A series of conferences and informative events took place during DEFEA Exhibition.
On Tuesday July 13th inaugurating DEFEA 2021, the Greek Minister of National Defence, Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos underlined that the exhibition “is a platform for international contacts, industrial cooperation and exchange of information on modern technological developments”. He also added: “There is no doubt that the exhibition will present the most advanced systems that global defence market can provide, proving once again that the evolution of defence systems is a ‘driving force’ for technology.”
After the inauguration a roundtable discussion about the European Defence was carried out, with subject “Ministerial Roundtable Discussion on the European Defence Initiatives” with the participation of the Ministers of Defence of Slovenia, Mr. Matej Tonin, Portugal, Mr. Joao Gomes Cravinho, and Cyprus, Mr. Charalambos Petrides. The discussion was coordinated by the Executive Director of European Defence Agency (EDA), Mr. Jiri Sedivy, while the Internal Market Commissioner, Mr. Thierry Breton, greeted through video message. The event with the presence of the Greek Deputy Minister of National Defence, the Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff and the Chiefs of the three branches of the Hellenic Armed Forces was streamed live through the official You Tube and the social media channels of Hellenic Ministry of Defence.
The procurement programme of the Hellenic Navy of four new frigates, as well as the intermediate solution and the upgrade of in-service frigates was again at the centre of general interest. Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos referred to the programme emphasising: “We are going to purchase four frigates that we believe it is necessary for some of these ships to be built in Greek shipyards and we must work for that. Not only to have them built in our shipyards, but to have more defence industries that will take part in their construction. One of our two shipyards, the “Hellenic Shipyards” of Skaramagas, was acquired by a group of businessmen, led by a Greek shipowner. I think this will give a boost to the domestic shipbuilding industry, beyond the problems of the past”.
Following that, on 16.00, took place the “Workshop with Industry: Opportunities offered by EU Defence capability development tools”. This Workshop aimed at promoting the need for a capability-driven and competitive European Defence Technological and Industrial Base in the framework of the main EU Defence Initiatives.
As part of the DEFEA events, on the second day of the exhibition, the Minister of Development and Investments, Mr. Adonis Georgiadis, spoke to international exclusive audience on the subject “The development of the Shipbuilding Industry of Greece”, followed by an informative event organised by the Hellenic Manufacturers of Defence Material Association, in collaboration with the Directorate-General for Defence Equipment and Investments of the Ministry of Defence, on the European Defence Fund with subject “European Defence Fund (EDF) Info Day” – Presentations-HMoND/GDDIA/DITR:”GDDIA the roadmap to EDIDP and EDF” – EC/DG DEFIS: “The EDF opportunities for the industry”
Concluding DEFEA events, on the last day of the exhibition, an important speech was held on the subject: “Hellenic Armed Forces. Possibilities and Perspectives – Requirements and Implementation “. Keynote speakers were the Chief of Hellenic Armed Forces, General Konstantinos Floros, Major General (rtd) Misail Papadakis, Alternate General Director General Directorate For Defense Investments And Armaments (GDDIA) and the President of SEKPY, Tasos Rozolis.
The Chief of Hellenic Armed Forces, General Konstantinos Floros, stated that in the context of strengthening the Armed Forces and achieving economies of scale, initiatives have been taken by the General Staff to strengthen the support of their weapons systems through structures such as the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), as well as participation in multinational EU capacity cooperative programmes. Through Permanent Structured Cooperation – PESCO and the European Defense Industrial Development Program (EDIDP).
At the same time, the President of SEKPY, Mr. Rozolis, underlined: From the decisions that will be taken at this time regarding the current armament, the future of Hellenic Defence Industry will be judged. We are today pleased to declare that there is full mutual understanding and cooperation, both of the Military and of the Political leadership and of HDI as a whole, in order to achieve the goal which is none other than strong HDI – Strong Armed Forces – Strong Greece.