International Defence Equipment and Services Exhibition „HEMUS 2024”
Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 05 - 08 June 2024

Hemus 2022 Post-event Overview

01.06.2022 – 04.06.2022, Plovdiv, BULGARIA



The Fifteenth edition of the International Defence Equipment and Services Exhibition "Hemus 2022" took place from 1-st to 4-th June, 2022 at the Plovdiv International Fair. The Event was held in complex geopolitical and economic conditions. Significant efforts were made by the organizers to ensure not only attractive but also safe venue and conditions for exhibitors and visitors.

Despite the complex situation, ‘’Hemus 2022’’ has achieved significant growth in all trade parameters compared to the previous edition in 2020. In particular, ‘’Hemus 2022’’ has expanded the indoor and especially the outdoor exhibition area to accommodate the increased number of exhibitors. A significant number of new exhibitors from countries new to ‘’Hemus’’ successfully participated in this edition.

On an exhibition area of a total of 4284 sq.m., of which 2039 sq.m. covered and 2245 sq.m. opened, 100 companies and organizations were presented, of which 59 Bulgarian and 41 foreign from 21 countries, namely the Republic of Austria, the Australian Union, the Kingdom of Belgium, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Federal Republic of Germany (8 companies), the Republic of Greece, the State of Israel (4 companies) , Republic of India, Kingdom of Spain (2 companies), Republic of Italy, Republic of Lithuania (2 companies), Kingdom of Norway, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Republic of Poland, Romania, USA, Republic of Serbia, Republic of Turkey, Republic of Finland (3 companies), Republic of France (3 companies) and the Czech Republic (2 companies).

Among our esteemed exhibitors, to whom we offered hosting, was once again a Contingent from the US Army, which participated in the Static Display together with Bulgarian military formations. This contingent, as well as the military personnel from the United Kingdom who visited the exhibition, were part of the NATO Multinational Battalion Battlegroup formed on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria.

The Bulgarian Academia continued to show significant interest, as a total of 11 Scientific bodies and Uniwercities, of which 5 military and 6 civilian, took part as exhibitors in "Hemus 2022".

In general, regardless of the complex economic and geopolitical situation in the world, the achieved commercial parameters of "Hemus 2022" exceeded by 10% to 50% what was achieved in the previous edition


This edition of the exhibition caused widespread interest and visits from a number of representatives of the Bulgarian state institutions, from official delegations and guests of the Minister of Defense, from the diplomatic corps, from representatives of Bulgarian and foreign business and last but not least, from numerous Bulgarian and foreign citizens. A positive trend is the attraction of new visitors from all categories, as well as high-ranking delegations from new countries while maintaining the interest of traditional visitors.

For example, on the Bulgarian side, the exhibition was viewed by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, by representatives of the Parliament, by the Minister of Defense, by Deputy Ministers of Defense , of Economy and Industry and of Innovation and Growth, by the Chief of Defense, by the Commanders of Services, Generals and Admirals.

The exhibition was also visited by 18 foreign delegations, guests of the Minister of Defense from Bosnia and Herzegovina (Minister of Defense), Republic of Iraq (Minister of Defense and Accredited Ambassador), Republic of Iraq (Iraqi Defense Industry Commission), Republic of Rwanda (Minister of of Defence), Republic of North Macedonia (Deputy Minister of Defence), Arab Republic of Egypt (Accredited Ambassador and Defense Attaché), Republic of Croatia (National Armaments Director), Kingdom of Spain (National Armaments Director and Defense Attaché), Islamic Republic Pakistan (Military Delegation), Republic of Poland (Chief of the Office of the National Director of Armaments and Defense Attaché), Republic of Romania (Delegation from the Ministry of Defense), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Deputy Minister of Defense and Military Delegation, Defense Attaché), Republic of Greece (military delegation from the Ministry of Defense), French Republic (military delegation from the Ministry of Defense and Defence Attaché), Federal Republic of Germany (Defence Attaché), the Republic of Kosovo (Temporary Head of the Diplomatic Mission in Sofia), the European Defense Agency (Deputy Director of the Directorate for Scientific Research Activities, Technologies and Innovations), the United States (Senior Representative from the Ministry of Defense, Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Defense Ministry of USA in Europe and Africa), NATO Agency NSPA .

Along with the official delegations, ‘’Hemus 2022’’ had visitors from 50 countries from Europe, North and South America, Australia, Africa and Asia. A number of countries were represented by their Defense Attachés in Sofia and other visitors.



The total number of visitors to the exhibition and its accompanying events exceeded 3,000 people, which means that the positive trend of increasing attendance is maintained. This increase is mainly due to the growth in the interest shown by the representatives of the Bulgarian state institutions, the private business, the Bulgarian academic environment and the visitors at the invitation of the foreign and our exhibitors.

The conducted independent sociological survey takes into account the complicated geopolitical and economic situation in which "Hemus 2022" was held. In this conditions, the edition managed to attract a significant number of new exhibitors and visitors, and was marked by an overall good realization of the previously set goals. The results of the survey show that there are sufficient prerequisites for high levels of overall satisfaction and intentions to participate in ‘’Hemus 2024’’. In conclusion, the survey registers a growing trust in the specialized exhibition and a high assessment of the concrete rational benefits of it.

