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Updated: 2 months 3 weeks ago

‘Combat cloud’: EDA study shows benefits of cloud computing for EU militaries

Thu, 25/01/2024 - 15:35

Across land, sea, air, space and cyber, military operations increasingly rely on data. That makes access to cloud technologies essential. A European Defence Agency-financed study has concluded that cloud computing can be applied to defence, both at the strategic level and in the field, to help European armed forces achieve information superiority against an adversary.

The EDA study over four years, ‘Cloud Intelligence for Decision Support and Analysis’ (CLAUDIA), looked at the application of civilian cloud technologies in defence, including computing capabilities, data storage and software tools hosted externally. Results of the study were presented on January 25th, with a view to follow-up activities looking at constraints to cloud computing in defence.

Given the pressures of the battlefield, such as relying on a range of connections from satellites to radios in an extreme environment, EDA’s research is crucial to increasing situational awareness and shortening reaction times across multiple domains.

As cloud technology uses virtualisation − creating a virtual version of servers, storage devices and networks using software −  the study focused on the overall advantages for defence. These are simplicity, flexibility and the ability to scale up in military environments, as well as working with ‘big data’ supported by artificial intelligence (AI) tools. These advantages can significantly improve the situational awareness and decision-making process both at strategic and tactical level.

CLAUDIA’s objective was to research using cloud technologies to support analysis of hybrid warfare including:

  • Management and processing information from heterogeneous sources
  • Tactical cloud infrastructure for Command, Control, Communications, Computers (C4) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) − or C4ISR − systems
  • Information-process enhancement by using AI and big data
  • Joint strategic, operational and tactical level simulators
  • Simulation as a Service (SaaS) for computer simulations of theatres of war (synthetic environments) and rapid scenario generation

Thanks to CLAUDIA, a Software Analysis (SWAN) platform has been developed to demonstrate the cloud-based capabilities, with different modules to address the different technology topics, including:

  • Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) Analysis at the strategic level
  • Tactical Cloud
  • Internet of Military Things
  • 5G for Tactical Cloud and AI in Wargaming

The demonstration showcased the benefits of cloud technologies with the SWAN platform at both the strategic and tactical level. Edge computing – at or near the location of either the user or the data source –  was also introduced to demonstrate the benefits of using such technologies in the field, providing real-time situational awareness with enhanced data and visual capabilities. The demonstration included simulation and wargaming for a hybrid warfare scenario, with the use of wargaming and advanced training and exercises capabilities. The study recommended making the SWAN platform available to all Member States for further testing.

EDA's wider role

EDA supports its 27 Member States in improving their defence capabilities through European cooperation. Acting as an enabler and facilitator for Ministries of Defence willing to engage in collaborative capability projects, the Agency has become the hub for European defence cooperation with expertise and networks allowing it to the whole spectrum of defence capabilities.

Member States use EDA as an intergovernmental expert platform where their collaborative projects are supported, facilitated, and implemented. For more details, please see here

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

QuantaQuest project explores application of quantum technologies in defence

Fri, 19/01/2024 - 16:20

A ground-breaking defence research project exploring the application of quantum technologies in defence in the areas of secure communication and navigation has successfully closed. QuantaQuest – Quantum Secure Communication and Navigation for European Defence - a 28-month EU-funded project under the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) held its final meeting in December 2023, after delivering on a variety of operational scenarios and developments.

Led by THALES SA (France), the p roject brought together nine defence companies and research institutes from three Member States - France, Italy, and the Netherlands - with a budget of approximately € 1.5 million. The project proposed the development of quantum sensors and communication for defence applications in the following fields:

  • Fully autonomous positioning and timing for military platforms;
  • Secure communication for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR);
  • Quantum network of sensors for synergic connection.

During the final meeting at the European Defence Agency (EDA), QuantaQuest consortium detailed the scenarios and requirements and presented the main technological developments across the three areas highlighted above.

In the positioning and timing part, the project developed an important building block toward a deployable fully quantum inertial measurement unit for fully autonomous positioning and timing. Using cold atoms trapped in a chip and photonic integrated circuit technologies will take the benefits of ultraprecise quantum measurements while reducing its size. This will allow to integrate the technology into future mobile systems to navigate precisely with reduced drift even in global satellite navigation systems denied environments.

In the field of secure communications for C4ISR, the project implemented a free-space quantum key distribution in an urban environment. With this the photons are sent via free air instead of transferring them via an optical fibre connection. Future systems applying this technology will help in operation to securely transfer the keys for encrypted communication.

Finally, the project developed a quantum interface and evaluated the performances of a quantum synchronisation of two clocks, leading to disruptive improvements concerning the sensors sensitivity.

QuantaQuest also investigated operational scenarios of use of the previously mentioned quantum technologies to build the next step roadmap for the military application of quantum technologies. Building on the progress made over the past 28 months, QuantaQuest also kicked off a follow up project “ADEQUADE - Advanced, Disruptive and Emerging Quantum technologies for Defence” funded under European Defence Fund (EDF) 2021.

QuantaQuest and PADR

QuantaQuest project is funded under the Preparatory Action for Defence Research (PADR) call on the topic “Future Disruptive Defence Technologies – Emerging Game-changers”, subtopic “Quantum Technologies for defence applications”.

PADR was launched by the European Commission in 2017 to assess and demonstrate the added value of EU supported defence research and technology (R&T). It paved the way for a proper European Defence Programme to come as part of the European Defence Fund (EDF), under the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027). 

The PADR implementation is run by EDA following the mandate via a Delegation Agreement between the European Commission and EDA signed on 31 May 2017. Under this agreement, the Commission entrusts EDA with the management and implementation of the research projects launched within the PADR. 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Workshop with defence industry outlines collaboration portfolio for engaging with EDA

Fri, 22/12/2023 - 12:19

A strong and competitive European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) is a prerequisite for developing defence capabilities and securing European strategic autonomy. EDA has established a structured dialogue and enhanced engagement with industry, which aims to EDTIB and focuses on European entities. This month, the Agency hosted a dedicated workshop for the defence industry, welcoming over 150 experts in-house and online, to update on the state of play and related way ahead of EDA’s activities of particular interest to the defence industry.

Welcoming industry representatives from large, mid-cap, SMEs and industrial associations, EDA’s Director for Industry Synergies and Enablers (ISE) underlined that the establishment of defence initiatives at EU level have created favorable conditions for strengthening the EDTIB. He emphasised that the Agency is committed to fostering an environment that supports the EDTIB, acknowledging its crucial contribution to Europe's overall security and defence.

The participants were updated by EDA experts during the workshop on the five pillars of EDA’s industry engagement approach, notably: Capability Development, Research, Technology and Innovation, Key Strategic Activities and wider EU policies as well as overall support to Industry. The update focused on activities of interest to the industry, including opportunities for potential engagement. Representatives of the European Commission also attended the meeting and provided an update on their current initiatives relevant to defence industry.

