This 25th Eurosatory land, air-land defence and security show organised by the French federation of industries in those sectors, GICAT, and its exhibition subsidiary COGES, confirms its position as the leading such show in the world with the continuing rise in companies exhibiting here: 1,571, up from 1,504 in 2014.
The show is dominated by non-French companies: of the 1,571 exhibitors, only 560 are French. The US forms the largest non-French contingent, with 139 companies making the transatlantic trip. Close on its heels are the 114 German companies, followed by the UK (80), Israel (51), Italy (47) and Austria (40).
Some have opted to gather together under a national pavilion: this year there are 36 of them, clearly marked by hanging banners. Together with all the other exhibitors they are showing more than 600 pieces of major equipment and revealing more than 450 new products, which they are hoping will be admired, if not bought, by the 57,000 or so professional visitors expected and the 214 official delegations from 94 countries.
So what can you see? Trends this year include unmanned systems and civil security and emergencies. Little did the latter know when they were planning the show that just a couple of weeks ago France would suffer from some of the worst floods in more than 300 years and that civil security and emergency services would dominate the news. Their equipment is visible on the Ministry of the Interior stand in Hall 6, where you can also see some of the latest equipment used by the police and gendarmerie, including a handheld device to automatically recognise car number plates.
The French Army and Defence Ministry have back-to- back stands in Hall 5. They are focusing their exhibits on the Scorpion programme to modernise the French army with, notably, the Griffon and Jaguar vehicles, but also the new-generation Leclerc main battle tank.
Tired of walking around the 94,260m² of indoor space and 50,000m² of outdoor space? Then go and sit in the grandstand and watch the 50-minute dynamic demonstrations that take place twice a day (at 10.30 and 15.00) or choose some of the 80 or so conferences where you can catch up with current thinking on doctrinal, tactical and technological issues.
And if you are an exhibitor with some news to reveal, more than 1,000 journalists, some from the general press, but many representing the 80 specialised business-to-business titles, are waiting to listen to you.