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Updated: 1 month 2 days ago

EDA and Multinational Logistics Coordination Centre sign cooperation agreement

Fri, 16/06/2023 - 10:29

The European Defence Agency (EDA) and the Multinational Logistics Coordination Centre (MLCC) have established a cooperative framework through an Exchange of Letters (EoL). Cooperation was formalised with a signing ceremony during the Distinguished Visitors Day of the first Additive Manufacturing Village capability workshop in Ede, the Netherlands, on 14 June 20203. The EoL was signed by EDA Deputy Chief Executive, André Denk, on behalf of Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý, and MLCC Director, Col. Jakub Hrdina.

Cooperation between EDA and MLCC will focus on activities of mutual interest, such as logistics meetings, workshops, conducting studies, projects, exercises, exhibitions, conferences, training and education activities. EDA and MLCC intend to interact closely and to co-ordinate their work on the development of logistic capabilities to make a coherent contribution to multinational logistics transformational activities. The identification of common activities should focus on supporting EDA and MLCC participating Member States.

EDA Deputy Chief Executive, André Denk, said; “The long and fruitful relationship between our two organisations, EDA and MLCC, culminates in the signature of an Exchange of Letters. 12 MLCC members are also EDA Member States. We follow the same objectives. We serve our Member States to build up and enhance our logistic capabilities. We address their critical capability shortfalls. The logical next step is to underpin our common future cooperation.”

MLCC Director, Col. Jakub Hrdina, said; “It is my pleasure and honour that we will promote our long-lasting exceptional collaboration with EDA signing such a cooperation arrangement. MLCC Vision is: To be a centre of expertise for the development, coordination and provision of efficient and effective multinational military logistics solutions. Without close cooperation with strong multinational logistics stakeholders, which EDA definitely is, it wouldn’t be possible to achieve this goal and fulfil the vision.”

Enhancing cooperation in logistics

Logistic capabilities are a necessary asset to support and contribute to the success of military operations. The development and improvement of logistic capabilities is challenging, especially to ensure interoperability. Both EDA and MLCC are active in logistics, sharing similar objectives to improve and develop capabilities for their respective Member States. 

Areas for cooperation could include the following:

  • Logistic capabilities, logistic procedures, logistic concepts as well as joint enabling activities to enhance interoperability;
  • Logistic exercises, training, and other logistic events;
  • Mutual Logistic Support and used IT-application;
  • Exploring the use of new technologies, e.g., additive manufacturing.

In keeping with the activities of the AM Village, the EoL was signed by pens which had been printed using additive manufacturing materials during the capability workshop. 

Background

EDA supports all EU 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 spanning the whole spectrum of defence capabilities.

Member States use EDA as an intergovernmental expert platform where their collaborative projects are supported, facilitated, and implemented.

The MLCC was established in 2011 by means of a Memorandum of Understanding and is governed by the MLCC Board of Directors. Currently, MLCC is composed of 20 Member States, 12 of which are EDA’s participating Member States. The MLCC’s mission is to build and enhance logistics capabilities, and to address critical logistics shortfalls of the MLCC Members and non-Members by providing multinational solutions for the logistic support of the forces in operations and exercises.

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Climate change and EU defence: released new report analysing the links between climate, energy and defence

Thu, 08/06/2023 - 12:31

Climate change threatens military assets, capabilities, and operations. EU defence needs to adapt to increase its operational effectiveness.

The defence sector is critical for maintaining the safety and stability of our society. However, the sector is at risk from climate change either through direct impacts of climatic hazards or indirectly because of its dependence on vulnerable entities that operate critical energy infrastructure. The defence sector must therefore increase its resilience to climate change. A new study of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and the European Defence Agency addresses for the first time the climate-energy-defence nexus and proposes actions for EU defence to ensure climate resilience and energy sustainability.

Climate change affects all sectors of society, and the current trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions brings the world closer to dramatic impacts on ecosystems and human activities, posing an existential threat to humanity. This is not an entirely new phenomenon. Between 1980 and 2020, in the 32 countries of the European Economic Area, total economic losses due to weather and climate-related events ranged between 450 and 520 billion EUR. The production and distribution of energy is exposed to a range of climate hazards, from droughts affecting hydropower and cooling water for thermal power plants, to wildfire and storm damage to overhead cabling.

On the other hand, fossil fuels are still part of the energy mix and this sector too is threatened by climate change (40% of the world’s oil and gas reserves), with potential for severe health effects and environmental degradation. Furthermore, the expected damage to critical infrastructure in the EU, including the energy and transport sectors, may multiply over ten-fold by the end of the century. Climate change can also aggravate the global security situation, increasing the need for more humanitarian and military assistance. Failure to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement will exacerbate adverse consequences, inevitably affecting our society, including critical sectors like defence.

Defence must increase its resilience to climate change

Defence assets, capabilities, and operations are also at risk from climate hazards, such as severe floods, storms, and high or low temperatures. Such impacts can damage or destroy military assets or render them unfit for purpose in certain operating conditions, result in health and safety risks for military personnel, or lead to higher costs for infrastructure inspection, maintenance, repair and overhaul. The impacts of climate change and environmental degradation on defence are expected to increase in the future.

At the same time, climate hazards can also affect civilian entities that operate critical energy infrastructure (CEI) providing the energy which the military rely on, for example, electricity for powering systems or fuel for transportation. If such CEI is affected by climate hazards, the services it provides may be disrupted, cascading to military installations and compromising operational effectiveness and readiness. There is therefore a strong link between operational effectiveness and energy resilience.

Greenhouse gas emissions in defence have to be reduced

The defence sector is a large consumer of fossil fuels and raw materials which is reflected in a big carbon footprint. While there is a need for the armed forces to become more resilient to the effects of climate change, their efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions are also crucial and can contribute to improve the autonomy and energy security of the armed forces through diversification, and decrease exposure via the reduction of the amount of energy provided through the supply chains. The defence sector has recognised the limitations of fossil fuels and is ramping up its efforts to implement more sustainable energy choices in agreement with the goals of the European Green Deal.