Access to finance, 2023 EU Capability Development Priorities & tools for industry

Industry representatives were informed on the Member States joint statement on access to financing that was prepared by EDA through a collaborative dialogue involving participating Member States and the industry. The statement, that was endorsed by 27 EU Ministers of Defence last November, emphasizes on the importance of accessing finance on capital markets, and encompassing both regulatory proposals at EU-level related to ESG reporting and ongoing developments with national financial actors.

The 27 EU Ministers of Defence approved also the 2023 EU Capability Development Priorities (CDP). The 22 agreed priorities provide a valuable overview of the capability development landscape for the defence industry. The workshop allowed industry representatives to address relevant questions on the CDP, primarily what are the next steps regarding the implementation and how industry could be involved in this process.  

Clarifications also provided to the participants on how to access to the EDA prioritization platform which contains the Capability Development Priorities (CDP), Strategic Context Cases (SCC), Overarching Strategic Research Agenda (OSRA including the TBB roadmaps) and Key Strategic Activities (KSA) and on the further development of the B2B platform.

EDA also informed the participants about the publication of the Industry Engagement Roadmap 2024 which offers an overview of the EDA activities of interest to the industry, that are planned to take place in 2024 in all 5 pillars of EDA Industry Engagement.

Participants stressed that this workshop could take place one more time per year as the update provided is considered very useful.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Propelled forward - EDA project on low-noise naval propeller development finalised

Wed, 20/12/2023 - 14:38

The final meeting of the EDA project “Next Generation of Propellers” (NextProp) took place in Brussels this month. NextProp, a cross-domain activity involving EDA’s CapTechs “Naval Systems” and “Materials & Structures”, successfully developed models and tools for the design of low-noise naval propellers. With a budget of 4 million Euros, NextProp was cooperatively funded by Italy, Norway, and Poland. Eight partner entities from these three countries implemented the project over the past three years.

Designing modern naval propellers involves various considerations such as efficiency, weight, durability, cost, and detectability. Testing these propellers through experiments, using either scale models or full-size prototypes, is crucial but can be expensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, advancements in high-performance computing have increased the importance and feasibility of numerical simulations and modelling.

Creating a model for the acoustic field generated by propeller motion is a complex task. It encompasses factors like the flow around the hull, turbulence, fluid-structure interaction at the propeller blades, and the interaction between the hull wake and propeller. This complexity defines a multi-physics and multi-scale problem that needs simplification in a computational model.

Reducing the signature

The primary project outcome is an improved software tool for the minimisation of the acoustic signature of naval propellers. To this end, models based on hydro-elastic physics are used to predict the behaviour of typical propeller materials, including metals and advanced composites, under operational conditions. Results obtained from NextProp improve the understanding of sound generation and propagation from naval propellers and support advanced low-noise propeller design. Beyond this, NextProp brings forth new methods and setups for experimental propeller tests as well as advanced knowledge of sensor integration for the purpose of condition-based maintenance.

More detailed information on NextProp is available in the executive summary.

In combining knowledge in the fields of hydro-acoustics and advanced material properties, the project has effectively exploited synergies among EDA’s Capability and Technology Groups (CapTechs) “Naval Systems” and “Materials and Structures”. Several Member States support the continuation of the NextProp research line towards further optimisation and validation of the design and fabrication of composite and isotropic polymer propellers, with a follow-up project currently being prepared.

Eight partner entities from Italy, Norway and Poland

FFI (coordinator), FiReCo, Light Structures, SINTEF Ocean, CNR-INM, CETENA, Politecnico di Milano, Polish Naval Academy.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA Command and Control projects aims to strengthen support to CSDP missions and operations

Mon, 18/12/2023 - 16:28

To support the EU’s ability to act rapidly and robustly whenever a crisis erupts, the development of a European Command and Control (C2) capability is essential for decision-making, planning, and conduct of missions and operations. Supported by EDA, the European Strategic Command and Control System (ESC2) project concluded a major phase in its aim of to provide a ground-breaking solution that will enable the EU and its Member States to employ the most advanced Command and Control system available worldwide, fully interoperable with the C2 systems of the EU, Member States, NATO, and civilian agencies. 

On December 11th, EDA hosted the Closure Session of the ESC2 project with the participation of Member States, stakeholders and industry. The session heard that once the ESC2 system design has delivered in 2023 as expected, a new project will link up with the ESC2 to further develop the system by creating a software prototype in 2025 ready for prompt implementation in the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC).

Together, the ESC2 and the future follow-up project European Command and Control System (EC2), will provide an advanced and integrated suite of C2 tools designed to support decision-making, planning, and conduct of CSDP missions and operations from the strategic to the operational level. It will provide a Staff-wide set of solutions, exploiting the emerging technologies in key domains such as Information Technology and Communication Systems. 

With a total budget of 22 million euros, the project is funded by a group of 6 Member States: France, Italy, Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Spain as the leading nation; as well as the European Commission. Launched under the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP), the project gathered 21 companies from 10 different Member States to ensure delivery of a beyond state-of-the-art design for ESC2.

Together through cooperation

Launched in January 2021, amid COVID restrictions which restricted the first steps of the project, the project team managed to make up time and reach the end of 2023 ready to deliver the system design, after 36 months of work. The complexity and demands of the project required a wide range of actors to ensure the ambitious goals of ESC2 could be achieved. 

EDA supports EU Member States acting as the ESC2 Project Manager. In this role, EDA manages Member States financial contribution, monitors the execution of the project plan, provides focused expertise and coordinates all contributing activities. Among the 21 industry partners, companies such as Indra (Spain), Thales (France), Leonardo (Italy), and Rheinmetall (Germany) all participated. 

To ensure end-user requirements and operational expertise were built-in, the MPCC, EUMS and EEAS played a significant role. Additionally, the Spanish Ministry of Defence and the Greek Ministry of Defence supported this project by facilitating the participation of the industrial experts in the exercises MILEX 22, MILEX23 and INTEGRATED RESOLVE 22.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Progress seen in EDA project ALOCAS on developing low observable materials for next generation platforms

Fri, 15/12/2023 - 10:34

ALOCAS - The project Advanced Low Observable Coatings And Structures, initiated by the European Defence Agency's (EDA) Capability and Technology Group “Materials & Structures”, is a joint material research project between Saab (lead) and FOI of Sweden and AkzoNobel and NLR of the Netherlands. The project shows successful research performed in developing innovative low observable materials with the potential to reduce the radar signature of next generation platforms.

Low observable (LO) technology is a fundamental part of future aeronautical and naval weapon systems. In general, LO technology is intended to reduce the detectability of military platforms against a variety of threat sensors. This project focused on material development in the radar microwave- and infrared wavelengths with the goal of enabling the access to, and the survival within, hostile air and sea-space for combat, intelligence and reconnaissance assets to perform the designated missions.

The final meeting which recently took place at Saab Aeronautics in Linköping, Sweden, shows promising progress in the low observable materials regarding design and optimisation methods, absorber concepts, additive manufacturing of honeycomb structure, scattering cancellation meta-surfaces, LO multifunctional coatings, non-destructive testing and maintainability of LO additively manufactured materials. 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

NSPA, EDA and OCCAR unite in trilateral meeting in Luxembourg

Wed, 13/12/2023 - 12:54

The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), the European Defence Agency (EDA), and the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) converged in Luxembourg for a trilateral meeting on 12 December. 

