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Expodefensa 2017: Voices from the Floor

Industry Leaders give their input about the exhibition


Industry Leaders give their input about Expodefensa 2017.


Dmytro Zelekov, Dirextor of Liaison LITATAK, Lithuania: “We are here ofering upgrades of former Soviet-era systems and equipment (e.g. radars). This includes Colombia, Bolivia, Vebnezuela and Peru. Naturally, offering upgrades as an option to these countries is more affordable. To replace it with new equipment, from Russian companies that only offer new systems, is too expensive. This is not always an option with many countries in the región. So, our offering provides the latest level of performance capability at a much lower price.”


Jorgé Pollak, Manager Latin America, MER Group: “Latin America is one of the most important markets in the world to us (MER Group). Here we have some incredible emerging economies – soome have similar threats as we face in Israel; so, we understand their neeeds. These are huge countries that need better communications and technology infrastructures that give these nations the tools they need to increase stability with a hollistic approach – or individual system integration approach – for things like “Safe” and “Smart Cities” with our C5 solutions, such as Smart M and similar solutions. We can help Latin American countries and their cities with such Smart City solutions, merging all of their available IT, intelligence gathering and communications resources into one unified platform with Smart M.”


Ivan Cheah, VP Marketing (Americas), Defence Marketing Group, ST Kinetics:  “The potential for Latin America has improved dramatically with the economic situation. We have local partnerships for various needs, such as MRO. To have a partnership for production in Colombia for all of Latin America is strategically important for us. We make significant investments in training , infrastructure and technology transfers to serve the entire región and maintain our quality standards. By producing here in Colombia, we reach all of latin America and realice great savings on produciton, shipping, delivery times. There are great skills here in Colombia and Latin pride in doing an exceptional job is ideal for us. Our investment promotes Latin business, inward investment while serving Latin America (beyond?) from our Colombian hub.


Alexander Denisov, Marketing Department Head and Expo Team Leader, RosoboronexportMilitary and technical cooperation between Russia and Colombia has been underway for over 20 years. All these years, our countries have maintained and strengthened good mutually beneficial relations, with the volume of supplies of Russian military products and services reaching US$ 500 million. Over 20 Mi-17-type helicopters are now in service with the Colombian Army, and Rosoboronexport organizes their timely maintenance and repair. In addition, we see an interest in active cooperation on other types of Russian-made products for all services of the armed forces, as well as special operations units of the army and the police.”


Artem Sutgin, Military Food Expert and Governent Consultant, Czech Trade:  In Latin America we´ve met and come to know all of the suppliers of military ration packs. Our goal is not to compete with them as it would take us years to perfect the ´local tastes´for foods. Instead, we are looking for a partner with whom we can find areas of cooperation on bigger projects together; such as UN relief and peace-keeping missions, using our expertise to overcome challenges together for supplying Latin American MODs with exactly what personnel want and need. This will also help us realize efficiencies and create a product that is within a price range suitable for this market and the needs of their armed forces. Working with our partners and the MOD purchasers, we can use our expertise to help the ´guy in the MOD office know and deliver exactly what the ´guy in the field´really wants and needs in his ration pack.” ´


Louis Kellar, Business development Manager – LATAM, Inmarsat Global GovernmentColombia ia our biggest customer in Latin America – really for all government related operations. Most of it is more tan 50 per cent military at this time. We work with Paradigm and other local partners while we supply air time via our satellite communications systems. We have more tan 30-years experience in Latin America , and our service to this región is unparalelled (sic).”


Oliver Michel, Commercial Director for Latin America, Naval Group:  “Latin America continues to be important to Naval Group, especially, as we are one of more than 12 or 15 companies competing for the new surface ship programme. In the past – as DCNS, we participated in the 2010 Colombian Navy´s frigate modernisation programme.With this and other experience, Navy Group has a good, positive footprint in the región. So, our main reason for being here is to show committment to Colombia and also learn as much as we can about potential and existing partners to – as the tender requirements say – “to maximise” local benefits. Although, no exact number was set by the MOD. We have the ability for technology transfers (e.g. the Brzilian submarine programme), which is helpful in maximising opportunities in Colombia. We already have existing partners here and are looking to increase that number to circa 20 to 25 more qualified partners next year.”


Frantisek Mácalík, Foreign Sales Manager, REDO Army Equipment:This is our first time in Latin America, looking for partners and understainding the great opportunities for us in this región. With our more tan 20-years experience in textiles and materials, making finished products for soldiers, from vests to ballistic plates – even cabon-impregnated bandages for wound care with quicker healing times and significantly-reduced infection. We saw this región as being dominated by the USA; but, we are more confident now that we can compete with the right partners here.”


Bruce de Bies, Regional Security Manager / Security Systems, Kelvin Hughes:After identifying a few segments to what we provide, we were able to move from exclusively naval applications for secure operational environments – e.g. border and port security, counter drones, etc. – for which our, essentially, radar expertise is ideally suited. Colombia is changing post-FARC and more opportunities are available for cooperation in an era of ´peace.´ Now, we can connect with technical people, government contractors, embassies, government procurement, et al through the UK´s governmental trade and industry mechanisms. (sic) The majority of what we do on land is civilian radars and systems for vehiclar and perimeter security. Identifying new segments, partners and places for our radar technology is our priority in Latin America.”


Azmal Rasheed, Asst. Manager, International Sales – Latin America, MKU Ltd.: “We have been doing business for 10 years in the región; especially, successful in Colombia, Uruguay, Peru and Ecuador. We do not just sell to our customers here, MKU helps the armed forces (including pólice) to raise their technical standards from what was being used to what they are using for ballistic protection. This means evolviing from older standards of protection. We are already supplying much to Colombia in the form of helemets, jackets, shields, plates, etc. Colombia is a good customer and a better customer reference point for the rest of Latin America, where we can be found at all events and on most of the personnel guarding the events.”

(Photo: Curtis Hand)



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