Climate-proofing EU defence

The defence sector lacks the capacities and capabilities to adapt autonomously to climate change. The new JRC-EDA study analyses the link between climate, energy and defence, and stresses how there is a lack of a systematic approach when it comes to addressing climate change in EU defence. The study pinpoints existing gaps while providing recommendations for EU Ministries of Defence and CEI operators on climate change mitigation and adaptation, including guidance for investing in sustainable energy measures. It also outlines how the EU can complement national efforts and promote a long-term perspective to address these challenges comprehensively and effectively. The study provides scientific evidence to support the development of national strategies to prepare the armed forces for climate change impacts, in line with the EU Strategic Compass for Security and Defence.

The recommendations aim to facilitate the climate proofing and greening of all aspects of defence and focus on the operational dimension, capability planning and development, governance, multi-stakeholder engagement, and research, development and innovation. Addressing the emerging and future requirements of EU defence in the face of climate change is an important stepping-stone in the wider efforts of the EU to achieve climate resilience and neutrality.

Background

This new JRC-EDA study on climate change impacts on defence-related critical energy infrastructure will be launched on 8 June 2023 at the High-level Joint Defence and Energy meeting of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS). The meeting will take place in Stockholm under the auspices of the Swedish Presidency and it is hosted by the Swedish Ministry of Defence.

The third phase of CF SEDSS was launched on 1 October 2019. The project is funded by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and will run until 30 September 2024. In its third phase, the Consultation Forum represents the largest European defence energy community, providing a unique platform for ministries of defence and other relevant stakeholders to share knowledge and promote collaborative defence research and technology innovation in the field of sustainable energy.

Past events have shown the vulnerability of the defence sector to the impacts of weather-related natural hazards. Climate change will increase the risk of adverse consequences. There is therefore a clear need to enhance climate-proofing and the greening of the defence sector, raise awareness, develop competencies, capacities and capabilities in this field, while at the same time increasing the operational effectiveness of the armed forces.

Several pieces of legislation acknowledge the need to consider climate change in the overall EU security context. The Climate Change and Defence Roadmap constitutes an integral part of the EU’s overall effort to address climate change under the European Green Deal. It was developed by the European External Action Service in close cooperation with the European Commission and the European Defence Agency. The forthcoming Joint Communication on addressing the impact of climate change, environmental degradation, security and defence to be adopted in June 2023 will take work further in this regard. 

The Strategic Compass for Security and Defence calls for the full implementation of the Roadmap, recognising climate change as a threat multiplier that affects the EU’s long-term security. It also invites Member States to share national plans on how to contribute to the objectives of the Roadmap.

The European Green Deal’s overarching goal is to make the European Union climate neutral by 2050 and resource efficient.

The Critical Entities Resilience Directive will strengthen the resilience of critical infrastructure to a range of threats, including natural hazards. Energy is one of the 11 critical sectors that are covered.

Further Information 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA's final Hot Blade exercise lifts off in Portugal

Wed, 07/06/2023 - 13:49

A total of 23 air assets and some 750 military personnel from eight countries – Austria, Belgium, Czechia, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland and Portugal – will participate in Hot Blade 2023, hosted by the Portuguese Air Force. In addition, Greece and Italy will send exercise observers. The air assets comprise 13 helicopters and 10 fixed wings, including training and transport aircrafts and fast jets.

The exercise’s main focus will be to allow crews to practice operations in various environments during day and night sorties, replicating the challenging conditions that participant forces are expected to encounter when deploying to different theatres of operation. 

This will be the last Hot Blade exercise delivered by the European Defence Agency. From 2024, the Multinational Helicopter Training Centre (MHTC) will be in charge of this activity, whose current planning already extends into the next decade.

Hot Blade 2023’s main objectives are:

• To enhance tactical interoperability between helicopter units from the participating countries by using the COMAO concept in a combined, joint, realistic and challenging environment and to learn and practice common helicopter Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs);
• To train and practise TTPs with and against fighter jets and electronic ground warfare threats;
• To improve interoperability in training and operational tasks with ground forces involvement (Night Vision Goggles -NVG- operations, low level flying, formation flights, Forward Arming and Refuelling Point training, gunnery, etc…) in a live and full spectrum environment. 

Programme

Participating crews will fly diverse COMAO missions and execute, among others, Air Assault (AA), Air Interdiction (AI), Air Transport (AT), Special Operations Aviation (SOA), Combat Service Support (CSS), Close Air Support (CAS), Convoy/helicopter escorts, Reconnaissance and Surveillance, Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Personnel Recovery (PR), Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) and Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC). 

They will also train special procedures, which involve air assets like marshalling procedures, fast rope and abseiling techniques, Special Patrol Insertion/Extraction (SPIE), and air-to-surface live firing.

Hot Blade 2023 will also provide opportunities to practice multinational and national formation and training with the Special Operations Forces (SOF) units (infiltration and exfiltration) and enhance crews’ skills in using the HEP Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and COMAO planning procedures in the conduct of flight planning and operations, with the aim of standardise the training and foster the multinational interoperability levels of all the participants.

Eight instructors from Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden trained in EDA’s Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course accompanied with an Instructor from the Netherlands trained on the Dutch Helicopter Weapons Instructor course, and led by EDA´s Chief Instructor, will jointly form the Hot Blade 2023 Mentor Team, ready to support the multinational crews in preparation and execution of the challenging COMAO missions. This mentoring role will consider the lessons learned from previous “Blade” exercises and operational experience. 
 

Distinguished Visitors Day

A Distinguished Visitors Day is planned for 15 June 2023 when representatives from participating EDA Member States plus other national and international authorities will attend and observe various live training sessions. 

