The European RPAS summit for security and defense, UNVEX S&D, on Tuesday opened its doors at the new congress hall in the northwestern Spanish city of León.
The Spanish Secretary of State for Defense, Agustín Conde, presided over the inauguration along with the mayor of León, Antonio Silván, and the CEO of IDS – the company organizing the event –, Ángel Macho.
The Spanish government, and, in particular, its Ministry of Defense, has taken the initiative in the unmanned technology sector with its support for this fair.
The city’s brand-new congress hall’s inaugural event will take place over the next three days and has three distinct areas. One is reserved for exhibitors, where the latest developments in RPAS and communications technologies with security and defense applications will be showcased. In that arena, indoor flight demonstrations will also take place using smaller drones.
Representatives from the national and international institutions most relevant to the sector will attend roundtables that are set to take place on May 29, 30 and 31. This includes 57 panelists, 27 of which are representatives of international organizations such as the European Commission (DG GROW, EUMS, ERCC, EDA, EMSA, SESAR) and NATO (ASG, NSPA, AGS, OCCAR o C-IED COE). In addition, military professionals from Spain, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States are also slated to take part in the panels.
As part of the flight demonstrations program, a dozen systems of various sorts will be flown throughout the three days. Attendees will be able to witness the exhibition of three anti-drone systems, as well as a drill by Spain’s Military Emergencies Unit (UME). All of these activities will take place at the Virgen del Camino airbase and the Conde de Gazola military base.
General Atomics’ RPAS Reaper is set to be one of the show’s highlights. This MALE (Medium Altitude, Long Endurance) system will fly over the fair and transmit live footage that will be shown to attendees on screens located at the Virgen del Camino base.
The demonstrations will also include three multirotor RPAS - two of which are Class I Micro - eight fixed-wing systems - most of which are tactical - and a tethered drone. In addition, Airbus will unveil its drone swarm project. This constitutes the first time that attendees will be able to enjoy three days of high-caliber RPAS demonstrations.
More than 45 companies, between sponsors, collaborators and exhibitors, will take part in UNVEX S&D’s fifth edition. Indra and Thales, two of the main sponsors, will be present at the exhibition, the roundtables and the flight demonstrations.
General Atomics will be sponsoring the Virgen del Camino airbase demonstrations on May 29 along with its Spanish partner, Sener. Other sponsors include Airbus and Aeronautics. Expal, Everis, IAI, Inta, Isdefe and the regional government of Castile and León will be collaborating with all of the summit’s activities.