More than thirty Spanish companies are exhibiting their new technologies at the world's leading trade fair Le Bourget

Spanish defence industry jumps from the FEINDEF show in Madrid to the aerospace show in Paris

PHOTO/SIAE 2019-Anthony Guerra-Alex Marc - Concluido FEINDEF, la gran cita mundial de la industria aeroespacial y de defensa se concentra en París en la 54 edición del Salón Internacional de la Aeronáutica y el Espacio
PHOTO/SIAE 2019-Anthony Guerra-Alex Marc - With FEINDEF concluded, the great global event of the aerospace and defence industry is concentrated in Paris at the 54th edition of the International Aeronautics and Space Show

The success of the third edition of the International Defence and Security Fair of Madrid in terms of the presence of companies, the attendance of professionals and especially in terms of organisation, now gives way to a new event in the aerospace and defence sector on a global scale.  

If FEINDEF 2023 closed its doors on 19 May, exactly one month later a crucial event for Spanish companies opens its doors: the 54th edition of the International Aeronautics and Space Exhibition, held in Paris from 19 to 25 June, which has a global dimension that is not comparable to that of Madrid and whose origins date back to 1909. 

PHOTO/JPons - La directora de defensa y seguridad de Tecnobit, Elena Morgade, explica las prestaciones de algunos de los equipos de la compañía integrados en los cazas españoles Eurofighter y orientados a la exportación
PHOTO/JPons - Tecnobit's director of defence and security, Elena Morgade, explains the performance of some of the company's equipment integrated in the Spanish Eurofighter fighters and aimed at export

Cancelled for the 2021 edition due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the world's leading showcase for the sector. Its large halls and open-air areas showcase the latest technological innovations, present the status of major aerospace projects and announce the sector's multi-million dollar contracts.  

Every two years, the fair brings together at Le Bourget airport the vast majority of aerospace and defence industry players and professionals from the five continents, all of whom are eager to see the degree of recovery of the different business areas linked to the sector, ranging from aircraft equipment, cutting-edge technologies for military aircraft and helicopters of all kinds, drones, missiles and a long etcetera. 

Spanish industry is exhibiting its new products in Paris, many of which were already on display at FEINDEF in Madrid. However, given the international impact of the Paris show, it is highly likely that the Seine capital will see the announcement of new strategic industrial alliances and the signing of million-dollar commercial agreements. 

PHOTO/JPons - CT Engineering es una de las muchas empresas europeas que ha mostrado en FEINDEF sus tecnologías de integración de sistemas y lo va a volver a hacer en el salón de París
PHOTO/JPons - CT Engineering is one of the many European companies that has exhibited its systems integration technologies at FEINDEF and will do so again at the Paris show

Hisdesat, Hispasat and Inster in the technology battle  

The space sector, which also played a leading role at FEINDEF, will have a strong presence at Le Bourget. The industrial group Oesia-Tecnobit will be in Paris and, through its company Inster, will be showing its new satellite terminal equipped with an electronically steerable flat antenna, which almost went unnoticed at FEINDEF.  

Inster specialises in satellite communications technologies for terrestrial, naval and aerial applications. Its terminal responds to a request from the operator OneWeb for its large constellation in low orbit, as it is small in size, offers technological features comparable to those of 5G and provides bandwidths similar to those of fibre optics.

PHOTO/JPons - Hisdesat ya tiene al Spainsat NG I en sus últimas fases de producción. Sus directivos, el almirante Santiago Bolíbar (izquierda) y Miguel Angel G. Primo (derecha), con el director de la Agencia Espacial Española, Miguel Belló y el almirante Aniceto Rosique
PHOTO/JPons - Hisdesat already has the Spainsat NG I in its final stages of production. Its directors, Admiral Santiago Bolíbar (left) and Miguel Angel G. Primo (right), with the director of the Spanish Space Agency, Miguel Belló and Admiral Aniceto Rosique

In Madrid, the space component was also attended by Deimos, GMV, PLD Space and the senior staff of Hisdesat, the company that provides strategic satellite services to the Spanish Ministry of Defence and others. It was announced that Spain's first new-generation secure government communications satellite, SpainSat NG I, was about to reach a major milestone, and so it has.  

The device is now in the final stage of its manufacturing process and a few days ago it arrived at the Airbus Space Systems plant in Toulouse (France) to begin assembly, integration and testing activities that should conclude with its launch into orbit "by the end of 2024", according to Hisdesat, the company that owns it. 