Hosted by Ms Stacy Cummings, NSPA General Manager, the gathering focused on navigating the evolving security landscape and fortifying joint initiatives to optimise use of resources and enhance complementarity.

With a candid exchange on the impact of the current security environment on their respective roles and missions, the organisations delved into strategic discussions aimed at identifying synergies and areas of collaboration. The emphasis lay on identifying common challenges and unlocking opportunities for strengthened cooperation.

Key areas of focus included brainstorming pathways to bolster collaboration and coordination, addressing concerns regarding potential competition and overlapping capabilities, and identifying objectives for unified messaging when engaging with common stakeholders.

"The current security environment challenges us to be more efficient, effective and responsive. We are stronger together, as partners. By leveraging their synergies, NSPA, EDA and OCCAR are building collective strength," stated Ms Cummings. "This meeting is a step forward as we leverage past successes and continue to join forces towards enhanced cooperation, reinforcing our commitment to enabling and supporting nations across Europe and the NATO alliance.

EDA Chief Executive, Mr Jiří Šedivý, said: “Sharing views trilaterally and identifying areas for greater synergies at this precise moment in time is much helpful and necessary. We did it in the past already, delivering tangible achievements together with the multinational multirole tanker and transport (MRTT) fleet, which was conceived in EDA, managed by the NSPA on behalf of the participating countries and supported by OCCAR in the acquisition phase.”

“While our organisations have different mandates, scope of activities, and membership, we are aiming to support our respective member states so that they can best cope with the fast-changing security environment and new capability needs”, he added.

OCCAR-EA Director, Mr Joachim Sucker confirmed: “At a time when our world is ever more disconnected, we need to work hard to find ways to connect and cooperate to achieve our common goal to provide options to deliver defence capabilities to the Nations. I am very thankful to NSPA General Manager, Ms Stacey Cummings for bringing myself and Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA) Jiří Šedivý together for the first time, trilaterally, to further develop and strengthen our joint efforts to collaborate effectively and efficiently with our individual organizations ‘strengths and capabilities.”

The outcome of this trilateral meeting shows commitment to fostering an environment of collaboration and to addressing pressing security challenges.

The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) is NATO’s lead organisation for multinational acquisition, support and sustainment in all domains.

The European Defence Agency (EDA) is an inter-governmental organisation of the European Union (EU). Created in 2004 to support and facilitate defence cooperation in the EU, it enhances European defence capabilities through collaborative projects and initiatives.

The Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) is an independent International Organization for the management of complex, cooperative armament programmes

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA Innovation Prize 2023

Fri, 01/12/2023 - 13:37

Since 2018, the European Defence Agency (EDA) Defence Innovation Prize has been rewarding companies and research entities that come up with technologies, products, processes or services applicable to the defence domain. The prize promotes defence innovation in Europe and provides civilian industries, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), research organisations and universities with an opportunity to showcase their know-how.

This year, the prize focused on two categories: 

• Technologies for situational awareness Innovative solutions and technologies for immersive training, battlefield situational awareness and other defence applications.

• Technologies for communication and information systems Innovative solutions and technologies for implementing Zero Trust Architecture in tactical defence communication and information systems.

The award for Technologies for situational awareness goes to the Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre, and its concept ‘Tactical Environment Model for Battlefield  Awareness (TEMBA)’.  The award for Technologies for communication and information systems goes to Cyber Noesis, and its concept paper for ‘AI-assisted dynamic risk management for context-aware access control in Zero Trust Architecture.

For a full article see: European Defence Matters Issue 26

The prize winners are given access to EDA’s network of experts, having the opportunity to form valuable partnerships to leverage some of the EDA and EU funding opportunities.

Proposals judged to be at a high level by the evaluation committee, including the winners, will be presented to EDA’s Capability Technology groups, known as CapTechs, in a dedicated workshop to explore ways to apply them within the CapTechs’ areas of responsibility.



Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Industry must learn lessons from our war, Ukraine minister tells EDA conference

Thu, 30/11/2023 - 15:49

Europe should consider Ukraine as the "arsenal of the free world" and learn lessons from the conflict with Russia, Oleksandr Kamyshin, Ukrainian Minister of Strategic Industries, told the European Defence Agency's annual conference.

"We are paying a terrible price but (the war) allows us to guarantee the quality of our defence products," Kamyshin told the 300 delegates gathered in Brussels, who included Ministers of Defence, EU lawmakers, members of Europe’s armed forces, defence industry representatives and experts.

"We offer you a chance to get ready, we ask you not to miss it. We didn’t choose this way, we have been a peaceful country But this world pushes us to build an arsenal, the arsenal of the free world, let’s build it together," Kamyshin said.

He added that the 'innovation cycle' in Ukraine during wartime was as short as two weeks: from the moment the military sees something is not working to its reestablishment as a reliable asset. 

Speaking on a panel dedicated to supporting the European Defence Technological Industrial Base (EDTIB), Timo Pesonen, Director General, DG DEFIS, European Commission, said that the Commission, EDA and NATO were working together to develop industry.

Wendy Gilmour, Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment at NATO, recalled that collective defence, planning and setting standards have allowed the transatlantic alliance to deliver interoperable capabilities. She said EDA, OCCAR and NSPA worked together to deliver on European goals, citing the Multinational Multi Role Tanker Transport Fleet (MMF).

"A more effective European defence industrial base will make NATO stronger," Gilmour said, urging European cooperation with Turkey, Britain and the United States. Gilmour said that Ukraine was firing 15,000 rounds a day of large calibre ammunition, showing the challenge for Western production facilities to help meet the demand.

Radka Konderlova, Director-General for Industrial Cooperation, Ministry of Defence, Czechia, said there must be better access to financing for defence companies. She said Czechia was trying to address the issue with banks. "The devil is sometimes in the details," she added.

'European preference'

Antoine Bouvier, Head of Strategy, Mergers and Acquisitions at Airbus, said volume and performance were both crucial to a successful defence industry in Europe. "You can get volumes through inventories ... but this is not sustainable. It is sustainable to invest. It means you have to take a political decision from governments and a business decision from industry." 

Bouvier called for a "European preference" when it came to Member States buying military assets and equipment, saying it would give more predictability to industry. He also said it was important to attract young people to work in European defence companies. "Funding, predictability yes. But if we are missing human resources, we will be prevented from doing our job," he said. 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

President von der Leyen unveils plans for defence strategy at EDA conference

Thu, 30/11/2023 - 13:39

The European Union should strive towards a fully-fledged ‘European Defence Union’, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen told the European Defence Agency’s annual conference.

Warning Member States against buying too many assets and too much equipment without coordination, and from abroad, President von der Leyen said the Commission was preparing a new ‘European Defence Industrial Strategy’ for early in 2024. 

