China, the U.S. and Europe have long been big spenders when it comes to military technology, but where do they go window shopping? Paris, of course.
The global market value for navy defense is estimated to be about $40 billion, Defense News reported. As defense budgets continue to skyrocket, a massive annual industry trade show in the French capital next week is setting the stage for countries looking to ramp up their maritime defense efforts.
U.S. suppliers have the largest market share of the maritime defense industry with $12 billion, while Europe enjoys sales of at least $10 billion. Producers in China and Russia each claim between $3 billion and $4 billion, according to Patrick Boissier, president of the French trade organization Groupement des Industries de Construction et Activités Navales (Gican), which coordinates the trade show called Euronaval.
Between 2015 and 2020, consulting group Deloitte predicted naval budgets would grow by 60 percent, largely due to increased shipping activity, piracy and naval defense arms race in the Asia-Pacific region. In its effort to win territory disputes over islands in the South China Sea, China — which is expected to send a delegation to the trade show — has continued to build up its marine forces, even if at a slower pace than previous years. The country raised its military budget by 7.6 percent this year to $146 billion after increasing it by 10 percent in 2015 and 12.2 percent in 2014.
But China’s military spending is only a fraction of the world’s biggest defense spender, the United States, which is also expected to send a delegation to Euronaval. While the American military budget fell to its lowest level in nearly a decade last year, the Defense Department projected its spending to climb back in the next few years, to nearly $600 billion in 2020.
Euronaval 2016 is expected to feature more than 400 exhibitions on the latest in military technology across more than 161,000 square feet at the Paris business center Le Bourget. Eighteen U.S. defense and naval technology companies, including industry juggernaut Lockheed Martin and General Electric’s Marine Solutions, will show off their latest products and innovations.
Beyond its keynote address and its focus on issues like infrastructure protection, crew training and cyber security, the conference hands out prizes for major innovations in virtual and augmented reality technologies, futuristic concept ships and autonomous systems—more commonly known as drones.