DSEI Exhibition Enters Its 20th Year!

The next edition of Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) will mark 20 years since the event was first established as “the British Army and Navy exhibition.” Returning to ExCeL London September 10-13, 2019, DSEI now encompasses the entire defence and security audience, including Air, Land, Naval, Security and Joint, and has grown—both in size and content—to reflect the complex nature of modern warfare and security operations.
Twenty years in defence is a long time—and the industry has evolved considerably—unrecognisably in many respects—since 1999. Priorities changed significantly and rapidly after September 11, 2001, which many of us learned of while in the exhibition halls of DSEI.
The intensifying threat from the “digital battlefield,” wide-ranging cuts to defence spending and expansion of technological know-how during this time have shaped and reshaped the way industry does business.
DSEI 2019 will overarchingly focus on Emerging Technologies, Cross-Sector Exploitation and International Collaboration. Visitors can also expect significant focus on Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Systems, Robotics and Big Data, from the industry’s leading lights. These themes will run throughout the exhibition and conference programme.
Held biennially, DSEI connects governments, national armed forces, industry thought leaders and the global defence and security supply chain on an unrivalled scale. The event is curated to consistently support both the prime contractors as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises while, crucially, giving the UK exports a significant boost. On a rolling 10-year basis, the UK remains the second largest global defence exporter. In 2017, it won defence and security orders worth £9 billion and £4.8 billion respectively, up from the previous year (£5.9 billion and £4.3 billion).
DSEI will also promote the global supply chain via dedicated new feature areas on the exhibition floor. These specialised “hubs” will showcase cross-sector suppliers within the Manufacturing, Innovation, Communications, Cyber, Space and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul & Upgrade domains.


Exhibiting companies featuring for another year include Eclipse Defense Technologies, who have developed a projectile launching device which operates on compressed air and automatically adjusts muzzle velocity to maintain less-lethal impact forces regardless of target range, and Hesco Group—a leading perimeter protection specialist looking to expand on ongoing success in the private and public spheres.

Many products, now globally renowned, were first introduced to the market at DSEI. Remember the LifeSaver® water bottle which Icon LifeSaver debuted as its pioneering water-purifying drinking vessel to the world at DSEI in 2007? The product was named DSEI’s “Best Technological Development,” and the entire stock sold out within four hours of the presentation. Having first caught the attention of the British Army, the LifeSaver water bottle is now used globally by militaries, humanitarian teams and outdoor enthusiasts.
DSEI 2019 will also see the debut of both Latvia and Lithuania, who will for the first-time host national pavilions providing a hub of their countries’ defence and security ingenuity. Among the 30 country pavilions confirmed to date, nations such as the Czech Republic, Holland, Denmark, Slovakia and Australia have significantly larger areas, reflecting the rise in exportable expertise from these regions and a desire to develop international partnerships.


DSEI, ExCeL London 2001 DSEI, ExCeL London 2017
Exhibitors 660 exhibitors from 21 countries 1,600 exhibitors from 54 countries
Size 20,000m² Over 37,000m²
National pavilions 13 42
Visitors 15,000 35,000 from 104 countries
VIP Delegations 59 from 45 countries 2,760 from 90 countries
Press 250 press from 18 countries 521 press from 40 countries
Grant Burgham, DSEI Event Director said: DSEI is a milestone in the defence calendar and this is reflected by the fact that, with a year to go, almost all the exhibition space has already been accounted for. While, in many ways, DSEI is unrecognisable from its beginnings in Chertsey, it has consistently delivered a platform for industry to engage with the defence and security community. What time has taught us is that this is founded on key partnerships, and we value the partners that have been with us on this journey, while fostering new alliances and connections with other cross-sector organisations.”