“We have made tangible progress towards a European Defence Union, but the strategic challenges we face have grown even faster,” von der Leyen told the 300 delegates gathered in Brussels, who included Ministers of Defence, EU lawmakers, members of Europe’s armed forces, defence industry representatives and experts. “The next chapter is a fully-fledged European Defence Union.”

Forged out of the ashes of the Second World War, the EU has always seen itself as a peace project. Von der Leyen urged Europeans to now think of the EU as a security project. “Peace needs security,” she said.

The EU should also include Ukraine's military needs as the Union designs the future strategy of Europe's defence industry, von der Leyen said.

"Our strategy can only be complete if it also takes into account Ukraine's needs and Ukraine's industrial capacity," von der Leyen said

Josep Borrell, EDA’s Head of Agency and EU High Representative, welcomed a €70 billion increase in defence spending, following what he called a “silent process of disarmament” in Europe in previous decades.

Borrell reiterated his view that the EU continues to lack critical capabilities. Presenting EDA’s 2022 defence data, Borrell said that, at a record €240 billion, 2022 European defence spending again increased by 6% on the previous year, marking the eighth year of consecutive growth. 

“We have to increase the level of our ambition,” Borrell said of European cooperative military projects. “This is an opportunity to think bigger.” He also called for more joint spending in research and technology (R&T), after a 6% fall in 2022. "This, we cannot afford."

  European Defence Industry Programme

Building on EDA’s work in military collaboration, von der Leyen said the Commission’s strategy would seek to deepen further defence cooperation in the EU. “We need a strategic planning function that ties together national and EU-level planning. This will give predictability and reduce fragmentation,” she said. “We need simpler and more efficient rules … We can use our regulatory framework.”

In her policy speech, von der Leyen told the EDA annual conference that the Commission will first consult with industry. In addition to a White Paper on dual use research, the EU executive will “explore all possible ways to reward, incentivise and compensate the costs of cooperation and industrial competitiveness,” von der Leyen said.

She said the Commission will propose a European Defence Industry Programme early next year. This will integrate the experience of recent EU legislation, ASAP and EDIRPA.

ASAP stands for Act in Support of Ammunition Production.  It aims to facilitate the ramp-up of ammunition production capacity in the European defence industry. ASAP has a budget of €500 million over 2023-2025. EDIRPA stands for European defence industry reinforcement through common procurement act.  EDIRPA has a budget of €300 million.

Von der Leyen also said the Commission was working closely with EDA on VAT exemption to support joint procurement, as well as joint ownership of defence capabilities. The Commission will also look at how a government’s defence investments might be taken into account under EU fiscal governance rules.

Von der Leyen said it could be a “relevant factor when we assess if Member States have an excessive deficit.”

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

President Michel calls for 'defence bonds' at EDA Annual Conference 2023

Thu, 30/11/2023 - 10:56

The European Union should consider ‘European defence bonds’ to fund investment in European defence and security as part of a new push for deeper military coordination, the President of the European Council Charles Michel told the European Defence Agency’s annual conference.

Member states should pool what could amount to €600 billion in defence investment over the next 10 years, Michel told the conference, urging for better coordination of how it is to be spent. He also proposed a European cyber force equipped with offensive capabilities to counter attacks through computer networks.

“We must fortify our European continent. We must beef up our European defence,” Michel told the 300 delegates gathered in Brussels, who included European Ministers of Defence, EU lawmakers, members of Europe’s armed forces, defence industry representatives and experts.

Michel said European defence bonds would be an attractive asset class, including for retail investors. Michel also said the time was ripe to channel more military investment and activities into a combined European effort to defend the EU’s values of liberal democracy.

“The idea of EU defence is not new,” Michel said. “Russia’s invasion have injected a new urgency. Our ambition must match the urgency (of the moment).”

No more ‘peace dividend’

Belgium’s Minister of Defence Ludivine Dedonder warned that, given that the war in Ukraine was likely to last for some time, the EU must strengthen its industrial base.

“We must consider that our security needs real investment in a defence capability that is sufficiently robust to act as a deterrent and sufficiently resilient to support a war effort if required," she told the conference. Belgium will take over the EU Presidency of the Council of the European Union in January.

“Our major challenge will be continue to rebuild our defence capabilities.” Minister Dedonder outlined how she took over a defence ministry that had been badly underfunded, but that was now changing.

Cyprus Minister of Defence Michalis Giorgallas said: "In recent years, Cyprus' defence SMEs have specialized in cutting-edge technologies such as cyber-defence, tactical to strategic communications, maritime surveillance, intelligence, and unmanned vehicles."

Both ministers said the EU should be more independent. Eric Beranger, Chief Executive Officer, MBDA Missile Systems, highlighted that more than 70% of European orders for military assets and equipment are made outside of Europe. Only about 30% are procured inside Europe, he said. "Europe will become more autonomous when this ratio is reversed. This is what will break the vicious circle."

EDA’s Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý underscored the work that EU Member States already engage in, but called for deeper integration. He also argued for sharper, higher-end, full-spectrum capabilities along the lines of the Agency’s newly agreed Capability Development Priorities.

“If I have one message for you today, it is that we cannot continue in EU defence as we did before, with the mentality of peace time. We have lived too long on the peace dividend,”  Šedivý told the conference. “Never before have we had such a convergence with the NATO priorities,” he added.

‘Different planets’

During the conference’s first panel, Nathalie Loiseau, Chairwoman of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Security and Defence, shared President Michel’s urgency. She called for the EU to move closer to something resembling a war footing in its support for Ukraine. She also urged EU Member States to dedicate more shared funds to defence.

“We do need to increase the money for the European Defence Fund,” she said, noting that the €8 billion in the EDF for the 2021-2027 period is less than the €13 billion originally proposed. She said that the European budget for defence amounted to €4 a year per European citizen.

Christian Molling, Deputy Director, German Council on Foreign Relations, told the conference that there were still big issues to address. He said that over the past two decades, EU institutions, defence companies and governments were on “different planets” and that their goals were not aligned.

He said EDA was trying to bridge the gaps, also with NATO. “Future conflict is not 2024. Future conflict is tomorrow and preparation is today,” he warned.

Reacting to Michel’s prediction of the €600 billion in future defence investment, Molling said: “The demand in Europe is tremendous. Take the economic risk now to evade the military risk later.”

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Record high European defence spending boosted by procurement of new equipment

Thu, 30/11/2023 - 07:00

The European Defence Agency (EDA) has today published its annual Defence Data report for 2022, for the first-time detailing defence spending from all EU Member States. At a record €240 billion, 2022 European defence spending again increased by 6% on the previous year, marking the eighth year of consecutive growth. 20 of the 27 EU Member States increased defence expenditure, with six increasing spending by over 10%.

2022 European Defence Spending - Key Findings

• Sweden (+30.1%), Luxembourg (+27.9%), Lithuania (27.6%), Spain (19.3%), Belgium (14.8%) and Greece (13.3%) recorded the highest increases in overall expenditure among the EU 27.

• A record €58 billion was allocated to defence investments; overwhelmingly towards the procurement of new equipment, which increased by 7% on the previous year.