Background

The Helicopter Exercise Programme is part of EDA’s wider Helicopter Portfolio aimed at providing Member States with a joint European framework to develop, consolidate and share best practices to meet the challenges of flying helicopters in a modern operational environment. Other components of this portfolio are the Helicopter Tactics Course programme, the Helicopter Tactics Instructor Course programme and the future Multinational Helicopter Training Centre.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Radar, GNN and cross-domain ideas win EDA’s 2023 defence research papers prize

Thu, 01/06/2023 - 11:12

Better radar detection of hypersonic missiles, cyber cross-domain technology for defence systems and Graph Neural Networks (GNN) in tactical communications were areas of research worthy of  the European Defence Agency’s first ever EDA Research, Technology, and Innovation Papers Awards. EDA rewarded three original and valuable defence-related papers covering technologies, processes and applications for enhanced future defence. 

The winning entries have come up with ideas which, if implemented between now and 2035, could contribute to enhance specific EU defence capabilities.

 

EDA Deputy Chief Executive André Denk told the European Defence Innovation Days event, where the prizes were awarded: “EDA wants to attract young talent in the defence sector and retain unique specialised skills. We believe that this initiative will stimulate young innovators to widen their network.”

EDA received 20 submissions from many different institutions, mostly academia. 

The list of winners, in alphabetical order are:

Pepijn COX, from the Radar Technology Department at TNO in The Hague (Netherlands), main author of a paper titled "Enhanced Radar Detection of Hypersonic Threats through the Application of Irregular Waveforms and Advanced Processing". Cox told the award ceremony that the ability to detect hypersonic missiles earlier would win valuable time to defend against such weapons. The combination of novel technologies extends the detection range, giving more reaction time.

Vasiliki DEMERTZI, from the Computer Science Department, School of Science International Hellenic University (Greece), main author of a paper titled “Prescriptive Auto-Maintenance Architecture for Trustworthy Cross-Domain-Implementation in Tech-Defence”. Demertzi told the award ceremony that her work in real-time data analytics could allow military systems to operate at peak performance, also improving their reliability and potentially allowing faster and more effective repairs.

Johannes LOEVENICH, from Secure Communication & Information at Thales (Germany), main author of a paper titled GNN-based Deep Reinforcement Learning with Adversarial Training for Robust Optimization of Modern Tactical Communication Systems”. Loevenich told the award ceremony that his research sought to create a game-like environment and handle massive amounts of data from tactical systems to solve complex problems, for example in routing and cyber security.

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

European Defence Innovation Days: on a civilian-military technology trajectory

Wed, 31/05/2023 - 11:59

Turning commercial technology into military capabilities, supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises and harnessing European unity in the face of Russia’s war in Ukraine are essential for EU defence innovation,  High Representative Josep Borrell, who is head of the European Defence Agency (EDA), told participants of European Defence Innovation Days 2023. 

“Innovation in defence is critical for Europe’s security,” Borrell said in a video message. He added that technology was changing the parameters of warfare, as it has always done. Innovation has also become a factor shaping the international security environment and the global balance of power, Borrell said.  

China, Russia and the United States are all investing in all areas of defence. The European Union is also seeking to develop more cooperative defence projects among its Member States after years of neglect of armed forces and a focus on only national priorities.  

Recalling the demand by EU Member States for more innovation from EDA, Borrell said that “the European Defence Agency is delivering”, noting that 500 participants with more than 50 stands and innovation pitches made up the European Defence Innovation Days this year.  

EDA, which offers the platform for collaborative defence research and capability development, has a central role to play as technology, in areas from satellites to cyber security, bridges both the civilian and military worlds. 

Echoing Borrell’s urgency, EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý said that “to retain our strategic advantage, it is crucial that we prioritise innovation driven by capabilities.”  

As EU Member states and NATO allies increase defence commitments and forecast greater spending increases, Šedivý also noted that it was important to match the demands for new capabilities from defence planners with what small start-ups, academia and other innovators are developing.  

“That is a must to complement long term developments with short cycles of innovation,” Šedivý said. He also said that European Defence Innovation Days were a good forum to try to identify the best strategies for bridging the gap between technology and capabilities, and at the earliest stage possible. 

The European Defence Innovation Days event has been organised for the second year running by the European Defence Agency, this year under the auspices of the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU, bringing together start-ups, defence industry and the wider defence community as part of EDA’s Hub for EU Defence Innovation (HEDI).  

'Talk is cheap' 

Pål Jonson, Sweden’s Minister for Defence, warned against too much talk of strategy and planning, instead urging EU Member States to learn from each other and work closely with industry.  


“It's not enough, of course, to say that defence innovation is important. Talk is cheap,” Jonson said. He cited an expression used in management consultancy that ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’, meaning that no matter how great a strategy is, a constructive, encouraging culture is more important. 

In that vein, he called for an innovative culture of collaboration. “We in the defence sector are never going to be able to do this alone, without close cooperation with the civilian research and the industry. This is all about partnership,” he told participants.  

He also said it should be a priority for lower the barriers for smaller companies into the defence market. 

About HEDI 

HEDI acts as a platform to stimulate, facilitate and support cooperation on defence innovation among Member States while ensuring operational benefits with the European Commission’s EU defence innovation scheme, and NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA). 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA-managed project develops demonstrator for intelligent swarm of robots

Wed, 31/05/2023 - 10:21

A European Defence Agency-managed project to develop a fleet of unmanned ground vehicles has been successfully completed with a final demonstration of a system.  

The project ARTUS (Autonomous Rough-terrain Transport Unmanned Ground Vehicles Swarm) developed a demonstrator for a small swarm of intelligent and autonomously operating vehicles to support infantry platoons during their missions. Whether for transport or observation missions, a swarm can increase troops’ ability to act by supporting them in hostile environments, including in mountainous or forested terrain, increasing their protection level and allowing the greater mobility of a unit. 

Completion of ARTUS comes as Europe’s defence community meets in Brussels for the 30 May to 1 June 2023 European Defence Innovation Days. The ARTUS project is an example of the collaborative role of both industry and EDA in developing new technology for the benefit of EU armed forces.  