PHOTO/JPons - El director ejecutivo de Deimos, Ismael López, informa a la secretaria de Estado de Comercio, Xiana Méndez, de las posibilidades de su red de telescopios de observación, seguimiento, vigilancia y catalogación de basura espacial
PHOTO/JPons -The CEO of Deimos, Ismael López, informs the Secretary of State for Trade, Xiana Méndez, of the possibilities of its network of telescopes for observation, monitoring, surveillance and cataloguing of space debris

Until 5 June, Spainsat NG I was located at the headquarters of Thales Alenia Space in Tres Cantos (Madrid). Its twin, Spainsat NG II, is still there, where work is continuing on integrating the hundreds of electronic and radiofrequency equipment in the X, military Ka and UHF bands supplied by the national industry. Its transfer to Toulouse is planned "for the end of this year", Hisdesat sources confirm.  

Ammunition and missiles on the crest of the wave  

The main contributors to Spainsat NG are Airbus Space Systems in Spain, a company headed by Luis Guerra, which has been responsible for providing the X-band equipment for both satellites. Thales Alenia Space in Spain, headed by Stephane Terranova, was responsible for the UHF and Ka-band equivalents.  

PHOTO/JPons - Tanto a Madrid como a París acude la firma noruega Nammo, dedicada a la fabricación de municiones. En Imagen, el presidente de Nammo Palencia, Antonio Llamas, con el nuevo proyectil perforante APFSDS-T Mk258
PHOTO/JPons -  The Norwegian ammunition manufacturer Nammo is attending both Madrid and Paris. In the picture, the president of Nammo Palencia, Antonio Llamas, with the new APFSDS-T Mk258 armour-piercing projectile. 

Spain's other major satellite operator, Hispasat, has its new Amazonas Nexus platform almost in its final orbit at 61º West. An electric propulsion satellite launched on 7 February, the final tests began in early June and its head, Miguel Ángel Panduro, is confident that its entry into service will take place "between the second half of July and the first half of August".  

A sub-sector that is at the height of the wave due to the war in Ukraine is the manufacture of conventional ammunition and missiles. The European multinational MBDA and its Spanish subsidiary have focused on the Brimstone air-to-ground laser-guided and radar-guided missile for arming Spanish Eurofighter fighters. Also on the Mistral 3, a very short-range missile that has already received the go-ahead from the Council of Ministers to support the low-level defence of the army, air force and navy. 

PHOTO/SIAE 2019-Anthony Guerra-Alex Marc - La ministra de Defensa, Margarita Robles, rubricó en el salón de Le Bourget de junio de 2019 la entrada de España en el proyecto FCAS, con sus entonces homologas de Alemania y Francia
PHOTO/SIAE 2019-Anthony Guerra-Alex Marc - Defence Minister Margarita Robles initialled Spain's entry into the FCAS project at the Le Bourget show in June 2019, with her then counterparts from Germany and France.

And in Paris, as in Madrid, the Norwegian firm Nammo, and its Spanish subsidiary, Nammo Palencia, will be highlighting its newly designed APFSDS-T Mk258 30 millimetre calibre projectile. It can pierce a 100-millimetre armoured steel plate at a distance of one kilometre and "is capable of maintaining its trajectory even under water," says Nammo Palencia's president, Antonio Llamas. 

While FEINDEF was organised by the foundation of the same name directed by Ramón Pérez Alonso, the national pavilion at the Paris fair is the responsibility of the Spanish Association of Defence, Security, Aeronautics and Space Technology Companies (TEDAE), chaired by Ricardo Martí Fluxa. With the support of ICEX and the Ministries of Industry and Trade, Science and Innovation and Defence, some thirty Spanish companies are spread over the more than 760 square metres of the Spanish pavilion.

They are Aciturri, Aernnova, Aerotecnic Metallic, Aertec, Andalucía Trade, Applus+ Laboratories, Aritex, Bost, Clúster de Innovación Tecnológica y Talento en Espacio de la Comunidad de Madrid, CT Engineering Group, EIPC, GSC-Sevilla Control, GMV, Hegan, Héroux-Devtek (CESA), Indaero, Indra, Inmapa, ITP Aero, Korta, MTorres, Skylife Engineering, Sofitec Aero, Tecnobit, Tubacex, Prosix, Reductia, UMI Aeronáutica, Mecanizados y Montajes Aeronáuticos and WEC. Others are attending on an individual basis, outside the national pavilion.