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MSPO 2023 Opens In Kielce in Poland

Library image from MSPO 2022 [© Targi Kielce]

MSPO 2023, the 31st annual International Defence Industry Exhibition, opens at Targi Kielce in Poland today, Tuesday 5th September.

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Press Release, Kielce, 04 September 2023: Serving the country’s security, increasing access to global technologies, and exchanging ideas and experiences are the overriding objectives for the organisers of the International Defence Industry Exhibition as 31st MSPO brings together 711 exhibitors from 35 countries.

This year’s MSPO exhibition covers a record-breaking area of over 34,000 sq m. For the first time in its history, MSPO display is also located in an additional temporary hall of 2,800 sq m. This is the all-time record! The President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda confirmed his visit on the first day of the Exhibition. The Minister of National Defence Mariusz Błaszczak also joins the Targi Kielce expo on Tuesday.

Defence industry representatives from 33 countries come to the capital of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, 35 countries are represented. There are 350 Polish and 361 foreign companies. The Kielce event brings together companies from Australia (39 companies), Austria, Belgium, China, Czech Republic, Denmark (21 companies), Estonia, Finland, France, Spain, Netherlands, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Canada, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany (36 companies) , Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, United States (51 companies), Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, Hungary, United Kingdom, Vietnam, Italy, United Arab Emirates and South Korea.

South Korea, for the second time: This Asian country has been appointed the MSPO Lead Nation role at the International Defence Industry Exhibition for the second time. The Program Board’s proposal and then the decision of the Ministry of National Defence to invite the Republic of Korea to organise the Lead Nation Exhibition was a natural step. The Polish government has resolved to purchase an extensive amount of military equipment from Korea. The agreements were also signed at last 2022’s defence industry trade show in Kielce.

The South Korea Lead Nation Exhibition presents the country’s most significant and most important achievements in the defence sector. The display includes equipment ordered by the Polish army, such as Chunmoo missile launchers and K2 tanks which are soon used by the Polish Armed Forces. The modern vehicle assortment also include the K808 wheeled armoured vehicle, the UGV multi-purpose unmanned ground vehicles, as well as mock-ups of defence unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned land vehicles. The Exhibition also included a light tactical reconnaissance vehicle – KLTV Reconnaissance and the armoured, tactical hydrogen-powered ATV vehicle FA-50 light combat aircraft, which will also serve in the Polish Armed Forces, and the KF-21 multi-role fighter prototype are presented as mock-ups.

Jong-Sup Lee The Minister of National Defence of the Republic of South Korea visited the Kielce exhibition and congress centre in the week preceding the MSPO commencement. The Korean delegation headed by the minister met President Andrzej Mochon and the task force of the International Defence Industry Exhibition. The Minister visited the expo stands of Hyundai-Rotem and Hanwha, still under construction, during his expo tour.

“Congratulations on the success of the MSPO organisation, I am glad South Korea will be the Lead Nation Exhibitor this year. I hope that the International Defence Industry Exhibition boosts the potential of the Polish defence industry and Poland’s defence capability. I would like to assure you that Korea will make every effort to make the Exhibition a success,” said Minister Jong-Sup Lee at the end of his visit to Targi Kielce.

PGZ – the MSPO Strategic Partner: The largest Polish exhibitor is MSPO’s strategic partner, i.e. Polish Armaments Group and the companies which are a part of the PGZ holding. This continues the expo’s many-year tradition. The Republic of Poland Armed Forces Exhibition has been an inherent part of MSPO for many years. This year the Exhibition prepared by the Inspectorate for Armed Forces Support – SZ Bydgoszcz is held under the banner of ‘New Equipment – New Challenges – New Opportunities’.

Knowledge-pack at MSPO: On the second day of the International Defence Industry Exhibition in Kielce, the Ministry of Development and Technology in conjunction with Targi Kielce held a high-level, thematic debate devoted to the transformation of the European defence industry. The event enables discussion on the development of EU industrial policy and the role of the defence industry, and international cooperation in the domain of industry, including the development of synergies with the space sector in terms of economic and defence challenges. The seminar’s objective is to shift the paradigm related to defence capabilities in Europe, after decades of peace and freedom interrupted by the war in Ukraine. Important stakeholders of the European defence sector have been invited to participate in the debate: Dr Christoph ATZPODIEN, Director General of the Federal Association of the German Security and Defence Industry – BDSV, Tuija KARANKO, Secretary General of the AFDA – Association of the Finnish Defence and Aerospace Industry, Robert JOUDKA Member of the Board of the Lithuanian Defence and Security Industry Association (LDSIA), Henrik Navntoft SØNDERSKOV, Principal Consultant Danish Defence Industry and Security Association (DIDAS) and experts from industry, political milieus, and academia. The debate offers a platform for institutional and business leaders to reflect on Europe’s defence transformation in a changing security environment. The four-day MSPO 2023’s agenda includes 34 conference events, press conferences, seminars and meetings are held.

MSPO features for the first time: Most of the technological solutions presented at the show and information about MSPO-related events appear in about 10,000 publications each year. However, there has never been such a publication in the history of the Show – it premieres this year. ‘A Short History of a Great Dream’ – the album shows the 30 years of the International Defence Industry Exhibition. This publication also presents MSPO in the context of geopolitical changes. The album has been created following the President of Targi Kielce, Andrzej Mochoń’s concept. The album has been prepared inhouse, by Targi Kielce staff. The publication will certainly be of interest not only to the participants of the previous events.

Many themes in the publication have and will see continuation at the upcoming MSPO. The album pages include photos of those who influenced the shape of the event. Those who emphasised MSPO importance and graced the expo with their presence are also presented. There are photos documenting the visit of the late Colonel Alfred Merrill Worden – American astronaut, participant in the Apollo 15 mission. Colonel Worden was the featured guest at the US Lead Nation Exhibition at MSPO 2019. In 2023, the MSPO inaugurated the ‘Al Worden Endeavor Scholarship’ project in the Republic of Poland. The project objective is to encourage young people from our country to work as engineers and space explorers. The project final is when four students and a teacher are selected to participate in a week-long training for astronauts in Space & Rocket Center in the United States. The scholarship is supported by the Polish Space Agency, Targi Kielce and Kallman Worldwide.

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