• Significant jump in value of projects managed by EDA; with 18 projects starting in 2022 worth more than € 76 million, for a combined value of € 250 million across 46 projects managed on behalf of Member States by EDA.

High Representative/Vice-President and Head of the European Defence Agency Josep Borrell said: “Our armed forces must be ready for a much more demanding era. Adjusting to these new realities first and foremost means investing more on defence. A record €240 billion underpins the commitment of Member States to bolster European defence. However, we have key capability gaps and continue to lag behind other global players in spending. This is why it’s not just about spending more in defence, but also about spending better and together. We must find extra value in our ability to cooperate and seize the opportunities to strengthen our armed forces through common planning, shared projects and joint procurements.”

Commitment to investment 

The allocation of €58 billion of total defence expenditure to defence investment by the 27 EU Member States marks a robust growth of 5.9%. The agreed benchmark of 20% total expenditure to this area is surpassed for the fourth year with a 24.2% total across the EU. 20 Member States reached this collectively agreed benchmark, with Luxembourg (53.5%), Hungary (48.1%), Greece (42.6%), Finland (37.4%) and Lithuania (34.8%) with the highest allocation of their overall defence expenditure to investment.

Research spending slips  

Despite record overall spending, expenditure dedicated to defence research and technology (R&T) is down, €200 million compared to the previous year. Only two MS meet the agreed 2% benchmark of defence expenditure dedicated to R&T activities, together accounting for more than 80% of all defence R&T expenditure. EU collaborative endeavours such as the EDA Ad Hoc framework and funding via the European Defence Fund can collectively bring the EU closer to achieving the benchmark for defence spending allocated to R&T activities.



EDA collects defence data on an annual basis, and has done so since 2006, in line with the Agency’s Ministerial Steering Board Decision of November 2005. The Ministries of Defence of the Agency’s 27 Member States provide the data. EDA acts as its custodian and publishes the aggregated figures in its “Defence data” booklets and on its website. On 23 March 2023, Denmark joined the Agency, allowing for the first time EDA’s Defence Data Publication to account for all European Union MS. Of note, this edition incorporates Denmark’s defence data for 2022 only. Datasets of MS are available since 2006 on the Defence Data Portal on EDA’s website.

Notes for editors

  1. EDA Defence Data Report 2022
  2. EDA Defence Data webpage
  3. The European Defence Agency (EDA), the hub for European defence cooperation:
    1. Created in 2004 to support and facilitate defence cooperation in Europe, EDA has become the place where countries willing to develop their defence capabilities collaboratively can do so.
    2. EDA’s expertise and activities cover the whole spectrum of cooperation: from harmonising requirements to delivering operational capabilities; from research & technology (R&T) and innovation to developing technology demonstrators; from training and exercises to support to CSDP operations.
    3. EDA also closely engages with the European defence industry to enhance Europe’s defence technological and industrial base and help make the industry stronger and more competitive.
    4. The Agency’s role and impact have constantly grown, especially with the implementation of the EU’s Global Strategy (2016) which also led Member States to reinforce the Agency’s mission in 2017, and more recently with the adoption of the EU Strategic Compass.

 4. Follow #EUdefence on social media (X, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube) for more and    visit our website

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Farewell flight: EDA transfers helicopter programmes to new centre in Portugal

Tue, 28/11/2023 - 17:51

The European Defence Agency (EDA) has handed over its long-running helicopter training programmes to a dedicated centre in Portugal, marking an end to one of the Agency’s most successful ventures in its 19-year history. 

On 1 January 2024, the Multinational Helicopter Training Centre (MHTC), hosted by Portugal at Sintra Airbase No. 1, will reach Initial Operational Capability (IOC). Full Operation Capability should be achieved in 2026. The MHTC project is supported by 14 European countries. 

Helicopters are one of the key enablers in today’s military operations, providing transport and combat capabilities across all kinds of terrains.

With no equivalent in NATO, EDA’s helicopter programmes have included several training activities, including tactics, electronic warfare and 'Composite Air Operations' planning courses, multinational exercises and an annual helicopter tactics symposium.

Those aim to improve European helicopter interoperability and to foster improvement of the helicopter crews and personnel in the tactics of modern warfare and operations. They regularly involve the participation of air force, army and navy personnel and assets, including helicopters, fast jets, transport aircraft, air defence equipment and ground troops. 

“EDA’s helicopter programmes are a prime example of European defence cooperation,” EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý said during the transfer ceremony on 28 November 2023, which was attended by Portugal’s Minister of Defence Helena Carreiras, as well as military and civil authorities from Portugal and from the countries belonging to the EDA helicopter programmes and MHTC. “Enhanced cooperation is a must if we want to increase the readiness, strengthen the resilience and modernise our Armed Forces,” he added. 

Minister of Defence Carreiras said: "Our joint commitment to enhancing European defence projects such as the Multinational Helicopter Training Centre reflects a forward looking approach by emphasizing cooperation interoperability and preparedness."

She added: "We are able to respond together more effectively to collective security challenges, and therefore, to contribute to a safer and more stable European landscape."

Following the ceremony, helicopters performed a personnel recovery demonstration involving a AW-119 Koala and an EH-101 Merlin.

EDA launched its helicopter training activities in 2008. It helped to bridge a capability gap highlighted by shortcomings during European missions in Afghanistan and the Balkans, when military personnel lacked know-how in helicopter tactics, and as some Member States needed extra training as they shifted from Soviet-era helicopters to newer Western models.   

EDA Helicopter Training Progammes in figures

Between 2009 and 2023, EDA exercises have deployed over 340 helicopters, 2,325 aircrew members and over 15,000 military personnel. Fully 1,050 aircrew members from 20 different countries have graduated from the EDA Helicopter Tactics Course over its 81 editions. In addition, 163 helicopter crew members from 10 different countries have graduated from the Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course over its nine editions. 

EDA’s 14th and final Helicopter Tactics Symposia took place earlier in November, when some 70 specialists from 15 European countries including Ukraine, as well as representatives of NATO, gathered for that event.

In total, military and industry instructors have delivered more than 20 Electronic Warfare and Composite Air Operations planning courses. Furthermore, EDA has created its own helicopter Standard Operating Procedures, which are the basis for all training. They help to foster standardisation and improve interoperability levels.

All these activities have been delivered across Europe, although all ground and simulator training has been performed exclusively at the EDA helicopter training centre, formerly located in the UK, and since 2020 in Portugal.

But more than that, during the last one and a half decades, EDA has delivered helicopter training philosophy and its activities that provided valuable, tangible, and immediate results to Member States, and which have supported the improvement of the European helicopter capability and the interoperability of helicopter crews.

EDA as a catalyst

Even with EDA’s success in the helicopter training, Chief Executive Šedivý underscored the Agency’s broader role in forging defence cooperation in the European Union. EDA’s core task is not to be a training institute, but rather a catalyst for cooperative activities, he said. 