The implementation of ARTUS, a project selected under the 2019 call for proposals for the EU Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR), was launched in February 2021 and ended in January 2023. It had a budget of €1.5 million. 

Using two autonomous ground robots embedded with a computer, the system works by allowing interaction between an geolocalised operator and the swarm, using a Battle Management System and a fleet navigation algorithm. 

The guidance algorithm ensures certain constraints in both the autonomous and supervised motion of a swarm of navigation, following either a predefined path, or managed by a geolocalized operator or tele-operated robot.  

With the ability to avoid obstacles, as welll as collisions with robots, a single operator can manage the entire swarm by defining the desired path or collective motion behavior,  for example in transportation or observation missions. The swarm can continue the mission even if one robot loses its communication or mobility capabilities.  

The ARTUS consortium was led by Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung E.V. (Germany) and also encompassed ONERA (France), Diehl Defence (Germany), and charismaTec (Austria), a highly innovative SME. The project had a duration of 24 months. 

About the PADR  

The ARTUS project was part of the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) 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 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. By this agreement the Commission entrusts EDA with the management and implementation of the research projects launched within the PADR. 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Tabletop exercise and new study focus on protecting critical energy infrastructure

Fri, 26/05/2023 - 12:20

What should the European Union and its Member States do if its energy production and transport infrastructure were attacked by hostile groups in a region where like-minded, democratic countries coexisted with unfriendly authoritarian regimes?  What if vulnerable critical energy infrastructure was essential for defence? 

As the European Defence Agency contributes to EU security, EDA organised on May 25-26 its hybrid threats tabletop exercise in Bulgaria, bringing together more than 80 experts from different European countries, institutions and organisations.  

Conducted under the third phase of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS III), EDA and the European Commission Directorate-General Joint Research Centre (DG JRC) also presented a new study on enhancing the resilience of defence-related critical energy infrastructure (CEI) against hybrid threats

UNDERSTANDING NEW TACTICS 

The study found that armed forces must consider a new set of combined and blurred threats that can impair their operational effectiveness in war and peace. 

That scenario was also tested in the tabletop exercise, hosted by the Bulgarian Defence Institute (BDI), under the auspices of the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence. In a fictitious scenario where an imaginary country threatens stability around a critical waterway with both non-renewable and renewable energy resources, EU countries and their partners needed to protect their energy supplies and advance their interests.  

The tabletop exercise is part of efforts to develop the EU’s longer-term resilience, imagining a situation of a synchronised and deliberate attack on democratic states and their institutions. The exercise relied on a simulation involving fictional hostile states as well as criminal and para-military organisations who sought to undermining or damage targets through direct attacks and covert means. 

Different European ministries, EU institutions, the Helsinki Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (HCoE) and experts from industry and academia aimed to better understand hybrid threats, including new tactics and targets and strengthen the resilience of defence-related critical energy infrastructure. They also plan to provide the ministries of defence recommendations and develop awareness about the role individuals, civil society and companies can play in building resilience to hybrid threats. 

RARE OPPORTUNITY 

“This tabletop exercise hosted in Sofia is a rare opportunity to encourage collaboration between European stakeholders in defence and civilian sectors. It helps deepen our shared understanding of how hybrid threats can impact critical energy infrastructure and subsequently compromise our armed forces' operational effectiveness", said Radostin Iliev, Director of the Defence Policy Directorate at the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence. 

Jiří Šedivý, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency, said: “The exercise allows us to take advantage of diverse perspectives in developing comprehensive solutions to bolster defence energy resilience.” 

Georgios Giannopoulos, Deputy Director Space, Security and Migration Directorate at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, said: “It is one of these moments where science, strategic thinking and operational capabilities are beautifully bundled together”. 

About CF SEDSS 

The Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS) is a European Commission-funded initiative managed by the EDA. This forum was established to create a defence energy-related community to share information, knowledge and best practices on improving energy management, increasing energy efficiency and building performance, utilising renewable energy sources in the defence sector and enhancing the resilience of defence-related critical energy infrastructure. 

More information:

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Meeting of European Defence Agency Steering Board

Tue, 23/05/2023 - 17:23

On 23 May, EU Ministers of Defence met in the European Defence Agency (EDA) Steering Board under the chairmanship of High Representative Borrell in his capacity as Head of the Agency.

The HRVP updated ministers about the signature of the Administrative Arrangement between the European Defence Agency and the US Department of Defense (DoD), as well as the second edition of the European Defence Innovation Days (31 May - 1 June 2023, Brussels) which will focus on the challenges and opportunities in connecting technological innovation and capability development.

Ministers then exchanged views on capability implications of the war in Ukraine, based a comprehensive analysis conducted by EDA experts, in view of the upcoming revision of the EU Capability Development Priorities foreseen in November.

For the first time since the creation of EDA and since Denmark joined EDA in March 2023, the EDA Steering Board gathered all 27 EU Member States.

 

Further information 
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

11 new PESCO projects focus on critical defence capabilities and interoperability

Tue, 23/05/2023 - 12:30

The Council has adopted a fifth wave of collaborative projects within the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) framework, with 11 new projects and a total of 15 Member States participating. The projects cover six military domains and include critical capabilities such as munitions, counter artillery and medium-size helicopter. The updated list of projects under PESCO now stands at 68.

OPERATIONAL FOCUS

The new projects adopted in the fifth wave will help increase the coherence of the European capability landscape and deliver operational benefits for European Armed Forces. Projects range from the development of new military capabilities and the identification of future needs in areas such as future military rotorcrafts and air-launched missiles, to communication infrastructure and joint training for defence airlift. The 11 new projects cover six military domains: training (1) land (2), maritime (3), air (2), cyber/C4ISR (2) and joint, enabling (1) and will be led by seven different Member States as project coordinators.

