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European RPAS summit

UNVEX draws to a close with over 80 RPAS experts and 3,000 visitors

The mayor of León, Antonio Silván. Photo:

The mayor of León, Antonio Silván. Photo:

05/06/2018 | León

B. Carrasco

The European summit on remotely-piloted systems for security and defense, UNVEX S&D, on Thursday closed its doors at the northwestern Spanish city of León’s congress hall after three days of conferences, exhibits and flight demonstrations that drew more than 80 domestic and international first-rate experts in the RPAS sector and was attended by over 3,000 visitors.

During the closing ceremony, UNVEX’s director, Ángel Macho, highlighted that the event had come to an end having met its goal of gathering the industry and the armed forces together while analyzing the essential topics for the development of RPAS as a technological factor.

“This integral event has brought together professionals, experts, users and industry from around the world, with the focus on Europe and the aim of developing this activity in Spain,” Macho said.

The mayor of León, Antonio Silván, expressed his satisfaction with the event, which he said had taken the technological reality that RPAS represent to the entire world, adding that the city was ready to host future editions of the biennial summit.

The roundtables featured 82 speakers from different Spanish and international organizations involved in RPAS development such as NATO, the European Union or OCCAR. In addition, experts from the Spanish Army, Air Force, Navy and Military Emergencies Unit (UME), along with representatives of the National Police and Civil Guard, talked about their operational experience.

Among the authorities present were the Spanish Secretary of State for Defense, Agustín Conde, on the inaugural day, and the Director-General of Armament and Material, Adm. Santiago González Gómez, on the second day. Both analyzed the RPAS sector in panel discussions and visited the stands of companies and institutions exhibiting their capabilities at the congress hall.

The regional development minister of Castile and León, Juan Carlos Suárez-Quiñones, attended the fair’s last day and announced that the army’s PASI (sensorized aerial intelligence platform) system will participate in this year’s firefighting campaign at the Virgen del Camino airbase.

Exhibits and demonstrations


In total, UNVEX gathered more than 50 companies and institutions together. Virtually every Spanish company developing RPAS and a considerable group of leading international companies in the sector took part in the summit, along with Spain’s armed forces and the academic world, with the presence of the University of León, among others.

The other big attraction was provided by the three-day flight exhibitions that took place at the Virgen del Camino airbase and Conde de Gazola military base. A professional public was able to witness the capabilities of systems such as ThalesFulmar, SCR’s Atlantic and Tucan, Expal’s Shepherd, Flir UASBlack Hornet and Aeroenvironment’s Puma and Sniper.

The UME showed off its Condor system, developed by Dronetools, and the National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA), along with the company Escribano, presented for the first time their autonomous vehicle equipped with a remote Guardian 2.0 tower.

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