“We are here to launch the initiatives that can provide an added value to Member States. When they reach a sufficient level of maturity, we transfer them to willing and able Member States or multinational organisations, allowing for EDA to free-up resources and focus on developing new initiatives,” Šedivý added. 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA’s largest ever counter-IED exercise concludes in Spain

Fri, 24/11/2023 - 16:12

Bison Counter 2023 (BC23), the largest European exercise to combat improvised explosive devices (IEDs), concludes in Spain after 12 intense days of joint training. The exercise, hosted by the Spanish Armed Forces, mobilized more than 1,000 personnel from 16 countries, either actively in different trainings or as observers. More than 270 scenarios were conducted between the two exercise sites.

The objective of the BC23 exercise was to train the full spectrum of the Counter-IED concept in a multi-level domain from tactical to operational. The exercise also took a multi-domain approach with land and maritime deployments across two locations, Cartagena and Zaragoza, including; 

• Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD),
• Military Working Dogs (K9),
• Underwater Work (UW), 
• Route Clearance Package (RCP),
• Weapons Intelligence Team (WIT),
• European Centre of Manual Neutralization Capabilities (ECMAN)
• Joint Deployable Laboratory for Exploitation and Analysis (JDEAL)

To achieve the highest level of full-spectrum C-IED training, role players and more than 300 vehicles were employed, including Centaurs from the Spanish 11 Cavalry Regiment, RG-31s, Huskies, armored JCBs, VAMTACs, Mk5s and Infantry Piranhas, to name a few. During the live exercise all tasks were observed to provide an after-action review as baseline for the lessons identified / lessons learned (LI/LL) process. Beginning next year, BC23 will be completed by a workshop reviewing the complete exercise, the observed LI/LL and a handover from Spain to the host nation for Bison Counter 2025, the Netherlands. 

BC23 - full -spectrum, multilevel and multidomain  BC23 C-IED concept is based on a full -spectrum, multilevel and multidomain approach, integrating the intelligence cycle which allows interconnection among all levels. Figure 1 and the following assignment of the C-IED enabler illustrates the understanding of this.

Assuming that during an operation an IED was suspected by the involved forces. This suspected IED can be confirmed in various ways, including Route Clearance (RC), usage of Military Working Dogs (K9) and Underwater Work (UW), capabilities that were amongst others also practiced within the EDA Program Military Search Capability Building (MSCB ).

Once the IED is confirmed the (C-IED) Task Force decides how to eliminate this threat. The common approach is tasking Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). But there are situations where the use of EOD may be inappropriate or the risk of exploding a device is unacceptable (i.e., direct threat to human life, critical effect on the mission, recovery of an intact device is of interest for exploitation, combination with CBRN payload). Therefore, manual neutralization is required. This highest level of skill and training can be achieved by courses delivered under the EDA program: European Centre of Manual Neutralization Capabilities (ECMAN).

After eliminating the threat, collection of evidence for further investigation is attempted. This is usually done by a Weapon Intelligence Team (WIT) or similar capabilities (Level 1 exploitation). The collected evidence is forwarded for Level 2 Exploitation, a capability provided by another EDA program, the Joint Deployable Laboratory for Exploitation and Analysis (JDEAL). The results provide information on enemy techniques, tactics and procedures (TTP), which can be used in further operational planning and thus contribute directly to the preparation of forces (PtF).

16 countries – together  BC23 brought together personnel from 16 countries: Spain, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and Slovenia participated actively.; Tthe United States, Latvia, Romania and Sweden participated as Observer countries. Luxembourg and Norway are also member countries of the BISON COUNTER EXERCISES project, although they did not participate with troops in BC23.




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First EDA-managed EDF projects enter implementation phase

Wed, 22/11/2023 - 16:34

The European Defence Agency (EDA) began implementing two strategic defence research projects, ECOBALLIFE and ARTURO, that were selected under the European Defence Fund (EDF) 2021 call for proposals.

The EDF incentivises cooperation and supports the competitiveness of the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base. It aims at providing financial support to defence research and capability development. In line with the EDF Regulations and following the signature of the Contribution Agreement by the European Commission, EDA is responsible for the indirect management of the projects.


The project ‘Research in Eco-designed Ballistic Systems for Durable Lightweight Protections Against Current and New Threats in Platform and Personal Applications’ was selected in the EDF area of materials and structures for enhanced protection in hostile environments. It analyses new materials and technologies improving protection for soldiers and vehicles against a wide range of threats and identifies European know-how in the field of military protection systems.

Coordinated by TECNALIA from Spain, ECOBALLIFE brings together 16 partners from six EU Member States. The €10 million project officially kicked-off on 13 September 2023 at the coordinator’s premises in San Sebastián, Spain, and will conclude in 42 months’ time.

Find more information about the ECOBALLIFE project and the consortium here.


The project ‘Advanced Radar Technology in eUROpe’ consolidates state-of-the-art technologies, emerging concepts, and trends in the field of radar technology, responding to future operational needs in the European armed forces.

The consortium is led by Leonardo S.p.A. from Italy and encompasses 25 participants from 11 Member States. The €20 million project kicked-off on 4 and 5 October 2023 in Rome, Italy, and will conclude in 36 months’ time.

Find more information about the ARTURO project and the consortium here.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA green defence forum reaches highest level of participation

Wed, 22/11/2023 - 11:27

Over 180 experts from 29 countries, along with more than 30 different institutions and organisations, participated in the sixth conference of the third phase of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS III) in Malaga. This was the highest level of participation since the start of the project. It underscored the Consultation Forum's status as the biggest European defence energy community. 

CF SEDSS is a European Commission-funded initiative managed by the EDA. 

EDA organised the sixth CF SEDSS III conference on 22-23 November 2023 under the auspices of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union and hosted by the Ministry of Defence of Spain, with the support of Engineering Systems for the Defence of Spain. This plenary conference was combined with the second Energy Technology Solutions Conference, held on 24 November 2023, and an onsite exhibition, showcasing cutting-edge energy technology solutions applicable to defence.  

Conference participants discussed energy efficiency measures in military buildings, electrification of military transport, energy storage, resilience of defence-related critical energy infrastructure and the energy transition. Participants were updated on EU energy policies and strategies.

For the first time, the community welcomed the acting U.S Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, who spoke on the US defence energy technology trends. 

Committed to sustainable energy in defence 

The conference was opened with speeches by EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý, Lieutenant General Luis Cebrián Carbonell, Director of Infrastructures Directorate, Ministry of Defence, Spain, and Paula Pinho, Director, Directorate-General for Energy, European Commission. Brigadier General E. Ruiz Alonso, Chief, Spanish Army General Logistics Base Program Support Office, Spanish Ministry of Defence, gave a keynote speech. 

In his speech, EDA's Šedivý highlighted that the Consultation Forum conference “is more than an examination of energy policy and exhibition of technological advancements. It is a testament to our collective and continued commitment towards sustainable energy within the defence sector." He looked ahead to 2040, where EDA “foresees a transformation in warfare — driven by digitisation and greener consciousness, with climate change at the forefront of security and operational landscapes.”