High Representative/Head of the Agency, Josep Borrell, said: “Against the backdrop of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and its military implications, including the requirements for high-intensity warfare, these new PESCO projects aim at delivering critical capabilities with a more operational focus. We cannot build a stronger European defence without ensuring European armed forces are ready and well-equipped for future challenges. Today PESCO is moving forward and by 2025 over 50 projects will reach their delivery phase, enhancing the EU’s defence cooperation and the EU’s ability to act.”

CRITICAL DEFENCE CAPABILITIES
  • Critical Seabed Infrastructure Protection – The Critical Seabed Infrastructure Protection (CSIP) project aims at increasing the EU’s operational efficiency in the protection of critical maritime infrastructure by making best use of current, and the development of future, underwater assets.

    The six participating Member States are: Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, and Sweden. An initial project timeline for the collection and harmonisation of requirements will run until 2024 with a possible agreement on a common procurement foreseen in 2028.

  • Next Generation Medium Helicopter – The Next Generation Medium Helicopter (NGMH) project aims to create a dedicated forum that will address operational needs both on the upgrade of existing fleets and on the European Next Generation Rotorcraft, harmonising the needs and timelines of EU countries on the future capabilities of rotorcrafts.

    The NGMH will ensure the availability and suitability of EU helicopter fleets until 2040 and the preparation of the European Next Generation Rotorcraft, including the ability to face high intensity conflicts. The project launch and execution year is planned for 2023, with four participating Member States: France, Spain, Italy and Finland.

  • Counter Battery Sensors – The Counter Battery Sensors (CoBaS) project aims at developing a common concept for a next generation counter-battery capability for EU armed forces and facilitating future common procurement of means for counter-artillery. Current warfare trends have reasserted the primary importance and massive use of artillery capabilities on the battlefield. In this context, the project will increase participating Member States’ ability to respond more efficiently to future trends in high intensity conflicts.

    France and Netherlands are the two participating Member States. CoBaS will deliver the newest set of capabilities, benefitting from the emerging technologies and adapted to new threats that are linked to the performance of effective artillery systems developed by 2030-2035.

  • Further projects include air-to-air and anti-torpedo munitions – Eight further projects include European Defence Airlift Training Academy (EDA-TA); Anti-Torpedo Torpedo (ATT); Future Short-Range Air to Air Missile (FSRM); Integrated Unmanned Ground Systems 2 (iUGS2); Integrated Multi-Layer Air and Missile Defence system (IMLAMD); Arctic Command & Control Effector and Sensor System (ACCESS); Robust Communication Infrastructure and Networks (ROCOMIN); and ROLE 2F. Further details on the projects and participating Member States can be found here.

EDA Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý, said: “These new 11 projects reflect Member States’ interaction during the last CARD process as well as their intention to better coordinate defence planning and capability development practices. They also stimulate the PESCO process by delivering next generation capabilities in different domains that require a joint effort at the EU level. EDA supports fifteen PESCO projects and stands ready to support its Member States going forward.”

PESCO WELCOMES DENMARK AND CLOSES THREE PROJECTS

On 23 May 2023, the Council confirmed that the participation of Denmark in PESCO, several weeks after Denmark joined the EDA.

Furthermore, three PESCO projects have closed earlier in 2023: Indirect Fire Support (EuroArtillery), EU Test and Evaluation Centres (EUTEC) and Co-basing, and three other projects are in the closing phase. As of today, 68 PESCO projects are on-going, 47 of the projects will reach the execution phase up to 2025. Out of them, 21 projects have already reached that phase and it can be expected that 26 more projects will follow until 2025.

BACKGROUND
  1. Council Press Release
  2. PESCO Project Spokespersons
  3. PESCO Fact Sheet
  4. PESCO Website
  5. On 11 December 2017, the Council adopted a decision establishing Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). PESCO enables participating member states to work more closely together in the area of security and defence. This permanent framework for defence cooperation allows willing and able member states to develop jointly defence capabilities, invest in shared projects, and enhance the operational readiness and contribution of their armed forces.
  6. PESCO projects have been adopted by the Council and launched across five different waves;
    • 6 March 2018 – 17 projects
    • 19 November 2018 – 17 projects
    • 12 November 2019 – 13 projects
    • 16 November 2021– 14 projects
    • 23 May 2023 – 11 projects
  7. Each of the projects is carried forward by varying groups of PESCO participating Member States (project members) and is coordinated by one or more of them (project coordinators). The project members may agree among themselves to allow other participating Member States to join as project members or to become observers to the project.
  8. The key difference between PESCO and other forms of cooperation is the legally binding nature of its 20 binding commitments undertaken by participating Member States to one another. These include increasing defence spending, planning and developing defence capabilities together and improving the interoperability of forces and joint use of existing and future capabilities.
  9. 26 states participate in PESCO, the EU 27 with the exemption of Malta. There are 22 common members in the EU and NATO, and all of them are also participating in PESCO.

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA Chief Executive visits Latvia

Mon, 22/05/2023 - 17:43

EDA Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý, continued his visits to EU Member States with a series of high-level meetings and industry engagements in Latvia on 17 and 18 May.

In Riga, Jiří Šedivý participated in the National Armed Forces’ Industry Day, where he took part in a panel discussion focusing on the role of the industry in securing military logistics and reserves. In his intervention where he explained the EU’s three-track initiative on ammunition, he stressed that “the actual orders are key if we want to speed up the production and delivery of ammunition, only contracts will create binding legal commitments triggering investments”.

He met with Ms. Ināra Mūrniece, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Latvia, Lt.Gen. Leonīds Kalniņš, Commander of the National Armed Forces,  Mr. Jānis Garisons, State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, to discuss EU initiatives in support to Ukraine, as well as planned measures to strengthen the European defense industry and Latvia’s participation in European Defence Agency’s activities and projects.

