first time that the Korean Navy has visited London since the 1960s. Demonstrating its strength as the fourth pillar of DSEI, the Security & Special Forces Zone was expanded fivefold on its 2011 footprint to accommodate 70 exhibitors, while the Medical & Disaster Relief Zone showcased products from a wide range of first-time exhibitors such as Lifesaver Systems, Prometheus Medical and Safe Patient Systems. Popular highlights included the UK Capability Showcase, staged by UKTI Defence & Security Organisation, and the Unmanned Systems Showcase, which included daily scenario demonstration of Northrop Grumman’s unmanned ground vehicle systems. Headlining the demo programme was CUTLASS, Northrop Grumman’s latest generation UGV for the remote handling and surveillance of hazardous threats and Andros Titus, the company’s newest and most intelligent member of the Andros family of UGVs. Offering visitors a compelling and highly informative focus on the growing unmanned systems sector, the dedicated Unmanned Systems Theatre hosted a number of leading experts such as Sergeant Peter Blake from Cairns Police, Australia who explored factors affecting the wide spread use of UAS by Queensland Police. The event also enjoyed the strongest ever attendance from UK ministers and the MOD. Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, provided a keynote address on the show’s opening day which highlighted DSEI’s importance as a showcase for the defence industry: “This exhibition is an excellent example of the opportunities that we can create when government and industry work together, hand-in-hand, with a shared objective”. This point was exemplified by the signing of the Corporate Covenant on the penultimate day of the event, when Mark Francois – the Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans – was joined by representatives from BAE Systems, ISS Facility Services, BMT Group and General Dynamics UK in order to pledge their support for the Armed Forces community. Other ministers who attended included: the Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne; the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Andrew Robathan; the Minister for International Security Strategy, Andrew Murrison; the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint; and the Lords’ Spokesperson for Defence, Lord Astor of Hever. Michael Moore and David Jones, the respective Secretaries of State for Scotland and Wales, also attended. The MOD also fielded a strong team, epitomised by the attendance of the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Houghton and Chief of Defence Materiel, Bernard Gray. DSEI’s expanded seminar programme included significant co

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