UDT: exhibitors and speakers

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From the UDT website:

Over seventy companies will be exhibiting at UDT 2020. Other companies will be involved through participating in the organisation or speaking at the conference. The most notable names:

BAE Systems

British BAE Systems is the largest arms producer of Europe. The company is an important exporter of arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who use them for example in the horrific war in Yemen. The Typhoon and Tornado fighter jets were extensively used during the air raids on the country. The British government heavily thwarted investigations into corruption connected to the deals with Saudi Arabia. BAE is also involved with US, UK and French nuclear weapons.

Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding

Dutch shipbuilder Damen is a major supplier of vessels for borer security, for example to many Mediterranean countries (Albania, Portugal, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey). The Libyan coast guard deployed ships from Damen during violent operations against migrant and rescue ships. Damen vessels also end up in countries at war, with internal conflicts or with human rights violating regimes, such as Indonesia and Morocco. Damen is also surrounded by accusations of corruption.


German Hensoldt is the former border security division of Paneuropean arms giant Airbus. It plays an important part in EU border externalization efforts. The company sold large amounts of radar systems for border and coastal surveillance to countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The German government donated Hensoldt radar and other border security equipment to Tunisia, to stop refugees before reaching Europa. Hensoldt also trained Tunisian security forces to use this equipment.


Large Italian arms company Leonardo is represented in the organisating committee of UDT 2020 with Jack Green, ”Head of Campaigns, Naval Programmes’ at its UK branch. The company supplies many helicopters and drones for border security, which were used for example in Frontex operations. There are also many controversial destinations on its customer list, including Chad, Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Turkmenistan and the UAE. Leonardo is involved in the development of new French nuclear weapons.

Lockheed Martin

American Lockheed Martin is the largest arms company in the world. It is the main contractor for the new fighter jet F35 (Joint Strike Fighter), which will also be adapted to use nuclear weapons. Lockheed Martin is also involved with American and British nuclear arms and is developing autonomous weapon systems. The company has many controversial clients, such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and Israel. Lockheed Martin airplanes are used for surveillance flights on the US-Mexican border.

Naval Group

The French Naval Group, formerly known as DCNS, is partly owned (35%) by arms company Thales and for the rest by the French state. The French nuclear forces use vessels from the Naval Group. The company also supplied frigates to dubious customers including Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Naval Group produces underwater weapons (torpedoes) and drones for navies. Like many other arms producers it has a history of corruption accusations.

Northrop Grumman

American Northrop Grumman is one of the largest arms companies in the world. It produces amongst other things fighter and surveillance aircraft, drones, radar systems and satellites for security purposes. It sold arms to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey and Colombia. In that country it was also actively involved in the controversial US-initiated War on Drugs. The company also makes intercontinental ballistic missiles for the US nuclear arsenal.


Israeli arms company Rafael started in 1948 as the national Defence Laboratory, a part of the Ministry of Defence. Though it is privatized it still owned by the state of Israel. Rafael is an important partner of the Israel Defence Forces in the development and production of arms. They company makes missiles and drones, among other things. It is also the producer of the very expensive Iron Dome anti-missile system, which, despite many technical shortcomings, gives Israel the possibility te ignore Palestinian resistance, to continue its violent oppression of the Palestinians and to refrain from putting efforts into diplomatic solutions.


American Raytheon is in the top ten of largest arms companies in the world. It mainly produces missiles. Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirate are important customers. In the last years Raytheon also exported arms to many other controversial destinations, including Bahrainm Colombia, Egypt, the Philippines and the nuclear armed neighbours India and Pakistan, who are often on the brink of war. The company is involved with US nuclear arms.


Safran is a large French arms company that mainly focuses on military aviation. It is a producer of various drones, primarily for the French armed forces, which deployed them in for example Afghanistan, Kosovo and Lebanon. In recent years Safran supplied arms to amongst others Egypt and Turkey. Through its former subsidiary Morpho the company earned lots of cash from border control by means of biometric identifications, also getting EU research funding. Safran is involved in the development of new French nuclear missiles.


French-Dutch Thales is one of the largest arms companies in Europe. It produces radar for numerous ships, including patrol vessels for border security, various weapon systems and is involved with French nuclear arms. In recent years it exported to countries at war, with repressive regimes and human rights violators, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Qatar, Chile, Indonesia and Turkmenistan. Through its recent acquistion of Gemalto it also became a big player on the market for electronic and biometric identification.

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems is a German producer of frigates, corvettes and submarines. One of its most controversial deals was the supply of Dolphin submarines, suitable for nuclear weapons use, to the Israeli navy. Recently Egypt also bought a number of submarines from ThyssenKrupp. The German navy deployed frigates from Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, a part of ThyssenKrupp, to Operation Sophia, the military EU mission to stop migration from Libya towards Europe.


Dutch research institute TNO has an important department ‘Defence, Safety and Security’. TNO is one of the largest beneficiaries of EU funding for research and development in the field of border security. Not coincidentally it is also a major lobbyist for setting up these grants and a broader EU funding for military programs. Dr. Peter Beerens, who as scientist at TNO focuses on sonar, is one of the chairmen of the UDT 2020 conference.

Compilation: Stop Wapenhandel