The exhibition and accompanying events were covered by representatives of over 36 Bulgarian and foreign media.

The exposition in practice continues to cover the full cycle of the development of a defiance product or service – education and training, innovation, R&D, production, commercialization, acquisition, lifecycle support and utilization.

The expanded international participation and the strong international, European and Euro-Atlantic interest shown in the exhibition made it a high-level international forum for the realization of interests, both in the business-to-business domain, as well as in the state-to-state and business-to-state domains.

In this way, "Hemus 2022" has proven the trend not only to be a growing success over the years, but also established itself as one of the most reliable partners of national and international institutions, the armed forces, the defense industry and the academic community in the interest of national security and industrial development.

Therefore, we once again and proudly confirm the main essential characteristics of "Hemus", namely:


Opening, accompanying events and closing of the exhibition.

Opening Ceremony and Press conference. 

The exhibition was opened by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria and Supreme Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Rumen Radev. The Minister of Defense, Dragomir Zakov, addressed the exhibitors and visitors with a greeting .

Among the officials at the opening ceremony were also the Chief Secretary and Advisers to the president of the Republic of Bulgaria, representatives form the Parliament, the Deputy Ministers of Defence, Economy and Industry and Innovation and Growth, the Chief of Defense, the Commanders of the Services, Generals and Admirals, the Ministers of Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq and Rwanda, the Deputy Ministers of Defence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of North Macedonia, Heads of over 20 diplomatic missions in our country, over 50 accredited Defence Attachés and Trade Attachés, as well as many Bulgarian and foreign guests.

Immediately after the opening, according to established tradition, a dynamic display was held, in which a helicopter and airplanes from the Bulgarian Air Force took part.


 Traditionally, before the opening, a press conference was held where the representatives of the media were informed by the Director General of the Plovdiv International Fair about the importance of the exhibition and its main parameters. The Deputy Minister of Defence, in his capacity as the Main representative of the Organizing Committee for the preparation and organization of the exhibition, emphasized the fact that the exhibition traditionally continues to mark a significant increase in participating exhibitors and visitors, as well as in the occupied exhibition areas compared to the previous edition. It was also noted that the growth of international interest in "Hemus 2022" and the international nature of the event and its accompanying events is also significant, as the exhibition was visited by 18 foreign official delegations, three ministers of defense, two deputy ministers, a number of national directors on armaments, etc.

The Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry emphasized that with its 15th edition, the International Defence Equipment and Services Exhibition "Hemus 2022" is once again confirmed as a significant Event in South-Eastern Europe of products and technologies for defence and security. Proof of this is the wide participation of Bulgarian and foreign companies and government representatives. Today ‘’Hemus 2022’’ is an established platform for presenting international industrial cooperation in defense and security, for developing existing and creating new partnerships.


 Accompanying Events.

Business meetings.

"Hemus 2022 " has established itself as an extremely successful platform for business meetings of all kinds - g2g, g2b, b2b. Thanks to a previously reworked mechanism, more than 60 business meetings of various types were requested, organized and held, both at the request of the delegations and other visitors, and at the request of the exhibitors themselves.

Regarding the g2g format , all official delegations held business meetings with the leadership of the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense, and many of them - bilaterally.

Regarding the b2b format, more important were the presentations made by the companies " Elta Systems", "Rafael", " Patria ", " Elbit ", "Samel-90", "Sage Consultancy " and others. More than 30 exhibitors declared and held business meetings with their business partners.


 Live Demonstrations.

Immediately after the opening and according to the tradition restored in 2020, live demonstrations were held. A Mi-17 helicopter with the Bulgarian National Flag and two MiG-29 aircraft from the Bulgarian Air Force took part in the show.


Static display of armament and equipment of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Ministry of Interior of the country and the European Command of the United States Armed Forces.

Exhibits were displayed in 10 centers - Armored Vehicles, Weapons, Optical Instruments and Special Equipment, Means of Personal and Ballistic Protection, Special Equipment and Laboratory Equipment, Modeling and Simulation Systems, Air Force Field Communications and Aviation Equipment, Specialized Vehicles, Center for equipment of the Ministry of the Interior and the equipment center of the European Command of the US Armed Forces, which presented three armored combat vehicles of the infantry, as well as an unmanned aerial vehicle of close action.



 Live Firings.

Live Firings were held on 3-rd June at The Central Artillery Technical Testing Range " Zmejovo".

 Nine (9) companies and organizations took part in the demonstration shootings. During the event 24 new defence products were demonstrated by the following Bulgarian manufacturers from the defensive industry - "VMZ" JSC – Sopot, " Transmobil " EOOD, "ARCUS" JSC - Lyaskovetz, "AHELOJ OPM" Ltd. - Sofia, "DUNARIT" JSC - Ruse, Optics AD – Panagyurishte, Sage Consultants AD and "METALIKA AB" Ltd. - Sofia. The Central Artillery Technical Testing Range ”Zmejovo" demonstrated ammunition tests as well.

