During the first day of the international conference, Warsaw security Forum 2016, a technology, arms-industry-oriented sub-conference Security Beyond the Horizon was held. In the course of the SBH, representatives of defence companies presented their most advanced products and had the possibility of taking part in discussion panels relating to the issues of Polish defence.
The conference started with welcome remarks form the president of the Casimir Pulaski Foundation, Mr. Zbigniew Pisarski – the organizer of the Warsaw Security Forum 2016. Opening speeches from high-level officials from the Ministry of Economic Development and Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Poland, respectively by Mr. Jerzy Kwieciński, Secretary of State and Mr. Wojciech Fałkowski, Under Secretary of State. In his speech, minister Kwieciński focused on the issue of reindustrialization and pointed the distinct significance of the arms industry to the Polish economy, especially in the context of economic strategy of the Polish government and raising spending on armaments. He also mentioned the need of change of practices related to the procurement of the military hardware and thus, its improvement, as well as the need for cooperation of Polish arms industry with foreign partners. Minister Fałkowski, on the other hand, focused on the issues of security and defence, as well as the geopolitical situation of Poland after the events in Ukraine. He also recalled the NATO Summits in Newport and Warsaw and pointed out the need for broad understanding of security and the need for further reinforcement of military capabilities of Member States of the Alliance in the Middle-East Europe.
The first appearance, from the industry side, was made by Mr. Szczepan Ruman, Director of the Analysis and Strategy Office of the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ). In his speech, Director covered such topics as PGZ’ capability to provide cybersecurity to their client, especially for the Polish Armed Forces. Mr. Ruman stressed, that the PGZ is in the process of acquiring an IT company Exatel, which will allow the Group to master necessary capabilities to provide equipment and services essential to providing cyber security. He stressed that within the PGZ, there is a number of companies, which have enough capabilities to provide customers with cybersecurity, but Exatel is to become integrator of all aptitudes of particular companies in aforementioned scope.
After Mr. Ruman speech, it was about time for the first panel session to begin, titled Battlefields of the Future: In which Direction will Battles Evolve and How Technology Will Decide Their Outcome?, in which, along the PGZ representative, representatives of foreign enterprises, John Baird of Raytheon, Howard R. Bromberg of Lockheed Martin and Sveinung Alne of Kongsberg were taking part. Panelists responded to questions regarding reacting on future threats coming from Russia. Many experts indicated to the crucial role of network-centric warfare on the battlefield of the future and of sensors providing appropriate situational awareness. What is significant, remarks concerning the broader aspect of security in the future arose, namely possession of a proper economic background. It was underlined, that the threats of the battlegrounds of tomorrow will require systems, which have the history of products’ permanent development. Panelists pointed to the important role of cybersecurity and to the need of having well-equipped forces of territorial defence and the inexorableness of inter-operability of different weaponry systems of armed forces of NATO Member States.
Next presentation, Patriot for Poland: Effective Today, Ready for Tomorrow was held by the abovementioned John Baird, vice-president of Raytheon Poland. The presentation hinged on Poland’s need of developing medium range anti-aircraft and missile defence. As an important element in dev