The Chief of Defence Staff (JEMAD), Admiral General Teodoro Esteban López Calderón, attended the opening of the third edition of the International Defence Fair (FEINDEF), which began today at the IFEMA exhibition centre in Madrid. The Minister of Defence, Margarita Robles, was in charge of inaugurating the event.
The JEMAD has visited some of the stands of the fair where the main companies of the Security and Defence sector present their novelties. This year there are more than 500 exhibitors from 20 countries and the presence of 100 foreign delegations.
The Admiral General then gave a lecture on "The challenges facing the defence industry in the current context". The JEMAD, after thanking the invitation to participate in the Fair and congratulating all the people who have worked on its organisation, began by pointing out the radical change that the security and defence paradigm has undergone since the last edition of Feindef a year and a half ago. "A new geopolitical reality is causing a new arms race. In this scenario, it is essential to take decisive steps, and both the Atlantic Alliance, with its New Strategic Concept approved at the Madrid Summit, and the European Union, with the enactment of the Strategic Compass, are urging countries to increase their investment in security and defence."
The Admiral General pointed out that in the face of this new scenario, it is "vital for industry to know first-hand what the Armed Forces need in order to fulfil their mission". The main needs would be the optimal sustainment of existing capabilities, in addition to recovering capabilities that have been lost due to lack of funding, as well as the need to "improve our means of obtaining, analysing and disseminating intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance".
The JEMAD, in analysing the challenges facing the defence industry, stressed that "perhaps the greatest enemy of the leap forward is competition within the sector in Spain", which is why he suggested that "it might be advisable to reach a pact in the sector that would allow for the coordinated development of all companies, avoiding fratricidal competition and gaining in efficiency".