“When we met a year ago, we said the 30th Expo was the biggest in history. The 31st MSPO is even more significant in terms of exhibitor interest and exhibition space. This is undoubtedly our success; our shared success, which serves the purpose of defence enhancement in the Republic of Poland, but also peace on the eastern flank of the North Atlantic Alliance,” said head of Poland’s Ministry of National Defence, Mariusz Błaszczak, at the opening ceremony of the International Defence Industry Exhibition. These words perfectly encapsulate MSPO 2023.
The Targi Kielce Defence Industry Expo brought 711 exhibitors from 35 countries, including 350 Polish companies. The trade fair hosted 61 delegations from 43 countries. This 2023’s MSPO exhibition covered a record-breaking area of over 34,000 sq m. For the first time in its history, MSPO display was also located in an additional temporary hall of 2,800 square meters Almost 26,000 guests from all over the world attended MSPO 2023. MSPO was visited by Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, who has granted his honorary auspices to the Expo. In addition to the president, the event was also graced with the presence of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Mariusz Błaszczak, Minister of National Defence and Jacek Siewiera, the head of the National Security Bureau. Korea was featured as the Lead Nation Exhibition; the Korean delegation prepared was headed by the Eom Dong-hwan, the Minister of Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) of the Republic of Korea. The commanding staff of the Polish Army also took part in the event.
“The Kielce expo has become increasingly popular year-after-year. It is safe to say that it clearly contributes to the economic development of this region and the entire Republic of Poland,” said Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland, at the opening ceremony of the International Defence Industry Exhibition.
Korean dancing dragon
The South Korea Lead Nation Exhibition presented the country’s most outstanding 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 to be used by the Polish Armed Forces. The Korean defense industry’s potential was presented by 31 companies. The Korean expo presentation was complemented by a show of taekwondo masters and performances by the Naval Orchestra, accompanied by dancers in traditional dragon outfits.
Contracts worth billions at MSPO
Contracts worth PLN 100 billion were approved by the Minister of National Defence, Mariusz Błaszczak during the 31st edition of MSPO in Targi Kielce. Half of this amount will go to the Polish arms industry. Contracts concluded between the state treasury and the government of the United States of America concerning the purchase of elements of the WISŁA anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense system were also signed during MSPO. Poland will obtain 12 omnidirectional LTAMDS radars, 48 launchers of the PATRIOT M903 system and a supply of PAC-3 MSE missiles. Other agreements relate to the supply the Narew and Pilica+ programs’ components, NSM anti-ship missiles for the next two squadrons, and FlyEye reconnaissance drones. 1,700 of these uncrewed aerial vehicles are to be delivered by WB Electronics.
About 20 contracts and agreements were concluded by the Polish Armaments Group on the first three days of the show, including financially binding agreements worth PLN 54.1 billion. PLN 100 million of this amount has been earmarked for Mesko in Skarżysko for ammunition, including anti-aircraft missiles. Some of the agreements signed during MSPO will soon translate directly into economic value; among them is the contract for the production of American Javelin anti-tank missiles in Mesko. The Skarżysko-based company will be the first foreign plant where Javelins will be produced. The contract value is expected to reach hundreds of millions of PLN.
DEFENDER Gala Awarding Ceremony
One of the last highlights of the International Defence Industry Exhibition was the presentation ceremony of the DEFENDER awards, which culminated the show. DEFENDER is awarded every year by the Kielce defence trade show’s Programme Board and the Jury Panel. The gala began with state awards for people who contributed to the development of the Polish defense industry and to strengthening the country’s sovereignty and defense capabilities. On behalf of the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, the decoration was made by the Deputy Head of the National Security Bureau, Lieutenant General Dariusz Łukowski.
The gala was the occasion to bestow the two equal awards of President of the Republic of Poland for the product which best serves the purpose of the RP Armed Forces soldiers’ safety enhancement, other distinctions include a special award of the head of the national security bureau, the minister of national defence’s accolades and a special mention of the minister of development and technology, the award of the President of Targi Kielce and the Top Design award for the expo booth arrangement.
The awarding ceremony also saw the presentation of the operational commander of the branches of Armed Forces, distinctions of the commander of territorial defence forces, awards and distinctions of the head of the inspectorate of support for the Armed Forces, the special distinction of the programme board and awards of the president of the Targi Kielce management board, a special distinction of the programme board and, for the first time in the history of MSPO, the award of the president of the Polish space agency. Companies celebrating their anniversaries this year were also honoured.
We look forward to seeing you at Targi Kielce’s 32nd MSPO – the International Defence Industry Exhibition. Save the date for 3-6 September 2024.