Lieutenant General Luis Cebrián Carbonell, Director of Infrastructures Directorate, Ministry of Defence, Spain said: “The defence sector is proactively defining its energy and environmental strategies, with a focus on achieving national and European goals for improved energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions."

Paula Pinho, Director, Directorate-General for Energy, European Commission said: “Recent events have also put the Consultation Forum at the centre of the European scene. What started focusing on the secondary issue, developed into a wide and well-established EU action in the defence domain – a network of experts who learned to work together, presenting a blueprint for future European armed forces.”

EDA and the European Commission are working on initiating Phase IV of the Consultation Forum, starting in 2024 and continuing until 2028, Pinho said.

In his keynote address, Brigadier General E. Ruiz Alonso said: “The new Army Logistics Base to be established is meticulously conceived from its inception to seamlessly integrate state-of-the-art advancements in sustainable and efficient energy utilisation. This project is instrumental in cultivating a contemporary sustainable and human-centric environment … to bolster the operations of diverse units within the Spanish Army.” 

2024 event 

The CF SEDSS dissemination event will take place on 25 April 2024 under the auspices of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU and hosted by the Belgian Ministry of Defence. This will be the final event of CF SEDSS Phase III, where project results and outputs achieved in the last four years will be presented.  

More information:  
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EU Defence Ministers Call for Strengthening the Defence Sector’s Access to Finance

Wed, 15/11/2023 - 14:30

Brussels, 14 November 2023 – Meeting at the Steering Board of the European Defence Agency (EDA), EU Defence Ministers endorsed a Joint Statement on strengthening the EDTIB’s access to finance and its ability to contribute to peace, stability, and sustainability in Europe. The statement emphasizes the importance of enhancing the EDTIB's access to both public and private finance, deemed critical for sustaining industrial operations, fostering innovation, and enhancing competitiveness. 

Access to both public and private finance has emerged as a growing concern for the European Union's defence sector, particularly impacting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Middle-sized enterprises (MidCaps). This challenge is attributed to the rapid expansion of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing and the increasing significance of ESG reporting within Europe.

The EDTIB contributes significantly to European societies in terms of jobs, economic growth, and technological innovation. It also plays in a key supporting role in ensuring Europe’s security and resilience through the equipment and capabilities that it produces for Member States’ Armed Forces. Thus, the unique character of the defence industry needs to be duly taken into account when assessing the EDTIB’s ESG-performance and pursuing efforts aimed at enhancing the sustainability of Europe’s economy and industry. These efforts cannot come at the expense of the operational effectiveness of the Member States’ Armed Forces.

EDA Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý, said, “The EDTIB requires steadfast access to public and private finance for its industrial operations, innovation in green technologies, and long-term competitiveness. The unique role and mission of the EDTIB means that limited access to finance jeopardizes scaling and R&D operations. As we work to build a stronger European defence, the defence market also needs to ensure access to potential investors at this crucial time.”

The Joint Statement outlines several proposed steps for the way forward. Importantly, it calls upon both public and private finance institutions, along with relevant investors and market participants, to refrain from discriminatory practices against investments in the EDTIB. The Statement urges these entities to adjust their policies in alignment with this commitment.

EDA remains dedicated to fostering an environment that supports the EDTIB and recognises its vital contribution to Europe's overall safety and security. The endorsement of this Joint Statement signals a united front in addressing the financial challenges faced by the EU's defence sector, especially SMEs and MidCaps, in the evolving landscape of ESG investing.

Full Statement here 



Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EU Defence Ministers agree to prioritise 22 military capabilities to bolster European armed forces

Tue, 14/11/2023 - 11:37

Brussels, 14 November 2023. Today, at the Steering Board of the European Defence Agency (EDA), the 27 EU Ministers of Defence approve the 2023 EU Capability Development Priorities. The document serves as a baseline for EU-wide defence planning, and all EU defence-related initiatives. The 22 priorities reflect the military realities observed in Ukraine; support EU defence objectives; and are designed to lead to concrete projects.


Persistent underinvestment and insufficient European cooperation have created substantial defence capability gaps. The twenty-two priorities agreed today address the need for full-spectrum defence capabilities, enabling high-intensity operations. They include fourteen priorities across five military domains, and eight related to strategic enablers and multipliers. 

Head of Agency and HR/VP, Josep Borrell said: “The newly adopted military Capability Development Priorities will provide us with an impactful and actionable framework that will guide defence planning and all EU defence initiatives. In line with the objectives of the Strategic Compass, the new priorities will allow our Member States and their armed forces to maintain freedom of action and be better prepared to respond to an ever-changing and increasingly deteriorating security environment. Now is time to translate these priorities into concrete defence cooperation projects to ensure more resilient, agile and robust European armed forces, ready to tackle present and future threats.”

The priorities – developed with an equal focus on short, medium, and long-term planning – emphasise harnessing cutting-edge capabilities and strengthening European armed forces. Moreover, they address current operational realities and being ready to face future threats and challenges. These priorities, among others, include:

• Land Based Precision Engagement: The range, precision, and mobility of land-based precision strike capabilities must be extended and enhanced, including in quantitative terms, with enhancements in large-calibre ammunition stockpiles, advanced anti-tank systems, versatile close fire support, and resilience against cyber threats. 

• Integrated Air and Missile Defence: Encompasses all surface-based capabilities facing an airborne threat. Priorities in this area focus both on upgrading current air defence systems, and on developing next-generation systems with space-based early warning, and counter-Unmanned Air Systems capabilities.

• Underwater/Seabed Warfare: Enhancements in seabed warfare, underwater protection, and anti-submarine capabilities with advanced autonomous underwater vehicles, and surveillance systems. 

• Sustainable and Agile Logistics: Incorporates capabilities to facilitate the projection, sustainment, and effectiveness of forces. Key areas include shared stocks and common warehousing, logistics footprint and strengthening maintenance requirements to deal with extreme weather conditions. 

• Cohesive and Well-Trained Militaries: Centres on the development of professional military education, training, and ability to adapt to an ever-changing environment, and to operate in new military domains, such as space and cyber. 

EDA Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý said: These priorities are a significant step in strengthening the EU's capabilities, extending beyond traditional equipment and platforms to encompass a broader operational perspective. The 22 priorities also look to future threats over the medium- and long-term time horizon.”

LESSONS FROM UKRAINE LOOM LARGE                                                      

The 2023 EU CDP reaffirms the long-standing priorities and balance them with new ones arising from the profound shift in the EU’s strategic environment. The newly adopted set of priorities also reflect the objectives of the EU’s Strategic Compass and the military realities observed in Ukraine, including high-intensity requirements, and is therefore fully coherent with NATO. 

Amongst the key lessons observed in the context of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine is the necessity for agile, mobile, interoperable, technologically advanced, energy efficient, and resilient full spectrum land forces. Moreover, the Ukraine context highlighted the importance of multilayer Integrated Air and Missile Defence, along with an appropriate rebalance between the qualitative and quantitative dimensions in many capability areas.


Over the last 18 months, EU Member States worked together with EDA and the EU Military Staff, to assess and conceptualise the various dimensions of military capability requirements. 

