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DSEI exhibition enters its 20th year on an upward trend

Event News

12 Sep 2018

DSEI exhibition enters its 20th year on an upward trend

DSEI News Team

DSEI exhibition enters its 20th year on an upward trend, and with a focus on Emerging Technologies, Cross-Sector Exploitation and International Collaboration. The next edition of Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) will mark 20 years since the event was first established as ‘the British Army and Navy exhibition’. Returning to ExCeL London 10-13 September 2019, DSEI now encompasses the entire defence and security audience, including Air, Land, Naval, Security and Joint, and has grown – both in size and content – to reflect the complex nature of modern warfare and security operations.

DSEI launches in Chertsey, Sept 1999 


DSEI at ExCeL, Sept 2017

DSEI at ExCeL, Sept 2017


Twenty years in defence is a long time – and the industry has evolved considerably – unrecognisably in many respects - since 1999. Priorities changed significantly, and rapidly, after 11 September 2001 – which many of us learned of while in the exhibition halls of DSEI.

The intensifying threat from the “digital battlefield”, wide-ranging cuts to defence spending and expansion of technological know-how during this time have shaped and reshaped the way industry does business.

DSEI 2019 will overarchingly focus on Emerging Technologies, Cross-Sector Exploitation and International Collaboration. Visitors can also expect significant focus on Artificial Intelligence; Autonomous Systems; Robotics; and Big Data, from the industry’s leading lights. These themes will run throughout the exhibition and conference programme.

Held biennially, DSEI connects governments, national armed forces, industry thought leaders and the global defence and security supply chain on an unrivalled scale. The event is curated to consistently support both the prime contractors as well as small and medium-sized enterprises while, crucially, giving the UK exports a significant boost. On a rolling 10 year basis, the UK remains the second largest global defence exporter. In 2017, it won defence and security orders worth £9 billion and £4.8 billion respectively, up on the previous year (£5.9 billion and £4.3 billion).

DSEI will also promote the global supply chain via dedicated new feature areas on the exhibition floor. These specialised “hubs” will showcase cross-sector suppliers within the Manufacturing, Innovation, Communications, Cyber, Space and Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul & Upgrade domains. 

Exhibiting companies featuring for the first time include the world’s leading multi-technology tier 1 aerospace supplier, GKN Aerospace, and Pela Systems which manufactures products including the PelaCopter – an unmanned system which can be flown into hazardous situations and provide real-time data to aid decision making in the field. The company also specialises in emergency communications, threat monitoring, and surveillance systems.

Many products, now globally renowned, were first introduced to the market at DSEI. Remember the LifeSaver water bottle which debuted its pioneering water-purifying drinking vessel to the world at DSEI in 2007? The product was named DSEI’s "Best Technological Development” and the entire stock sold out within four hours of the presentation. Having first caught the attention of the British Army, the Lifesaver water bottle is now used globally by militaries, humanitarian teams and outdoor enthusiasts.

DSEI 2019 will also see the debut of both Latvia and Lithuania, who will for the first-time host national pavilions providing a hub of their countries’ defence and security ingenuity. Among the 30 country pavilions confirmed to date, nations such as the Czech Republic, Holland, Denmark, Slovakia, and Australia have significantly larger areas, reflecting the rise in exportable expertise from these regions, and a desire to develop international partnerships.


Grant Burgham, DSEI Event Director said:

“DSEI is a milestone in the defence calendar and this is reflected by the fact that, with a year to go, almost all the exhibition space has already been accounted for. While, in many ways, DSEI is unrecognisable from its beginnings in Chertsey, it has consistently delivered a platform for industry to engage with the defence and security community. What time has taught us is that this is founded on key partnerships and we value the partners that have been with us on this journey, while fostering new alliances and connections with other cross-sector organisations.”


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Notes to editors:

About DSEI

Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) is the world's largest land, sea and air defence and security exhibition, bringing together senior international trade and military experts from across the entire supply chain in an optimal business environment. DSEI is a biennial event held in London and will take place from 10-13 September 2019. To learn more, please visit www.DSEI.co.uk


About Clarion Events Limited

Clarion Events is the largest independent and one of the top three events organising companies in the United Kingdom, running exhibitions, conferences and seated events across UK, Europe, the Americas, Middle East and Asia. Clarion's business-to-business and business-to-consumer events serve 15 different market sectors including: defence & security, leisure, entertainment, finance, retail, gaming, fine art and energy. To learn more, please visit www.clarionevents.com


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  • DSEI showcases the best of British defence technology and innovation on the world stage. The UK Government looks forward to engaging with strategic partners, international delegations and pioneering defence companies on the global defence and security agenda.
    Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Minister for Defence Procurement
    UK MOD
  • I very much look forward to continuing my personal support to DSEI. It provides an excellent opportunity to explore the development of airpower capability, through engagement with the widest range of industry and international partners.
    Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier KCB CBE DFC MA RAF Chief of the Air Staff
    Royal Air Force
  • I much look forward to DSEI. We intend to build on the very positive experience as we construct the partnerships we need to deal with the complexity of the future operating environment
    General Sir Nicholas Carter KCB CBE DSO ADC Gen Chief of the Defence Staff
    Ministry of Defence
  • Once again the Royal Navy is proud to be at the vanguard of DSEI 2019 and I look forward to what I know will be a hugely beneficial opportunity for us all to explore maritime warfare development with so many partners from industry and academia, and with our counterparts from overseas.
    Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB ADC, The First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff
    Royal Navy
  • DSEI is a highlight within the defence calendar, I use it to find out what the most recent developments are in every technological area affecting for defence. Without DSEI I fear this sort of interaction, information exchange and knowledge of developments across all domains would be lost. DSEI is an invaluable international biannual event .
    Rt Hon Dr Julian Lewis MP, Chairman, House of Commons Defence Select Committee
    UK Parliament
  • DSEI is a fantastic showcase for defence companies where international buyers, sellers, developers, thinkers, educators and the trainers can all get together. The UK defence industry is looking to recruit more engineers, scientists and developers into 200,000 jobs and up to 10,000 apprentices within UK defence companies. DSEI is an excellent tool to highlight the challenges the industry face as well as showcase its capabilities domestically and overseas.
    James Gray MP, House of Commons Defence Committee
    UK Parliament

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