Eurosatory 24, defense and security are on display

The 2024 edition of Eurosatory, the Parisian armaments and security show, will certainly remain in the annals for the number of participating companies, over 2000 from 62 nations, and delegations, 264 from over one hundred countries.

Founded in 1967, the fair represents the number one event in the West for this sector, is held every two years and offers a unique meeting opportunity for producers and start-ups from all over the world, together with public and private actors of the Defense market; brings together the best experts, governments and their administrations, international institutions and non-governmental organizations in around a hundred conferences, inviting everyone to participate in high-level conferences and round tables. But above all, at Eurosatory you can discover the state of the art and the global showcase of innovation and delve into the prospects and developments of the sector.

The 2024 edition sees the presence of all those security products dedicated to the great changes taking place in the world, from the return of great conflicts between states to the need to engage in the ecological transition, from dealing with threats such as humanitarian and environmental disasters to natural or industrial risks, from violence within societies to terrorism, from new paradigms of armed conflicts to cyber and space threats. The exhibition is not just static, in fact areas have been set up for dynamic demonstrations of vehicles and equipment, where there will be numerous novelties presented throughout the week. Certainly the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has brought land vehicles back into the foreground, especially heavy and tracked ones, a segment in which it is clear that technology is rapidly recovering after decades of failed investments, deemed useless.

On the first day of the Parisian event, the two leading companies in the construction of tanks, Rheinmetall and Knds, respectively presented the new Panther and Leopard2-3.0. The first, the Panther, has a remotely controlled turret and was chosen by the Hungarian armed forces as early as 2022. These projects obviously make the creation of the common European tank, called MGCS, more complex. For Italy, with the recent news of the halt in negotiations between Knds and Leonardo, the only possible choice therefore remains the new Panther creating a cooperation between Leonardo and Rheinmetall. In the meantime, however, Knds presented the Adt-140, definable as the tank of the future with remote control functions and a new Ascalon turret with a 140 mm piece and Arx-30 electronic tower system to counter threats deriving from drones, while Rheinmetall exhibited the Lynx infantry battle crawler (Ifv) equipped with the Leonardo Hitfact Mk-II turret. Very important, precisely to integrate the action of land vehicles, is the helicopter sector, which this year sees the presence of the French army fleet, the EC-665 Tigre of Airbus Helicopters and the NH-90 Caiman of NH Industries; the American Ah-64 Apache and Ch-47 Chinook from Boeing and the Uh-60 Blackhawk from Sikorsky. Also present are two prototypes under development, the H-160M ​​Guepard by Airbus Helicopters and the much admired Aw-249 Fenice by Italian Leonardo, the successor to the Aw-149 Mangusta. Two examples of the Fenice were seen in flight, both involved in the test program and equipped with “dummy” aesthetic-functional replicas of the armaments and sensors. In the French pavilion, an H-175M model helicopter (militarized) and the VSR-700 unmanned reconnaissance helicopter can be seen at the Airbus stand.

But the 2024 edition is also the one with the largest number of flying and also marine and underwater drones. This is easily understood by walking through the Ukrainian, French, British and Turkish pavilions. The clashes in the Black Sea between the Russian and Ukrainian navies are in fact highlighting the importance of fleets of remotely controlled light boats, whether armed or missile carriers. On a political level, however, this will remain the edition of the show in which the “direct” display of the products of companies and official representatives of the state of Israel was initially prohibited. The veto decision was taken by a French judge following the complaint presented by four non-governmental organizations. And even if the same exclusionary treatment, albeit for different reasons, was reserved for Russia and Belarus, in fact it is a hypocritical and senseless decision, also because the main defense programs in which Israel is involved are international and involve the participation of the associates, also represented within the European Union, who set up an exhibition area. Israel appealed and was right, so at the time of writing (Tuesday morning at 11am, the fair will close on Friday 21 June), the fair's organization is removing the tarpaulins covering the stands of Iai, Rafael and other Israeli companies .