DN - Defence Notes

MSPO 2017: UK industry eyes partnerships

1st September 2017 - 02:09 GMT | by Richard Thomas in London

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The UK is eyeing Poland as a potentially lucrative market for its defence and security industry with industry representatives expected to attend and exhibit at MSPO in strength.

Among those attending will be officials from the UK’s diplomatic corps and government officials, who will lead the delegation, to ostensibly find new markets, partners and programmes to bid for.

The Polish armed forces is undergoing a series of modernisation programmes to its heavy and light vehicle fleets, in addition to a far-reaching acquisition effort to procure a series of unmanned platforms to help balance out any quantitative and qualitative gaps in the event of conflict with potential adversaries to the east.

A number of unmanned systems manufacturers will attend the show near Kielce in a bid to secure entry into any future programmes.

In a statement Jonathan Knott, British ambassador to Poland said that the UK’s unique selling point was the ‘commitment to close defence-industrial cooperation’, adding that this included technology transfers.

Also commenting was Fleur Thomas, director in the Department for Trade’s Defence and Security Organisation, who stated that discussions would be held with the Polish government on how to further the ‘already close’ defence and security relationship.

‘I am committed to encouraging UK and Polish companies to work together more closely in order to build a strong defence and security industrial base for our mutual benefit,’ said Thomas.

Poland is one of the host countries for the newly-integrated NATO battlegroups that have been deployed to Eastern Europe as a supposed counter to the activity of Russia along its borders with the alliance.

The Crimean Peninsula was annexed by Russia in 2014 which also saw the beginning of a sustained campaign by Russian-backed separatists in the east of Ukraine to break away from the country. UK forces are deployed to a number of locations in eastern Europe, including Poland.

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