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Army to showcase vision of the future at major Defence exhibition

The Army is preparing to set out its stall and demonstrate how it will tackle the challenges of the future at DSEI, one of the world’s major Defence exhibitions.

As the Army’s modernisation programme announced in the recent Strategic Defence and Security Review, it is about to embark on the most radical transformation in decades taking it from an industrial age to a digital age force.

The ways it will do this in an increasingly unpredictable world will be explained at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) taking place at the ExCel London, Docklands, between September 14 and 17 2021.

The event, being held both live and virtually, is expected to attract more than 1,000 defence and security suppliers, including all the major prime manufacturers and more than 100 new exhibitors. It also attracts our international Allies and partners enabling discussions and opportunities for collaborative work.

We really hope to see as many of our international allies and partner Armies from around the world coming into the east of London for that week in September in order to promote UK prosperity and the UK Defence Industry to them through the vehicle of the British Army." Major General Neil Sexton, Director Engagement and Communications for the Army.

Major General Neil Sexton, Director Engagement and Communications for the Army, said: “We really hope to see as many of our international allies and partner Armies from around the world coming into the east of London for that week in September in order to promote UK prosperity and the UK Defence Industry to them through the vehicle of the British Army.

“There has been a really big effort by the MOD to ensure the Army, Navy, Airforce, Strategic Command and the new UK Space Command are all presenting something which when you add it together produces multi-domain integration.

“And the theme for DSEI is of course integrated response to future threats, and the theme for the Army is Future Soldier and Integrated Army.

“Timing is everything and in two ways this show is really important; for about 18 months we have not been engaging in a physical fashion with our international partners and we are, we know, a reference Army for partners around the world. 

“We have 27 formal partnerships and a number of informal ones and we want to kick-off again post-Covid to a time in September where we have those physical relationships, discussions, planning together around all sorts of things including equipment capability.

“More importantly, probably than that, is that the UK had a significant security and defence review that reported at the end of March. That has set the British Army on a significant journey to modernise and to change the way it’s operating around the world.

“That it is training and educating its people and that it’s focusing on various elements of our equipment, so DSEI offers us a great platform to explain what we have called “Future Soldier”, which is the British Army’s transformation programme.

Major General Sexton said the transformation programme is about equipment, people, and sustainability, both in the home base and on operations.

Crucially it is also about the way that the Army wants to work more closely with British industry in a Land Industrial Strategy – a subject that will also be covered at the event.

“What we hope to portray at our stand on DSEI and with our industry partners is an Army that is linked into the other domains, so we will specifically have a link between Air platforms, AH-64E Wildcat and uncrewed system on our stand using Link 16 data transfer and that will be a demonstration that we will have live on the stand.

“And we want to illustrate through the major presentations and speeches that will be given that although the British Army clearly proudly works around the globe, it is rarely there alone, it is nearly always going to be supported by Strategic Command whether that’s with intelligence or medical support, both of which will be covered at DSEI in some detail.”

With slightly fewer exhibitors there this year than in previous years, Major General Sexton said there will be more space this time to demonstrate the latest cutting-edge equipment that will feature at the show.

For example, on the inside stand visitors will see Boxer, the Army’s next generation all-terrain armoured fighting vehicle, which has gone into manufacture in the UK with the aim to have the first vehicles in service in 2023.

There will also be an AH-64E model and an Army version of Wildcat and the Challenger 3 demonstrator tank will be on the Rheinmetall stand, close to the Army stand.

 Visitors will also see the Watchkeeper uncrewed air system alongside the Falcon Shield counter-drone system and Land Ceptor, illustrating the emphasis that the Army is placing on force protection, air defence and anti-access area denial.

Under Future Soldier we will transform to continue to be a modern, world-class Army that is more agile, more integrated and more expeditionary – ready for the next challenge, not the last, and DSEI will aim to show how all this will be achieved.

The keynote Army speech will be delivered by Chief of the General Staff (CGS) General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith KCB CBE ADC Gen on Wednesday 15 September from 12.30pm to 1pm.

Other speeches explaining how the Army will harness technology to prepare for complex future warfare will be delivered by the Army’s leaders in their fields throughout the week.

To register for DSEI visit https://www.dsei.co.uk/register/