“There is no doubt that Europe faces significant gaps in its military industrial capacities. In order to create a stable technical-industrial base in Europe, it is crucial to build on the already existing tools and platforms. We need to allocate targeted investment, in order to deliver a more regionally balanced and dispersed distribution of European industrial production capacities, to ramp-up supply chains and storage facilities, as well as to address existing slack in production capacity. We in Latvia are ready to step up our industrial capacities,” said Ināra Mūrniece, Minister of Defence of Latvia.

EDA’s Chief Executive also visited two innovative defense SMEs and discussed about their cooperation experiences, including participation in the EU defence initiatives: Brasa, a manufacturer of tactical clothing, equipment and military personnel support systems; and Exonicus, a developer of virtual reality trauma and CBRN Simulator. Exonicus will have a stand at the European Defence Innovation Days in Brussels on 31 May – 1 June.      

The visit in Latvia was an excellent opportunity to present and exchange views on EDA’s ongoing activities and main milestones in 2023, including the upcoming revision of the Capability Development Plan, the organization of the second European Defence Innovation Days in Brussels, and the joint procurement of ammunition for Ukraine or/and the replenishment of national stocks.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA’s IF CEED unveils collaborative and transnational project ideas

Wed, 17/05/2023 - 15:08

The European Defence Agency (EDA) managed Incubation Forum for Circular Economy in European Defence (IF CEED) has unveiled a series of project ideas that have so far been incubated within the forum, namely; circularity of titanium for armour via additive manufacturing, prototype of defence digital product passport, implementation of a SCIP (Substances of Concern In complex Products) database for defence exemptions, and green knowledge platform for defence are among the key examples.

Circular economy is one of the building blocks of the European Green Deal, Europe’s agenda for sustainable growth. By acknowledging the need for armed forces to mitigate their carbon footprint, IF CEED aims at implementing circularity principles in European Defence via concrete transnational projects that, beyond environmental benefits, also bring further operational efficiency to the military.

EDA’s IF CEED 2nd General Conference (15-17 May 2023, Madrid, Spain), brought together 135 representatives from 20 European countries. Opening the event, EDA Director for Industry, Synergies and Enablers Emilio Fajardo, stressed both IF CEED’s contribution to the EU green transition and how circularity is an enabler for “our primary focus: the effectiveness and the operational efficiency of European defence capabilities”.

Transnational project incubation

Since October 2021, a network of several hundred experts has been working within nine thematic project incubators, called “Project Circles”, covering domains such as critical raw materials, additive manufacturing, green procurement, spare parts management and eco-design of defence capabilities.

Developed over the past 19 months, the collaborative and transnational project ideas incubated within IF CEED were presented to the audience. Their concepts address all nine areas and cover both technological and organisational aspects. Their ambition is to improve visibly the level of circularity in defence by e.g.: closing the loop of materials for green products, adopting new approaches for ecodesign, disseminating best practices for EMAS and green procurement, testing digital passports for circular management of products, elaborating on defence-specific GPP criteria, recycling/re-using/recovering high value fibers from soldier equipment.

Additionally, overarching cases have been identified, such as methodologies and tools for environmental evaluation in defence or the contribution of circularity to the European strategic autonomy: a transversal and cross-fertilising approach among the nine IF CEED Project Circles, liaising their respective experts and igniting synergies.

Way ahead: From incubation to implementation

Reflecting on the outcome of this IF CEED “Phase I”, the presentations during the conference illustrate the ongoing work translating the designed projects into actual products and initiatives.

Funding supporting the actual implementation of the project ideas so far incubated have been addressed by the European Commission’s Directorate-Generals for Environment (as to the European Union’s LIFE programme) and for Defence Industry and Space (as to the European Defence Fund).

Background

With the intervention of the Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of Spain and the collaboration of FEINDEF (International Defence and Security Exhibition), IF CEED Conference welcomed representatives from Ministries of Defence, industry, research-and-technology organisations, universities, together with key European players, as the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) with the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP), the European External Action Service (EEAS), the Aerospace, Security and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) with its Task Force Green Defence.

The concluding plenaries of the IF CEED 2nd Conference have been integrated into the official programme of the opening day of the FEINDEF Foundation’s International Defence and Security Exhibition 2023, attended by over 450 exhibitors from 20 countries and 100 foreign delegations.

FEINDEF is a reference event that encompasses the defence and security sector, to innovate, cooperate internationally and share knowledge among companies and institutions. The hosting by FEINDEF of the final stock-taking sessions of the IF CEED Conference has represented a reciprocal acknowledgement of the respective relevance of the two endeavors and highly increased the visibility of Circular Economy in European Defence.

What is IF CEED?

The Incubation Forum for Circular Economy in European Defence (IF CEED) gathers experts from 29 countries in Europe to exploit circularity principles for the defence sector by incubating concrete and transnational project ideas. Co-funded by the EU LIFE programme and the Directorate of Defence of Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, IF CEED is a programme managed by the European Defence Agency (EDA).

EDA’s activities in “Green Defence”

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

More EU cooperation needed to mitigate risks to critical maritime infrastructure

Thu, 04/05/2023 - 11:20

Critical maritime infrastructure is fundamental to the security and economic stability of the European Union. With the majority of global trade and commerce taking place via sea routes, any disruption to maritime infrastructure can have severe consequences. From underwater infrastructures attacks - such as pipelines and undersea cables - to illicit activities like terrorism, piracy, human trafficking and environmental disasters, the risks and actors involved are multiple. To effectively address the multitude of risks facing critical maritime infrastructure, EDA hosted its first ‘Critical Maritime Infrastructure Protection’ symposium on April 27 in Brussels. The seminar gathered 170 experts who discussed critical maritime infrastructure protection, from threats and vulnerabilities to military capability and governance viewpoints. 

The event was opened by EDA Deputy Chief Executive, André Denk, who underscored the importance of cooperation in addressing maritime challenges and strengthening EU maritime infrastructure. “Without integrating new technologies in defence systems; without increasing resilience, EU maritime infrastructure will continue to be vulnerable”, he said. 

