The International Defence Industry Exhibition MSPO in Kielce has been a record-breaking event in a number of categories. The event held from 5 to 10 September 2017 hosted nearly 40 thousands visitors. Kielce expo was the showcase for products and services of 618 companies from 27 countries from all corners of the world, MSPO was enhanced with the Poland's Armed Forces' exhibition. The MSPO was graced with the presence of, inter alia Minister of National Defence Antoni Macierewicz, Head of National Security Office - Pawel Soloch, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Defence - Bartosz Kownacki and numerous official delegations from Poland and abroad.
- For 25 years MSPO has been the gate to the world for the Polish armaments and defence industry. That was our objective when we organised the first event, it has remained out guiding beacon until now – said the President of Targi Kielce Board Andrzej Mochoń PhD. at the opening ceremony.
The status of the Expo was repeatedly emphasized at the four trade event. Exhibitors, visitors as well as the media and politicians pointed out to the Kielce exhibition importance and significance.
- When I see 618 exhibitors in Kielce, Polish exhibitors account for more than half, the other half are our long-time partners,
I believe that the army modernization can be effectively realized. – said the Minister of National Defence Minister, Mr. Antoni Macierewicz at the opening ceremony. As part of his day-long visit, the minister often mentioned the role of MSPO for Polish defence, safety and security.
Impressive facts and figures
Almost 28,000 square metres of exhibition space was the display for 618 companies, including 330 Polish firms. Targi Kielce hosted dozens of companies which represented the 27 countries, including companies from
Germany (48),Great Britain (34) and the United States (30). The expo was visited by a record-breaking number of official foreign delegations – 67 official missions from 43 countries, including 6 headed by Ministers. The four day expo hosted almost 22,000 business insiders. This year's expo featured the Open Days held for the first time in the Kielce exhibition and congress centre's history. This was a magnet for 16 thousand army, defence and militaria aficionados.
The visitors demonstrated a keen interest in heavy-duty equipment, including tanks presented by the Polish Armaments Group – PT-17 and PT-91M2; two variants of the Leopard 2 and a wide range of equipment used by the Polish Army. The spectacular element of the exhibition was the PZL Świdnik AW101 Merlin helicopter put on show - this is probably the largest machine of its class ever showcased at the MSPO.
The strategic contracts concluded during the Kielce event were equally spectacular. The Contract of the Radom Arms Factory was signed. Under this agreement Radom company is to deliver cutting-edge MSBS-5,56 Grot rifles for the Polish Army, the total contract value of 500 MLN PLN.
- 53 thousand state-of-the-art rifles will be provided for the Special Forces, operational troops and the Territorial Defence Forces. The first thousand will be delivered this year – said the Minister of Defence Antoni Macierewicz.
In addition to the contract for 53 thousand carbines, the Armed Forces have also contracted 118 Wirus IV vehicles from Concept, the contract value is more 90 million PLN. 657 BOR 7.62 mm snipers riffles produced by ZM Tarnow for almost 24 million PLN will also be delivered.
There were also numerous agreements, letters of intent between companies from home and abroad. The Polish Armaments Group has strengthened its cooperation with Ukrainian Ukroboronprom and Bell Helicopters. ITWL has entered into an agreement with Thales on the integration of cutting-edge non-guided rockets into Polish helicopters, and the WB Group has been contracted to deliver Warmate assault UAV for Ukraine.
The XXV MSPO culminated with the awarding ceremony. The MSPO boasts a many year tradition to award the President of the Republic of Poland's accolades. This year's award was presented to the Military Communications Institute in Zegrze for its IP-Crypto. The sabre, which represents the Minister of National Defence’s distinction was handed by the Deputy Minister Bartosz Kownacki for 12-mm multi-barrel WLKM machine gun produced by ZM Tarnów. The Territorial Defence Forces Commander's Award was first awarded for the first time; the PCO's DCM-1 "Szafir" modular sight earned this prize.
The MSPO Defender winners fellowship has expanded to include Company, Lubawa SA, Military Central Construction and Technological Office, Consortium led by Szczęśniak Special Vehicles, PIAP, "Belma" from Bydgoszcz, the consortium led by ITWL, WB Electronics, and PCO and Inframet.
- This expo is an excellent promotion opportunity for Poland and the Polish defence industry. This is one of Europe's most important events. I do hope MSPO will be going from strengths to strength – said the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence, Bartosz Kownacki and congratulated President Mochoń on organizing such a magnificent event.