International Defence Equipment and Services Exhibition „HEMUS 2020”, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 30 September - 3 October 2020.



„An Event where the West and the East match interests“

„А Platform on which the European Union meets its partners“

The biennial specialized International Defence Equipment Exhibition “HEMUS” was established in 1995 with a decision of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria to be held in the last week of May at the International Fair Plovdiv venue.

The Exhibition is held under the patronage of the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Bulgaria.

“HEMUS-95” Foundation, the Principal of which is the Ministry of Defence, has undertaken the financing of the Exhibition and the immediate arrangements.

Over the course of its 25 year existence, the Exhibition has pursued and achieved its main goal - to give an impetus to the development of the Defence Industry, providing the manufacturers and business people a focal point to showcase armaments and combat equipment along with the whole spectrum of defence assets. The Forum creates opportunities for the establishment of joint-venture enterprises, maintenance and repair activities and joint innovative Research & Development projects in the area of defence and security.

Since 2011, the concept of the Exhibition has been expanded and enriched to involve three more perspectives: Defence, Antiterrorism and Security. Special role has been assigned to innovations and research and development promoted by scientific conferences, demonstrations and test firings, presentations of academia and higher educational institutions, etc.

The Thirteenth edition of the International Defence Equipment and services Exhibition - Defence, Antiterrorism and Security" was held from 30-th of May to 2-nd of June 2018 at the International Fair Plovdiv. At this year’s edition an additional accent was put on the areas of cyber and border security, strategic communications and autonomous and unmanned systems. 

On an exhibition area of 4436 sq.m. of which 1536 sq.m. indoor and 2873 sq.m. outdoor a total number of 69 exhibitors were presented, out of which 48 Bulgarian and 21 foreign. Seventeen (17) countries participated in the event - Republic of Austria, Republic of Belarus, Republic of Bulgaria, Federal Republic of Germany, Kingdom of Denmark, State of Israel, Italian Republic, Canada, People's Republic of China, Republic of Lithuania, Kingdom of Spain, Republic of Poland, United States of America, Republic of Turkey, Republic of Finland, French Republic and Czech Republic. For the first time the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior participated as an exhibitor with two of its bodies. The Bulgarian Academia and Universities expanded their participation, with 10 scientific and higher education units presenting their educational products, services and innovative scientific developments in the field of security and defence. 

The number of visitors surpassed 2,800 people and showed a high national and international growth in interest in the exhibition. In a national context, the exposition was attended by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, by the Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on Defence and Members of Parliament, by two Deputy Prime Ministers, by the Deputy Ministers of Defence and Deputy Ministers of Economy, Interior and the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU 2018, by the Chief of Defence, the Chiefs of the Services, Generals, Admirals, servicemen, servicewomen and citizens. 

The exhibition attracted an extremely high international interest. The event was visited by the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, by the Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency, by the Deputy Director General of DG "GROW" to the European Commission, by the Deputy Director of "Infrastructure Services" in the NATO Communication and Information Agency (NCIA), by the representatives of the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) and others. The exhibition was attended by 12 foreign delegations, guests of the Bulgarian Minister of Defence. A number of countries were presented by the Heads of their Diplomatic Missions in Bulgaria as well as by the Defence Attachés accredited in Sofia. 

According to an independent sociological survey, the satisfaction of exhibitors and visitors this year marks a significant increase compared to previous editions, with over 80% of exhibitors and 90% of visitors fully satisfied and negative ratings missing. More than 85% of exhibitors and more than 90% of visitors give a specific request or state intent to participate in a next edition. For exhibitors, 17% realized their intentions to conclude deals during the exhibition, and another 61% expected to do so after the event. Visitors, in turn, praised the importance of the 2018 edition, with almost all respondents firmly convinced that such an exhibition will continue to be relevant for business decision-making and business development and will remain useful and effective over the next 5-6 years

The Thirteenth edition of the International Defence Equipment and services Exhibition "Hemus 2018" was opened on 30-th of May by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev. Deputy Prime Minister for Public Order and Security and Minister of Defence, Krasimir Karakachanov gave a welcome address to the exhibitors, guests and visitors of the event. 

Within the framework of the Exhibition, the 9-th International Scientific Conference on "Research, Innovation and Industrial Cooperation in the Interest of the Common European Defence and Security" was held. The main thematic areas covered the role and functions of the European Defence Fund, the priorities for the acquisition of capabilities in the European Union, the promotion of Defence Research, the implementation of the Preparatory action for Research in Defence. More than 280 delegates and guests from European Union countries, from Israel, Albania, Ghana, Algeria and others, as well as a number of representatives of world leading defence equipment manufacturers and academics, took part in the conference. During the conference, 29 reports were announced, while another 23 were on posters. 

The Industrial Forum, as a part of the supporting events of the Exhibition, was entitled "Defence and Industrial Cooperation in the European Union - New Opportunities for the European Defence Industry". This event attracted a wide international interest. Representatives from 15 European and global companies and organizations, as well as participants from more than 40 companies, research institutes and organizations took part in the works. The main highlights of the discussions were focused on the capabilities of the European Defence Industrial Development Program (EDIDP) and the opportunities for participation of the national and other EU Defence Industry, facilitating and fostering the dialogue between Bulgarian and other European companies with prospects for successful collaborative partnerships for participation in the EDIDP, the establishment of contacts between relevant Bulgarian and other European companies and institutes to join efforts in participating in projects of the EDIDP. To the signed Memorandum of Cooperation between the participants in the Industrial Forum  4 new Bulgarian companies, as well as the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior joined this year.

Traditionally within “HEMUS 2018” Demonstration Firings took place at "Zmejovo" Central Artillery Technical Testing Range. Seven (7) companies and organizations took part in the event. On the Bulgarian side, 18 types of new defence products have been demonstrated. For the first time in the history of the exhibition the Demonstration Firings this year involved a foreign company - "Patria Land System", Finland. The company demonstrated the maneuvering and firing capabilities of their modular armoured vehicle Patria AMV 8x8 . 

In a significant Static display armaments and equipment of the Bulgarian Armed Forces and the Ministry of Interior were presented.

In the closing ceremony the Deputy Minister of Defence, Anatoliy Velichkov, took part and handed a plaque and a Certificate of Participation to each of the exhibitors. 

Thus, "Hemus 2018" has become a successful platform for coordination and partnership between the Bulgarian State Institutions, the Bulgarian Defence Industry, the Bulgarian Armed Forces, and the academic community and has established itself as an emblem of synergy of efforts in the interests of national security and industrial development. The Exhibition in practice covered the full cycle of the development of a defence product or service - education and training, innovation, R&D, production, commercialization, acquisition, absorption and lifecycle support. Expanded international participation and developed strong international, European and Euro-Atlantic interest in the exhibition made "Hemus 2018" a high international forum for the realization of interests in the domains of "business - business", "state - state" and "business - state". 

Drawing on the accumulated experience and long tradition, relying on established contacts and business relationships with our partners from the EU, NATO and worldwide, recognizing mutual benefits, we look ahead with optimism to the next International Defence Equipment Exhibition “HEMUS 2020”.