BTA News

HEMUS 2024 International Defence Industry Exhibition Opens in Plovdiv


The 16th International Defence Equipment and Services Exhibition “HEMUS 2024” opened here on Wednesday on the International Fair grounds and will be on until June 8. A total of 147 companies (60% more than in 2023) from 25 countries have their displays in three pavilions on nearly 10,000 sq m exhibition space. This largest edition of the event since its inception in 2006 is mottoed “”Research and Innovation for Security, Defence and Space”” and is taking placed under the auspices of Bulgaria’s ministries of defence and of economy and industry.

“Bulgarian defence industry enterprises are exceedingly innovative, they provide high-quality products and services and are actively involved in NATO international bidding procedures and in the current European programmes in support of the defence industry,” said Deputy Economy and Industry David Sukalinski. He cited statistics according to which Bulgaria exported EUR 649 million worth of defence-related products in 2022, up from EUR 435 million in 2022 and EUR 515 million in 2021. These exports grew by 30% during the last three years.

The transfer of defence-related products to EU Member States was valued at EUR 1.518 billion for 2023, compared to EUR 1.166 billion for 2022 and EUR 60 million for 2021. The largest share in this transfer is taken up by explosive devices, small arms and small-arms ammunition, components of road transport vehicles and customized billets and casts for military-use articles, Sukalinski pointed out.

On Wednesday, Lockheed Martin Corp. or the US and Bulgaria’s Avionams aircraft repair plant of Plovdiv are scheduled to sign an industrial cooperation agreement in connection with the industrial cooperation program under the Letter of Agreement (LOA) BU-D-SAB (F-16 Block 70 aircraft and associated support), said Deputy Defence Minister Adelina Nikolova.

By the Letter of Agreement, signed on July 11, 2019, Bulgaria contracted the acquisition from Lockheed Martin Corp. of eight multi-role F-16 Block 70 aircraft and associated support, munitions, Sidewinder AIM 9X Block II Missiles and associated material and services at a price of USD 1.2 billion. The equipment is to be provided under the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme.

HEMUS 2024 will showcase technological advances in cyber security, autonomous surveillance, information and response systems, artificial intelligence, social media monitoring and information analysis, strategic communications, border security, biometric data identification and management, natural-disaster and accident containment and civil protection, and specialized education products.