With order volumes from defence customers in Greece at their highest level for many years, VIKING Life-Saving Equipment is taking the first “real-life” opportunity to present its consolidated portfolio of products and services to naval and military clients in an encouraging market.
The opportunity presents itself at DEFEA (Defence Exhibition Athens), a new international event running 13-15 July 2021 at the Metropolitan Expo Athens. The return of a “real life” event comes at a time when Ministry of Defence procurement in Greece is gathering momentum. It also coincides with high activity at VIKING NORSAFE Life-Saving Hellas, the Danish company’s Greek subsidiary.
John Georgiadis, Managing Director, VIKING NORSAFE Life-Saving Hellas, says that VIKING’s boat production at plants in Norway, Greece and Asia has weathered COVID-19 challenges effectively. The first in a second batch of ambulance boats for the Hellenic Coastguard will leave its Athens plant at the end of July bound for the Sporades Islands. DEFEA will also provide a platform to introduce a new 14-metre fast patrol boat designed for a current tender.
In addition, the Athens event allows VIKING to highlight the June reopening of its training center in Lavrio and the lifting of travel restrictions on service engineers. Consolidated global service has been a key gain for clients following the 2018 acquisition of NORSAFE by VIKING, he says.
With a customer base including navies, air-forces, special forces, coast guards and SAR, law enforcement and harbour patrol, VIKING’s wider portfolio of life-saving equipment has also been turning heads in Greece, adds Søren Hansen, Senior Sales Manager Defence, VIKING Life-Saving Equipment. VIKING will bring its new SOLAS-approved PV9380 VIKING YouSafe Vanguard lifejacket to DEFEA, designed for its compatibility with other safety equipment. Another new life-saving product disclosure is being saved for the show itself, says Hansen.
“We are all very excited by the extraordinary successes being achieved on the high-performance boat side by John and his team within the region. Recent deliveries and trials have allowed us to give our customers a broader picture of our capabilities. We come to DEFEA ready to discuss the value-add of using our portfolio of SOLAS- and NATO ANEP 77-approved rafts, evacuation systems, PPE, lifejackets and firefighting solutions. We think VIKING’s experience of supplying solutions under the Polar Code will also be of particular interest for the global defence clients,” Hansen continues.
VIKING investments in cutting edge of track and trace IT for asset management technologies will also be of special interest to potential defence customers, says Hansen.
“We’re working with our naval and civil clients on the best ways to manage their service and maintenance and on digital solutions to optimise equipment availability,” he says. “Having assets in place at the right time and place and in the right condition is critical for safety at sea. We’re investing in everything from NFC chips for lifejacket scanning to solutions that enable our enterprise resource planning to interact with that of our customers.”
“As a global leader in maritime safety and life-saving equipment of over 60 years standing, VIKING is very accustomed to handling complex projects in the merchant sector involving multiple products and global servicing arrangements. We are delighted to bring the same complete solutions to our defence customers in the region,” says Søren Hansen.