Earning the international praise from high-level visitors and exhibitors alike, the first edition of the prestigious defense exhibition, DEFEA 2021 was completed in total success, presenting 315 renowned exhibiting defense industries from 22 countries and visited by 45 official national delegations, represented at political and military level, from 36 countries.

From 13th to 15th of July, 2021, Metropolitan Expo, the largest and most advanced exhibition centre in Southeast Europe, hosted highly specialized visitors from 53 countries, representing the most important private and state-owned companies in the world, offering top-tier services and facilitations.

DEFEA 2021 event

DEFEA 2021 event was globally the first COVID-free defense exhibition that took place in total compliance with all safety measures and health protocols, creating efficiently through excellent organization and planning a safe environment for networking and cooperation. Inaugurating DEFEA 2021, the Greek Minister of National Defence, Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos underlined that the exhibition ‘is a platform for international contacts, industrial cooperation and exchange of information on modern technological developments’.

Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos said, “There is no doubt that the exhibition will present the most advanced systems that global defense market can provide, proving once again that the evolution of defense systems is a 'driving force' for technology.

Latest technologies and defense systems exhibited

The largest and most prominent defense industries around the world participated as exhibitors

The largest and most prominent defense industries around the world participated as exhibitors, showcasing their latest technologies and the defense systems that will prevail in the future.

Impressive national pavilions with state-of-the-art products and equipment, and private companies with the most advanced solutions in every category of the defense and security sector covered the halls of the exhibition center, offering to visitors and officials an integrated view of the capabilities of modern military technology.

Political and military leaders in attendance

The official delegations that visited DEFEA were comprised of political and military leaders of the highest level, invited by the Hellenic Ministry of National Defence.

The countries that were represented through official presence were: Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Austria, Bahrain, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Jordan, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States of America.

Round-table discussion

During the exhibition, leaders of the delegations had important meetings with the Greek hosting Minister of National Defence, Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, and the Hellenic military leadership led by the Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, General Konstantinos Floros.

A round-table discussion about the European Defense was carried out, in which the Ministers of Defense of Slovenia, Mr. Matej Tonin, of Portugal, Mr. Joao Gomes Cravinho, and of Cyprus, Mr. Charambos Petrides stated their views. The discussion was coordinated by the Executive Director of European Defence Agency (EDA), Mr. Jiri Sedivy, while the Commissioner of Internal Market, Mr. Thierry Breton greeted through video message.

Event streamlined live

The event was streamed live through the official channel of Hellenic Ministry of Defense and the social media

The event was streamed live through the official channel of Hellenic Ministry of Defence and the social media, with the presence of the Greek Deputy Minister of National Defence, the Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff and the Chiefs of the three branches of the Hellenic Armed Forces.

The procurement program of the Hellenic Navy of 4 new frigates, as well as the parallel solution and the upgrade of in-service frigates was again at the center of general interest.

New frigates purchased by Hellenic Navy

Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, referred to the program, stated “We are going to purchase four frigates that we believe it is necessary some of these ships to be built in Greek shipyards and we must work for that. Not only to have them built in our shipyards, but to have more defense industries that will take part in their construction.

Nikolaos adds, “One of the two shipyards, the ‘Hellenic Shipyards’ of Skaramagas, was acquired by a group of businessmen, led by a Greek shipowner. I think this will give a boost to the domestic shipbuilding industry, beyond the problems of the past.”

Airport static display

Regarding the development of Greek shipbuilding industry, the Greek Minister of Development and Investments spoke in a related conference in front of an international specialized audience.

In parallel with the exhibition, an impressive static display was organized at the nearby international airport of Athens, in a specially designed area. The airport static display was comprised of multi-role aircrafts and helicopters, with highlights an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, a S70 Aegean Hawk naval multi-mission helicopter, a tactical transport NH90 helicopter and an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter for armed reconnaissance.

All participants expressed their satisfaction with every detail of the exhibition and they also emphasized on their return to the event in the two years’ time, when it will be held next. The next edition of DEFEA – Defence Exhibition Athens will take place on 9th-11th of May, 2023, at Metropolitan Expo, in Athens, Greece.

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