Space becoming ‘more contested and more congested’ according to RAF Chief of Staff

Visitors and exhibitors came from across the world for the 20th edition of DSEI which, for the first time this year, put the focus onto space.

This year’s DSEI reflects the new shape of the defence market with more and more nations developing an indigenous industry. Around 35,000 visitors passed through the doors to see 1,700 exhibitors. This year’s newcomers included Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine.

Overcrowding in space was becoming an issue according to Air Vice Marshall Rocky Rochelle, the RAF’s Chief of Staff, Capability. He warned space was becoming more congested and more contested. “We are talking about realtime mission control, not just space for space’s sake,” he said.

Deals, partnerships and agreements announced

Among the deals and signings were Qinetiq, which signed an opening-day contract with the UK government to signed an opening-day contract with the UK government for its satellite-based global navigation system. Sweden and Italy signed letters of intent to join the UK’s future combat air programme, Tempest. Aeralis with its modular trainer platform was also adding partners

Drones and helicopters were also gaining attention with Israel’s latest Black Eagle 50 from Steadicopter featuring capabilities include an inertial navigation system with no dependence on GPS, as well as support for naval missions allowing it to operate in GPS-denied areas.

Welsh firm Drone Evolution, unveiled its SafeFlight technology which protects delivery drones from being jammed and its titanium shell protects it from things like small arms fire or laser attacks

Hybrid Air Vehicles signed an MOU with Vertex Aerospace to develop a fully configured Airlander 10 aircraft to the US Department of Defense for multi-domain intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and other Special Missions.

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