On the Bulgarian side, the live firings were observed by the Deputy Minister of Defense, the Commander of the Navy, the Director of the Arms Policy Directorate - Ministry of Defense, as well as officers and employees from the Defense Headquarters, the Land Forces, the Navy and the National Military University "Vasil Levski" - town of Veliko Tarnovo.

The live firings aroused wide interest among the high-ranking guests and visitors of the exhibition, as well as among exhibitors from the country and abroad. Among those present were the delegations of Rwanda (Minister of Defense) and Iraq (Defence Industry Commission), defense representatives/attaches of the Embassies of United Kingdom, Germany, Israel, Indonesia and Greece in Bulgaria, representatives of the Defense Research Institute, France, of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, of VVT Technical Research Center of Finland, Finland. At the invitation of Bulgarian companies, guests from Congo, Indonesia, Ukraine and Belgium participated. The shootings were also observed by representatives of a significant number of Bulgarian and foreign companies, including Yugoimport, Serbia, LOMINI and EMKO, Bulgaria, Partia, Finland and General Dynamics Land Systems, Switzerland.

Firings were broadcasted on alive on the territory of the exhibition, on the monitors of the information stands in both halls.



International Scientific Conference.

The Eleventh International Scientific Conference "Scientific research, technology and innovation - a basis for building new defense capabilities" was held on June 2 and 3, 2022.

Greetings to the participants and guests of the conference were addressed by the Deputy Minister of Defense, by the Head of the Military Academy "G. S. Rakovski" and by the Director of the Institute of Information and Security at the University of Library Science and Information Technologies, etc.

The Deputy Minister of Defense, in his welcome to the participants of the conference, emphasized that it is essential to search for good and rational solutions for the development of defense capabilities, saying that at a meeting with representatives of the European Defense Agency, emphasis was placed on the joint development, acquisition, investment and maintenance in equipment, technologies and resources, as we jointly participate in the operations conducted.

Among the main highlights of the conference were the prospects for the development of scientific research and technology and the implementation of innovative solutions for increasing the country's defense capabilities and modernization of the Armed Forces. Discussions and sharing of different ideas and solutions took place in three scientific sessions of the conference. They were attended by the Director of the Operations Support Directorate at the NATO NSPA Agency, the Head of the Air and Land Combat Systems Program at the NATO NSPA Agency, the Director of the Defense Institute and the Deputy Director of the Institute of Information and Communication Technologies – BAS.

More than 120 delegates and guests from the country and abroad took part in the event. More than 60 scientific reports were presented.


International Symposium.

On 31.05.2022 as new a accompanying event within ‘’Hemus 2022’’ the first Symposium on Research and Innovation for European Security and Defense (RISE-SD) was held.

The purpose of the Symposium was to exchange knowledge and experience, to share achieved results and to deepen cooperation in the field of security and defense to more fully use the opportunities provided by new technological trends and scientific achievements. Greetings were given by the Deputy Minister of Innovation and Growth, the Deputy Minister of Defense, a representative of the European Commission, the General Manager of AFCEA Europe, etc.

The Symposium was attended by more than 30 speakers on projects funded by the European Union, as well as representatives of EDA, Directorate General for Defense Industry and Space (DG DEFIS), European Commission, NATO Science and Technology Organization (NATO STO) and others .

The Symposium was a tribune of more than 100 specialists from various European institutes, scientific and business organizations gathered to exchange experiences and establish lasting and useful direct connections.



Hackathon Competition ‘’DefInSpace Bulgaria 2022’’.

The competition was held on June 3 and 4 as a new accompanying event within ‘’Hemus 2022’’. It was organized by the Office for  Transfer of Aerospace Technologies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, under the patronage of the Embassy of France in Bulgaria .

DefInSpace 2022 is the first international innovation competition with a focus on the application of space technologies in the field of defense and security. Initiated by the French Space Command in France ( Commandement de l'Espace ) and organized by the French aerospace cluster  "Aerospace Valley " in 2021.

For the international opening of the hackathon online greetings were given by Major General Michel Friedling, commander of the French Space Command and Bruno Darboux , vice president of Aerospace Valley.

Eleven teams participated in the competition, solving challenges set by the French Space Command related to Space traffic management.

During the event, a number of presentations were given by representatives of science, defense and business.



Industrial Forum.

The Industrial Forum entitled "Bulgaria's priorities for the development of defense capabilities and innovations in defense - implementation of enhanced military-technical cooperation within the EU and NATO" was held on June 1, as part of "Hemus 2022".

The Forum was attended by the Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry, the Deputy Minister of Innovation and Growth, representatives of the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Defense, the European Defense Agency, as well as representatives of the Bulgarian and foreign defense industry, scientific institutes and organizations.


Closing the exhibition.

The closing ceremony was held on June 4 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Deputy Minister of Defense, Stanimir Georgiev, presented a plaque to each of the exhibitors, as well as certificates for innovative developments presented at the exhibition to six teams from Vasil Levski National University ", faculty "Artillery, Air Defense and CSI", Shumen.

The organizers and the Plovdiv International Fair presented each exhibitor with a Certificate of Participation.