Professor Christian Bueger outlined to the audience that there are six key problems in critical maritime infrastructure protection (CMIP); defence; diplomacy; maritime safety; maritime security; cyber and strategic autonomy, which each requiring dedicated solutions. In her keynote speech, Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General of the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO), highlighted how ports have become crucial energy hubs, with 40% of commodities energy sources growing with offshore and that “to protect ports, we must keep a balance between the free flow of goods and security," she said.  

Panel discussions: How to protect critical maritime infrastructure?  

Throughout the day, three successive panel discussions were held, with the first focusing on how maritime infrastructure are vulnerable to a multitude of threats, including state-actors, terrorism, piracy, natural disasters, and cyber-attacks. One of the key points made in the panel was that current threats and vulnerabilities of critical maritime infrastructures are a combination of issues stemming from the past, present and future; especially with rising threats from hybrid actors. 

The second panel focused on how, given the multitude of maritime infrastructure protection configuration mixes including public, private and military actors, can governance of critical maritime infrastructure be improved. One of the main risks identified by the panel was that European CMIP governance remains siloed between multiple maritime security actors. There was also agreement that CMIP needs to be integrated within wider maritime security policies, and a strategic focus on deterrence and prevention of threats to CMIP is needed across the EU.

The final panel discussed the military capabilities in use and under development that are required for effective CMIP. Two capabilities under development were highlighted for their potential impact in this domain; the EU funded MIRICLE project, focusing on the development of the next generation of European maritime mine countermeasures capabilities and an Italian proposal for a multinational critical seabed infrastructure protection project. Speaking on the panel, Stefano Cont, EDA Capability & Armament Director, identified EDA’s role in supporting a capability-driven approach towards technological innovation and standardisation and simplification of the civil-military procedures for maritime infrastructure and sea lines of communication. 



Next Steps

These threats underscore the need for deeper cooperation between Member States and civilian and military sectors to establish adequate measures and a coherent legislative approach to enhance the resilience of critical maritime infrastructures since maritime infrastructure crosses seas and territories

To address the challenges for maritime infrastructure protection, the symposium concluded the need for a comprehensive and integrated approach regarding threats, a joint view on underwater warfare concerning European military capabilities and the creation of pooling of maritime technology. 

The outcomes from the symposium will feed into a study commissioned by EDA on critical maritime infrastructure protection which will be published later this year.  

Background 

Panel 1: Cdr Georgios GIANNOULIS, Deputy Director of Community of Interest Vulnerabilities and Resilience at Hybrid CoE, Capt. Miguel CUARTERO LORENZO (Head of Strategic Plans Section, Spanish Navy), Cdr Michel PERTHUISOT (EEAS), Cdr João PIEDADE (Head of Innovation and Transformation, Portuguese Navy), Carl WREDE (Deputy Director DLR Institute for the Protection of Maritime Infrastructures). 

Panel 2: Dr Brendan FLYNN (National University of Ireland), Augusto FRAGOSO (Portuguese Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações), Cdr Philip von Eberhardt (CoE CSW), Christos THEOPHILOU (DG MARE), Stephen DAWE (Chairman, European Subsea Cables Association). 

Panel 3:  Stefano CONT (EDA CAP Director), Géraldine DUPIN (European Programs Director, Naval Group Belgium – MIRICLE Consortium), Capt. Hans HUYGENS, EUMS Capt. Andrea QUONDAMATTEO (Italian Navy), Nils STORKERSEN (Director of FFI). 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA-led energy forum meets to reduce defence carbon footprint

Thu, 27/04/2023 - 16:24

Around 80 experts from European ministries of defence, EU bodies, industry and academia met on 26-27 April in Crete, Greece for the second thematic workshop of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS)  to discuss how to reduce the carbon emissions of defence installations. 

CF SEDSS is part of the Agency’s efforts to help Member States and the defence sector contribute to the energy transition and develop more sustainable policies. 

Organised by the European Defence Agency (EDA) and hosted by the Hellenic Ministry of National Defence, the two-day workshop in Chania brought together experts of the CF SEDSS Working Group 1 on Energy Efficiency and Buildings Performance and Working Group 2 on Renewable Energy Sources.  

The objective was to examine the potential of renewable energy sources and building performance improvements to reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions and fossil fuel dependency. Ultimately, this should increase the defece sector’s energy efficiency and resilience. The workshop also explored how defence sector of measures - such as integration of renewable energy sources elements into structures, energy storage, nearly zero-emission buildings, smarts grids and the islanding of military installations – can contribute. 

The CF SEDSS workshop included a site visit to 115 Combat Wing Airport at Souda Bay, where a project to create a net zero carbon emissions facility has been underway since 2021. Participants visited the photovoltaic park, the energy distributing hub and other areas of interest, which helped stimulate technical discussions that followed.  

 

Beyond the national level

In his welcome speech, Col. Ilias Manolis, Head of Infrastructure and Environmental Protection Department, Hellenic Ministry of Defence (HMoD), shared his perspectives. Greece’s initiatives are based on the 2020 second revision of the HMoD’s Policy for Environmental Protection/Energy Management and Adaptation of the Armed Forces to Climate Change Impacts as well as the roadmap facilitating its implementation.  

Col. Manolis also underlined the framework for developing suitable project ideas and specifically mentioned the HMoD’s intention “to explore all possibilities so that this pilot endeavour can be further exploited and implemented, not only at a national, but also at the EU level.” 

Mr Panagiotis Kikiras, EDA Head of Unit Technology and Innovation, highlighted that the 115 Combat Wing Airport project was “one of the very first projects among the EU armed forces aiming to render military installations net zero emissions and carbon neutral using renewable energy and smart distribution.”  

Mr Kikiras also said: “Examples such as these show us that the defence is making great strides towards greener, more energy efficient and resilient defence, while contributing to the overall EU climate targets. There is still a lot of work to do, but we hope that this workshop will provide some guidance on how to decarbonise defence installations more quickly and efficiently.”  

