Engines revving for the FEINDEF'21 international defence exhibition in Madrid

The second edition of the International Defence and Security Fair brings together nearly 300 exhibitors from 3 to 5 November

PHOTO/Feindef  -   The Minister of Defence, Margarita Robles, will be in charge of opening FEINDEF'21, accompanied by the Chief of Defence Staff and the trustees of the Foundation responsible for planning and executing the event

The organisers of the 2nd International Defence and Security Exhibition of Spain have already abandoned cruising speed and have revved up their engines with the opening date less than 40 days away.

With their sights set on 3-5 November, the fair's president, former Defence Minister Julián García Vargas, and his team have already begun to close exhibitor registrations and to finalise the calendar of activities, the programme of parallel conferences and the planning of the more than fifty official national and foreign delegations that will attend the event, including those from Angola, Brazil, Bulgaria, Greece and the United States.

PHOTO/JPons - FOTO / JPons - The National Intelligence Centre (CNI) has a stand. At the 2019 edition, it was represented by the National Cryptologic Centre (CCN), which was visited by the then head of the CNI, Army General Félix Sanz Roldan.

FEINDEF'21, a professional trade fair in an on-site format, brings together in Madrid Spanish and foreign manufacturers of armaments, equipment and services for land, naval, aerospace and dual defence and security. The exhibition area is concentrated in halls 8 and 10 of the Institución Ferial de Madrid (IFEMA), covering a total of 31,000 square metres. This surface area will allow the more than 260 stands already contracted and the approximately 280 companies represented at COVID-19 to be set up with guarantees, almost doubling the figures for the 2019 edition.

A dozen stands belong to official institutions, for example, the Army, Air Force, Navy, Ministry of the Interior, Industry. Even the National Intelligence Centre will be represented. Among the latest official corporations to join the event are the Community, the City Council and the Madrid Chamber of Commerce, whose security-related services will be exhibited in a joint area.

PHOTO/JPons - The organisers hope that the number of official delegations from friendly and allied countries will exceed 60, the number that attended the 2019 edition.

The opening ceremony will be presided over by the Minister of Defence, Margarita Robles, and is scheduled for 3 November in the early hours of the morning. She will tour the two exhibition areas, accompanied by the top civilian and military authorities of her department, senior officials from different public administrations, official delegations and military attachés from allied and friendly countries, along with the top executives of companies in the sector.

A large monographic stand for the FCAS

Virtually all exhibitors are keeping the products they will be showcasing under wraps. But at least two innovations will be the stars of the second edition of FEINDEF. One is the static display of the main helicopters in service with the Spanish Armed Forces, the NH-90 tactical transport helicopter, the Tiger attack helicopter and the light H-135, assembled at the Airbus Helicopters factory in Albacete.

PHOTO/Feindef -  The two exhibition venues have a large auditorium with a capacity for between 60 and 100 attendees, where the parallel programme of conferences, seminars and round tables will be held, which will be inaugurated by the Chief of Defence Staff.

Another area of great attraction will be the area dedicated exclusively to the Next Generation Weapon System or NGWS / FCAS. Its almost 300 square metres will display models and visualisations on large screens of the ambitious project being carried out by Germany, France and Spain to develop the 2040 fighter. The initiative, industrially led by Airbus GmbH, Dassault Aviation and Indra, started at the end of August to define the key technologies that will make it a reality.

Companies from Austria, the Czech Republic and Portugal have organised themselves in national pavilions. Portugal will be represented by the Portuguese Aerospace Cluster, a group of more than 80 companies and organisations from the aerospace and defence sectors.

Each of the two exhibition areas at FEINDEF'21 has a large auditorium seating between 60 and 100 attendees, one sponsored by Airbus and the other by Indra. Both will host the parallel programme of conferences, seminars and round tables. The speakers are senior officials from the civil and military administrations of Spain, Brussels and the business world, who will detail the capabilities, technologies and opportunities available in Spain, the European Union and other countries to contribute to or implement cooperation projects.

PHOTO/JPons - The institutional stands of the Army, Air Force and Navy will showcase the main weapons systems and equipment they use for combat and training, including flight simulators.

The series of live speeches will be inaugurated on 3 November by the Chief of Defence Staff (JEMAD), Admiral Teodoro López Calderón, who, under the general theme "Building a secure future", will set out his vision of the operational environment on the 2035 horizon. His presentation will give way to presentations and round tables that will provide information on the status of programmes of great importance for Spain and Europe, such as the future new generation weapon system NGWS / FCAS, the connected, sustainable and intelligent air base and cooperation in R&D&I in the framework of European security.

 With national and foreign sponsors

The programme for the 4th will be organised under the general idea of "Driving progress", which will bring together the Chiefs of Staff of the Army, Air Force and Navy, Generals Javier Varela, Javier Salto and Admiral Antonio Martorell, respectively, who will present the future challenges facing their respective Forces. They will be followed by various panels to address and debate the Public-Private Partnership to strengthen cybersecurity, new technologies applied to military logistics, the capabilities and needs linked to Artificial Intelligence and the growing role of drones in defence and security.

The programme for the third and final day (5 November) will focus on the empowerment of the supply chain. The speakers will review, for example, the situation of military health in its operational aspect, the advanced training of combat pilots, collaboration programmes between the Ministries of Industry, Defence and the Interior, dual initiatives within the European Union and the value chain in the defence sector.

The second edition of FEINDEF has a total of 16 sponsoring companies in five different modalities. The main support for the show is provided by the public shipyard Navantia (Global Partner), which has been joined by companies such as Indra, ITP Aero, John Cockerill, Tecnobit, Escribano Mechanical & Engineering, General Dynamics European Land Systems/Santa Bárbara Sistemas, Leonardo, SASCorp, Uro, Heroux Devtek, Iveco, Thales, Arquimea, Marine Instruments and Telefónica.

PHOTO/JPons - Exhibiting companies and professionals will pay close attention to the fusion of new drone and artificial intelligence proposals for defence and security missions.

The organisation has taken special care to implement various anti-COVID-19 measures. In addition to body temperature measurement at the entrance, hand disinfection and wider aisles than usual, a generalised protection based on the BSafe system has been added. It consists of temperature sensors distributed throughout the halls to monitor movements, warn of crowds and provide traceability of the equipment on display. There will be fixed and mobile stations for antigen testing and coronavirus diagnosis (PCR), in case intervention is required.

The planning and execution of the FEINDEF'21 show is the responsibility of the FEINDEF Foundation, an institution set up in July 2020 by the Ministry of Defence, the Association of Companies Contracting with Public Administrations (AESMIDE) headed by Gerardo Sánchez Revenga and the Spanish Association of Defence, Security, Aeronautics and Space Technology Companies (TEDAE) chaired by Ricardo Martí Fluxá.