Feb 18
  Published by Dar Assayad Arab Defence Journal
Highlights   المعلوماتية العسكرية تكنولوجيا الدفاع حول العالم العالم العربي تحديث السلاح الافتتاحية رسالة الناشر

The tenth Defence and Security Equipment International show took place in September at London"s Excel Centre. This exhibition and conference site is very accessible and as well as hosting exhibitors offering air, sea and land systems, it also allows warships to be displayed alongside the halls and corporate hospitality and briefing terraces, with waterborne displays of small patrol vessels, fast boats and specialist sea systems, and an outside air park displaying helicopters and missile systems.

The programme included a day of defence and security related conferences with keynote speeches from Service Chiefs and industry leaders from around the world, addressing professional audiences representing the military and industry.
There were more than 250 overseas delegations from 60 countries and over 1,600 companies taking part.
One of the greatest sources of international interest at the show was the highly competitive market for frigates. This is a market which is attracting the attention of navies internationally, as increased maritime activity by Russia and China is expanding the scope of their influence, especially along the world"s busiest trading routes, and also many smaller nations are looking at the need to replace older frigates and destroyers that are reaching the limit of modernization as new missiles, unmanned air vehicles and anti-submarine systems become available. Some navies are also looking at Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) that might be upgraded to also take on some of the roles of frigates, but at lower cost and with smaller crews.
At DSEI, the Royal Navy and main warship builder, BAE Systems, was proud to display models and images of its two new aircraft super-carriers, and also the new Global Combat Ship, the Type 26 frigate. This is a large, 6,900t high end design, and eight RN ships are to be built, with high export hopes, and work is underway on the first three ships. This represents the most advanced of the new generation high-end multi-role frigates and will be equipped with guns, vertical launch weapons tubes and advanced radar and sonar systems, as well as a large helicopter deck, with a hangar and multi-use mission which can be used for the carriage of unmanned vehicles or small fast boats. The UK Dragonfire is a new laser directed energy weapon and is being developed for the UK MOD by a project team led by MBDA and including Leonardo, QinetiQ, and DSTL. The development programme will lead to trials in 2019 so that by 2020 there can be evaluation trials aboard a naval ship at sea. The Dragonfire concept is scaleable and is designed to provide a very quick-reaction weapon that can be used to damage or destroy a target with great accuracy, or to dazzle its sensors.
Many new missiles were seen at the show, including a land-based version of MBDA"s Ceptor surface-to-air missile, mounted in multiple launchers on a large mobile vehicle. Land Ceptor will replace the British Army"s Rapier SAM systems and is a further development of the Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) which is also to be fitted in vertical launch tubes aboard Royal Navy Type 23 and Type 26 frigates.
A newcomer to the DSEI show was the Hungarian company, Uaviator which has developed a family of small UAVs based on a flying wing design, and built from composite parts. The most innovative feature is an optional VTOL twin-boom pod attachment containing electric motors with propellers to provide VTOL take-off and landing and hovering, in addition to a forward propulsion small piston engine. To provide extended hover capability for surveillance, the electric engines can be operated in a tethered mode taking electrical power from a land line, otherwise the UAV can fly to a location and hover and then return conventionally for replenishment of its batteries.
The SAAB V200 Skeldar is a rotary wing UAV that has applications not only for naval use but also other government industries and heavy industry, including the energy sector. Swiss-based UMS Skeldar has been formed to be a market partner to further develop a wider customer base, and to move into the leasing business as demand grows. For many customers leasing is a more cost-effective solution and UMS Skeldar claims that an air management service package is attractive to government agencies.
During a presentation at the show, Leonardo stated that 500 examples of their small Hero rotary wing UAV was in service or had been ordered for use in 25 countries.
At the show, more information was available of emerging systems designed to protect against the misuse of drones, especially when used too close to airports, or other potential terrorist targets or strategic locations, civil and military. On the large Thales stand one such development was being demonstrated as a new, compact, mobile, counter drone system. This offers a mix of sensors and can be an active or passive sensor solution in locating, tracking and disabling a hovering or moving drone. The identification software has a library of drone signatures and the integrated package allows quick action with radar, video and infrared cameras able to positively confirm the exact location and type of UAV of interest, with a real-time two-way data link to the operator.
There was no Airbus exhibit at the show, but Leonardo Agusta Westland had two Royal Navy Merlin helicopters, the ASW Mk2 and utility Mk4, on static display and the US Army had a Boeing Apache and Chinook available for inspection.
BAE Systems had one of the largest stands at the show, and this was used to demonstrate its full range of activities in air, land and sea domains. One of the most interesting exhibits was to be found in the future concepts display where the latest developments in cockpit and helmet display technologies were being shown.
On the Raytheon stand, the company was showing a model of its Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD). This is a new modular system to confuse, deny and degrade enemy intercepts so that they divert efforts from their true target. The MALD is pre-loadable for a mission and eight different missions can be set up for this use-once decoy. The devices have a 15 year shelf life. In use they can be a force multiplier requiring enemy forces to spread their efforts trying to defeat an air attack.
Training was another big theme at the show, with many suppliers of simulation products and services, as well as real training for air land and sea operations. Inzpire held a briefing on its helicopter pilot and maintenance training offering at the Golden Eagle Aviation Academy, Oman, where the ground school is located, with live flying training at a base in Northern Jordan. Designed by highly experienced ex-military operators for new operators, the company provides cockpit trainers with the aim of keeping students safe, with simulators reconfigurable to match the aircraft type the students will be moving up to.
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