2017 Air Capability Conference

'The Next Generation'

As air forcesAir Capability Conference around the world actively modernise their current fleets with a mix of new and in many cases substantially upgraded equipment, the Air Capability Conference at DSEI focused on the short, medium and long term requirements for both military and industry to achieve next generation air superiority.

With the progressive integration of fifth generation multirole fighters operating alongside third and fourth generation platforms, the conference considered what the future operating environment looks like, particularly in the context of joint campaigns, and the role that air capability development and support will play in shaping the landscape.

View the DSEI Strategic Conference Programme

Platforms & Integration

Against this backdrop, the conference explored the requirements for future air systems including the updating and life extension of existing capabilities to enable these to remain relevant in international operations.  It examined the immediate next steps for the F-35 programme nationally and internationally, including its integration into air forces to operate alongside recently enabled platforms such as the Typhoon. The conference also considered medium term issues with the introduction of platforms such as P8, and the long term challenges of operating older legacy air systems alongside next generation platforms.

Delegates saw a number of high-level speakers from international air forces and a programme that delved into the capability challenges of the future air battlespace; a fitting precursor to the DSEI exhibition where visitors were able to continue discussions and meet innovators across the air supply chain.

Chief of the Air Staff

"As it approaches its 100th anniversary, the Royal Air Force remains heavily committed to operations, both defending UK airspace and projecting the Nation’s power and influence around the world. The demand for air power will not change and the Royal Air Force will continue to play into the future a vital role in the security and prosperity of the Nation. The Royal Air Force provides full-spectrum air and space power, professionally, effectively and efficiently.  The longer term challenge for the Royal Air Force is to ensure that it can continue to innovate and deliver decisive air power effect in an increasingly complex and contested environment. The future will inevitably present new challenges as potential adversaries adapt and seek innovative ways to challenge our advantages.  DSEI offers an excellent international platform on which to explore these challenges and ensure we maintain our decisive edge, working together with our industry suppliers."

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, Chief of the Air Staff 

Topics Included:

  • Modernising the Air Battlespace Post 2020
  • Fleet Modernisation – Upgrading Third and Fourth Generation Platforms
  • Fifth Generation Platform Integration
  • Live, Virtual & Constructive Training for a Fifth Generation  Battlespace
  • Improving Battlespace Interoperability and Integration
  • Air Systems and Cyber Attacks
  • Capability in Practice and Tactical Superiority
  • “DSEI is a landmark event presenting to the world the excellence of the UK defence and security businesses. We expect to welcome high level international delegations to take part in meetings with our strategic partners. For us in government it is hugely important, an important showcase, a stage for diplomacy, a platform for the international engagement. We are really looking forward to DSEI in September 2017.”
    Harriett Baldwin 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 17. We intend to build on the very positive experience of DSEI 15 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 General Staff
    British Army
  • "DSEI 2015 was the ideal occasion for the Royal Navy to demonstrate its ambition to lead and win through technological innovation. The opportunity to meet with so many partners from academia, industry and overseas at DSEI is, as always, a really useful component of our engagement with the vital partners through whom we seek to deliver this innovation."
    Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB ADC, The First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff
    Royal Navy
  • "DSEI 17 will offer Joint Forces Command the opportunity to report on our plans for the future, in particular on operationalising our Warfare In The Information Age concept. I am looking forward to it."
    General Sir Chris Deverell Commander Joint Forces Command
  • "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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