The agreed priorities will serve as the baseline for all EU defence related initiatives and instruments, such as the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), the European Defence Fund (EDF) and any future EU defence supporting tools. In line with the Strategic Compass, this set of priorities shall also serve as a prime reference for national planning. In addition, they provide a valuable overview of the capability development landscape for the defence industry. 


After today’s endorsement, the focus will be on the implementation of the new set of priorities.   

• These priorities will be the driver for capability-led research and innovation activities, informing the research agenda and engagement with industry.

• EDA will steer the collaborative activities aimed at implementing these priorities, establishing a clear, correlation from priority to action.

• EDA will use the third CARD cycle and bilateral dialogues with each EU Member State as a forum to support implementation and possible cooperative capability development activities with others.

Notes for editors 

1)      2023 EU Capability Development Priorities– EDA Publication

2)      Fact Sheet – EU CDP 

3)      The European Defence Agency (EDA), the hub for European defence cooperation: 

i.            Created in 2004 to support and facilitate defence cooperation in Europe, EDA has become the place where countries willing to develop their defence capabilities collaboratively can do so. 

ii.            EDA’s expertise and activities cover the whole spectrum of cooperation: from harmonising requirements to delivering operational capabilities; from research & technology (R&T) and innovation to developing technology demonstrators; from training and exercises to support to CSDP operations.

iii.            EDA also closely engages with the European defence industry to enhance Europe’s defence technological and industrial base and help make the industry stronger and more competitive.

iv.            The Agency’s role and impact have constantly grown, especially with the implementation of the EU’s Global Strategy (2016) which also led Member States to reinforce the Agency’s mission in 2017, as well as more recently with the Strategic Compass (2021).

4)      Follow #EUdefence on social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube) for more and visit our website



Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA completes final Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course

Fri, 10/11/2023 - 17:31

Over seven weeks, the European Defence Agency (EDA) oversaw the ninth Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course (HTIC) at Sintra Airbase No1 in Portugal and Pápa Air Base in Hungary. It was the final course of its kind managed by EDA before being transferred to the Multinational Helicopter Training Centre (MHTC) in Portugal.

The course was structured in a two-week classroom phase, followed by a two-week simulator phase at Sintra Airbase No1. After a week of recovery and transfer of aircrafts, participants engaged in live flying exercises and demanding missions in a three-week deployment to the Pápa Air Base in Hungary. 

Supported by personnel from the Hungarian Defence Forces and Pápa Air Base, the flying phase included a complex operational scenario employing dissimilar formation flying, Evasion Training against a range of airborne threats, Electronic Warfare (EW) exercises against both ground-based and airborne systems and performing a variety of additional tasks, such as Helicopter Assault, Convoy Escort, and Vehicle Interdiction. The course was led by the EDA HTIC Chief Instructor Maj Christian Kappl with participating crews from Austria, Czechia, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, and Slovakia flying on five different types of helicopters: AH-101, UH-60, OH-58, H145M, and Mi-171.

Throughout the course, the staff instructors from Austria, Germany, The Netherlands, and Sweden received specialised support from Inzpire Ltd. Units of the Czech Alca Jets and the Hungarian Gripens provided fixed wing support, acting mainly as threats during the training. In addition, EW assets and ground troops were provided by Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Slovenia.

In total, 15 Bronze, six Silver, and four Gold qualifications were awarded during the graduation ceremony, ensuring an important contribution to the international cadre of Helicopter Tactics Instructors (HTI) and the improvement of the national capabilities.

This year’s HTIC was the final edition managed by EDA. Following the training’s successful delivery, it has reached a high state of maturity, international recognition and has developed a growing cadre of HTI, facilitating a seamless and secure transition to the MHTC by the end of 2023.

For more details on EDA's helicopter initiatives, please see here.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA’s largest ever counter-IED exercise kicks off in Spain with over 1,000 military personnel

Tue, 07/11/2023 - 12:04

BISON COUNTER 2023 (BC23), the EDA-supported multinational live exercise bringing together the Counter-Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED) community kicked off today in Spain, across two locations: Zaragoza for ground activities and Cartagena for underwater activities. A total of 1,000 military staff from 12 EU Member States (Austria, Belgium, Czechia, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Finland), as well as observers from Sweden, Latvia, Romania and the United States participate in this year’s event hosted by the Spanish Armed Forces. 300 vehicles, 28 K-9 dogs and five speedboats will also be deployed during the exercise.

The general objective of this series of live exercises is to improve European and Allied C-IED capabilities in their fight against a constantly evolving IED threat in military and counter-terrorism operations, during expeditionary military operations and in countering terrorism within its borders, by enabling the individual EU Member States to act in a more coherent, interoperable, and resilient way.

Full spectrum C-IED concept

The exercise is organised in a way that allow for adequate Force Integration and Battle Staff Training before the start of the main phase of the Command Post and Field Exercise, which enhances the conditions for the sharing of information, lessons learned and best practice among multinational teams, bridging gaps and establishing the close human ties needed to foster meaningful cooperation among Member States - an interconnected federation of EU experts in the field of C-IED.

The aim of executing the BC23 exercise is to specifically train the full spectrum of C-IED concept in a multi-level (from tactical to operational) and a multi-domain scenario where all C-IED efforts have to be synchronised to succeed. The whole exercise is embedded in the intelligence cycle which allows interconnection among all levels. In addition, dedicated teams specialized in the following enabler capabilities are involved:

  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD),
  • Improvised Explosive Device (IED),
  • K-9 Dogs Units Training,
  • Underwater works,
  • Weapons Intelligence Team (WIT),
  • Route Clearance (RCP),
  • Combined Joint Task Force HQ.
BC23 built upon projects and previous editions

BISON COUNTER is today the largest and most relevant EU exercise of the C-IED community. After 2013 (The Netherlands), 2016 (Sweden) and 2021 (Italy), it is the fourth time this exercise is organized under the auspices of EDA.

As in previous editions, EDA is closely involved in the organization and running of BISON COUNTER 23 which integrates EDA projects such as the Joint Deployable Exploitation and Analysis Laboratory (JDEAL), the European Centre for Manual Neutralization Capabilities (ECMAN) and the Military Search Capability Building (MSCB).

Constantly changing IED threat

The IED threat is constantly changing and evolving due to technological progress, changing conflict parties and their intentions. In order to meet this changing threat and adequately prepare the troops for the scenarios of tomorrow, the Member States and the EDA must not let up in these efforts.

Although the capability shortfall in the context of C-IED (CDP 2018) has been reduced by continuous EDA projects, there is still a great need for these projects to support Member States in keeping the operational capability in order and not to give up this advantage again or, in the best case, to expand it further.

It is the ambition of EDA's contributing Member States to pursue the series of Bison Counter exercises at least two additional editions of Bison Counter in 2025 and 2027 are foreseen. Another ambition of the project is to seek inter-agency cooperation among all relevant C-IED stakeholders in the EU, including national and multinational Centres of Excellence, law enforcement and Industry.

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