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The medium-sized companies in the defense industry suffer from the high bureaucratic hurdles of the current arms procurement. The Bundeswehr's procedures for the procurement of equipment urgently need to be simplified. At the symposium “Current challenges and perspectives for medium-sized defense technology as a motor for maintaining capabilities and technological innovation”, which the Heer Promotion Group held on September 22nd and 23rd, 2020, this criticism was renewed and supported by new examples. The companies complained about the high demands on documentation, contract, project and quality management. Individual manufacturing companies now have to employ more staff in administration than in production, it said.

On the other hand, the representatives of the medium-sized arms industry are proud of their high level of innovation. They reported that projects are often self-financed and implemented successfully in a relatively short time. This innovation engine needs support and must not stutter from bureaucratic obstacles. Here too, practical examples were presented at the first symposium of the Heer support group under corona conditions at the Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft mbH (FFG).

It did not stop at describing the current situation. Suggestions for improving the situation were discussed above all in the scheduled discussion rounds and breaks. Now it is time to implement this.

The symposium was accompanied by an exhibition in which the "Genesis", a fully functional full hybrid technology demonstrator (more here), Celebrated its world premiere.

Exchange under corona conditions

Retired Major General Wolfgang Köpke, President of the Federal District Heer, was pleased that the symposium succeeded in continuing the necessary and important exchange of information between politics, the armed forces and industry. Everyone is trying to provide the Federal Republic of Germany with armed forces ready for action under the conditions of the 21st century. This is also important in these times, because developments in security policy are currently not subject to lockdown.

The hygiene concept provided for the event to be held in a production hall of Flensburger Fahrzeugbau with open hall gates.

symposium

The focus of the symposium was on small and medium-sized defense technology companies, especially their contribution to maintaining and further developing the capabilities of the armed forces. The following questions were discussed:

  • What risks and challenges are medium-sized defense companies exposed to in these times of crisis?
  • Are there opportunities and prospects in this environment in particular?

The lectures in detail:

  • A current look at the foreign, security and defense policy situation from a federal political point of view - Dr. Johann Wadephul, member of the German Bundestag, deputy chairman of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group
  • Efficiency of German SMEs using the example of the FFG system house - Dr. Dennis Bürjes, Head of Governmental Relations & Public Affairs, FFG Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft
  • A medium-sized system house between capability development and technology innovation - Michael Humbek, Managing Director, Dynamit Nobel Defense
  • Application-specific use of Dräger products in a special environment - Björn Wulf, Global Partnership Manager Defense and Security, Drägerwerk
  • Innovative sensors to protect combat vehicles - Dr. Roland M. Meixner, Head of the Signal Products Business Unit, Plath
  • Innovative applications of special containers - opportunities and challenges in a changing market environment - Jens Schlüter, Head of Sales and Marketing, Drehtainer
  • Technical (seating) solutions - even in the context of challenging times - Rüdiger Skrzipietz, Vice President Vehicle Solutions, Autoflug
  • Equipment for the Army - Vice Admiral Carsten Stawitzki, Head of Equipment, Federal Ministry of Defense
  • Efficient German defense industry - important foundation for the realization of Division 2027 - Lieutenant General Alfons Mais, Inspector of the Army
  • Defense technology middle class - quo vadis in these times? - Nico Scharfe, head of the SME initiative group in the Heer support group
  • The role and importance of medium-sized companies from the perspective of the systems industry - Ralf Ketzel, Member of the Management Board, KMW Krauss-Maffei-Wegmann, and Christoph Müller, Head of Program Organization Germany, Rheinmetall
  • Industrial additive manufacturing in the field of Defense and Security - Christoph Hauck, Managing Director MBFZ toolcraft
  • Sustainable modern energy supply for mobile military systems - René Hofmann, Team Leader National Defense & Security, SFC Energy
  • Modular platforms - the key to future system architectures for vehicles - Dr.-Ing. Heiko Solmecke, Product Manager Land Systems, Vincorion Jenoptik Advanced Systems
  • Technological future of command posts - Norbert Frank, Managing Director, Griffity Defense

Waldemar Geiger