DSEi: Operations and innovation to dominate 2011 show

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Almost 1,400 exhibitors from 46 nations will take part in the UK's Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEi) exhibition in London taking place on 13-16 September, show organiser Clarion Events announced on Tuesday, 6 September.

Staged at the ExCel centre in London's Docklands, the biennial event will also report visitor numbers "well up" on 2009 figures, said John Tolhurst, chairman of Clarion's defence and security board.

Around half of the companies participating will be from the UK, with around 500 categorised as small and medium-sized enterprises, Tolhurst said during a media launch event in London.

lockheed martin f-35a model on hms illustrious, craig hoyle/flightglobal
 © Craig Hoyle/Flightglobal
Lockheed Martin F-35A model on HMS Illustrious

One of AgustaWestland's prototype Lynx Wildcat/AW159 helicopters will be on static display, while Lockheed Martin will exhibit a full-scale mock-up of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Other show highlights will include an indoor demonstration area for operating small unmanned air and ground vehicles, and an anti-piracy demonstration, which will be conducted in the Royal Victoria Dock, alongside the ExCel site. This will also accommodate surface ships from the Dutch, German, Norwegian and UK navies, while the Royal Navy's new Type 45 destroyer, BAE Systems-built HMS Dauntless, will be moored near London City Airport.

An innovation challenge will also be staged for the first time during the show, with six finalists having been shortlisted to contest the award for the best new product.

Also speaking at the launch event, UK minister for international security strategy Gerald Howarth identified the role that global defence and security sales could play in helping to repair the country's economic prospects. "Exports are critical to a sustainable recovery," he said.

Richard Paniguian, head of UK Trade & Investment's Defence & Security Organisation (DSO), said the show will also provide a showcase for the UK armed forces' in-service equipment, including some acquired under urgent operational requirements. DSO will sponsor a daily demonstration of some of these systems for the media, he added.