The future of rotorcraft, and especially the requirement for faster, versatile platforms is a pressing issue for militaries around the world, many of which will be at Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) in September. This will be discussed in one of DSEI 2015’s four Strategic Conferences, The Future of Military Rotorcraft: 2030 and Beyond, taking place the day before the main exhibition opens its doors at ExCeL London.
The Strategic Conferences provide an extra element to DSEI 2015, allowing high level industry representatives to engage with senior military personnel to discuss the critical issues in the defence & security sphere, ahead of the main exhibition.
Supported by UK Joint Helicopter Command, Major General Richard Felton, Commander of UK Joint Helicopter Command (JHC) will open the strategic conference on the future of military rotorcraft, which takes place on Monday 14 September, while other key senior military figures, including Admiral Sir George Zambellas, First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, and Air Marshal Paul Evans, Surgeon General, Defence Medical Services of the Ministry of Defence, host the other conferences taking place on 14 and 15 September. The DSEI 2015 exhibition will run from Tuesday 15 to Friday 18 September.
As Commander of JHC, Major General Felton is in charge of over 300 aircraft across all of the UK Armed Forces Services. Accordingly he will lead discussions on the future of military rotorcraft, an area which has seen an intense drive for development, as current fleets come to the end of service life. Reports suggest in the next 10 years alone, spend on military rotorcraft is set to increase by £4bn.
Both militaries and industry aim to take rotorcraft beyond its current capabilities through the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programme. The conference will address how military requirements are shaping the FVL programme as the nature of warfare transforms with Lieutenant General Alexander Schnitger, Commander of the Royal Netherlands Air Force talking about Dutch requirements for the modernisation of rotorcraft; while Rear Admiral Tony Dalton, Head of Helicopters, Unmanned Aerial Systems and Guided Weapons Division (HUG-D) for the Australian Defence Organisation, will discuss the Australian experience for modernising rotorcraft.
The conference will also look at the challenges facing the industry, including the requirement to keep pace with constant evolutions in technology, with participation from both Bell Helicopters and Boeing already confirmed.
The afternoon will be dedicated to looking at future innovations that could aid rotorcraft performance, with Richard Kretzschmar, Program Manager Improved Turbine Engine/ Future Vertical Lift, US Army PEO Aviation, leading the discussions as he looks to the future use of teaming manned and unmanned systems in rotorcraft and Pat Collins, Science Gateway to Helicopters Operating Centre, DE&S focusing on simulation and training for the next generation of UK MOD helicopters.
The other Strategic Conferences at DSEI 2015 will see the First Sea Lord lead the International Sea Power conference in association with the Royal United Services Institute. The conference will investigate how navies will fulfill their strategic responsibilities amid a resurgence of maritime power, and at a time of increasing geopolitical complexity.
The final two Strategic Conferences are hosted by the Surgeon General office. The Trauma Innovation conference, held in partnership with the Defence Medical Services, will consider the current and future challenges faced by military medical support teams as well as act as a platform for leading academics to present and discuss the latest developments in trauma care and response.
Finally, DSEI 2015 will also be holding the Ebola Learning Exploitation conference on Tuesday 15 September, examining the reasons behind the outbreak, reviewing the role of the Defence Medical Services in the UK’s response to the 2014 outbreak and, most importantly, looking to the future on how we can prepare for such unforeseen operations.
The Event Director, Duncan Reid, said “the addition of the Strategic Conferences to the DSEI agenda affirms the event’s place at the forefront of critical thinking in the defence arena. This impressive programme will provide an exclusive platform for industry, military and academia to consider and discuss future concepts and challenges in a unique, international setting”.
The conferences are proving high in demand, with attendees registering from a range of international militaries, governments and industries.
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