He concluded by inviting ministries of defence to “join forces to come up with ways to ensure that military buildings and installations are healthier, greener and more resilient to extreme weather events.” 

 

EDA’s wider role 

EDA supports all EU 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 spanning 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 

More information: 
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA–U.S. Department of Defense Administrative Arrangement Signed

Wed, 26/04/2023 - 11:07

Brussels, 26 April 2023. Today, the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the Department of Defense of the United States of America (DoD) have formalised a framework for cooperation through the signing of an Administrative Arrangement (AA). The EDA-DoD AA provides for stronger transatlantic cooperation in defence in specific areas, including in the exchange of information.

The conclusion of this AA is a strong political signal, delivering on the tasking of EU and U.S. leaders in the June 2021 EU-US Summit Statement. The arrangement confirms the value of a transatlantic partnership in security and defense to confront shared security challenges, and the importance of a stronger and more capable European defence that is complementary to and interoperable with NATO.

Head of the Agency, High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell, said: “At a time when war has returned to Europe, we need to open every avenue for cooperation with our closest partners. The EDA-U.S. Administrative Arrangement provides another pillar to strengthen transatlantic cooperation and the link between the EU and the U.S. The European Defence Agency, as the hub for EU defence cooperation, plays a unique role in raising our level of defence cooperation and contributing to make the EU a stronger defence actor and partner.”

United States Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin said: “The signature of the Administrative Arrangement with EDA is evidence of the strengthening U.S.-European Union relationship.  DoD and EDA’s dedicated dialogue and engagement will further contribute to transatlantic and global security.  Russia’s aggression against Ukraine underlines the importance of strong U.S.-European ties in NATO and with the European Union. Deepening dialogue and cooperation will only strengthen this key strategic partnership moving forward.

Scope, collaboration and exchange: Progressive development of the AA

The two parties have reached an understanding on an initial scope of cooperation, which may, upon mutual consent, progressively develop in the future.

  • Forum of exchange and dialogue: The AA will enable a substantial defence dialogue on all topics within EDA’s remit, and invitations for U.S. DoD to attend relevant meetings of EDA’s Steering Board and for EDA to attend meetings convened by the U.S. DoD, as appropriate.
  • Activities of cooperation: Initial activities include consultations on the impact of EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation; military mobility; supply chain issues; and the impact of climate change on defence. It also allows for U.S. participation in the open session of the European Defence Standardisation Committee.

The AA was signed today in Brussels by Jiři Šedivý, EDA Chief Executive, and Dr. William LaPlante, United States Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.

Further Information 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Future European interoperability standards tested at table-top exercise

Wed, 12/04/2023 - 16:20

A project managed by the European Defence Agency (EDA), which aims to create a basis for a future European interoperability standard for military unmanned systems, has taken a step forward with the successful conclusion of a table-top exercise. The INTERACT (Interoperability Standards for Armed Forces Unmanned Systems) project demonstration was held over two days at the Swedish defence research centre, Totalförsvarets Forskningsinstitut (FOI). The table-top exercise marked a milestone for the project by linking the operational aspects demonstrated by simulation to the standards to be used in the frame of the NATO Architecture Framework V4.

INTERACT

The interoperability standard that is under development within INTERACT will allow unmanned assets to be deployed in flexible and varied configurations such as singular deployment, manned and unmanned teaming, hand over or autonomous swarm, and independent of organisational or national provenance. An enhanced level of interoperability will greatly increase responsiveness and flexibility and hence the warfighting capability of European armed forces.

Handover in all senses  

During the tabletop demonstration, a small simulation session with live players was used to demonstrate the operational upgrade stemming from key interoperability aspects such as the handover of unmanned systems from one control station to another, even when belonging to another entity or allied nation.

In testing the execution of a handover, the tool used (Enterprise Architect from Sparx-EA) has proven invaluable for each operational phase. This has shown the best standards to use and the missing standards to develop. These results will be highlighted in the roadmap the project is producing to fully develop a European standard for interoperable unmanned systems.

While the full development of a new standard was out of the scope of this study, this roadmap is the first step to validate a complete standard in this area. This demonstration has validated the key elements of this first step, allowing for follow-on studies.

INTERACT background

INTERACT received 1.5 million euros for a two-year study from the PADR (Preparatory Action for Defence Research)  in its  2019 call for projects. PADR is managed by the European Defence Agency, a role delegated by the European Commission.

Sweden’s FOI, the Netherlands’ Organisatie Voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek and Greece’s Institute of Communication and Computer Systems are the main beneficiaries of this project under the coordination of Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation. They are aided by the main European manufacturers of unmanned systems in the domains of air, land and sea, along with leading organisations.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA-initiated multinational fleet of tanker transport now deployable worldwide

Fri, 24/03/2023 - 15:26

The multinational fleet of Airbus A330 tanker and transport aircraft, which was developed with support from the European Defence Agency (EDA), has been cleared for operations worldwide. First proposed at a NATO summit in 2012, the initiative for a Multinational Multi Role Tanker Transport Fleet (MMF) was established by EDA along with the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation and the NATO Support and Procurement Agency.

Now with six participating countries, the fleet performs air-to-air refueling of fighter jets, can carry out medical evacuations and also transport cargo and passengers. MMF reached Initial Operational Capability on March 23 in a ceremony attended by EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, as well as the ministers and senior officials of the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Norway, Germany, Czechia and the European Commission.

Preparing for take-off: EDA’s role

EDA’s role in getting the project off the ground was crucial, by bringing together contributing Member States, motivating countries to join and negotiating the aircraft acquisition options.

To initiate MMF, EDA set up a project team to work on the harmonisation of requirements towards a future tanker capability. It helped craft the legal framework to establish the programme and smooth the way for the organisational and industrial partners that were to join. 

The Netherlands, where the NATO-owned aircraft are registered, serves as the fleet’s base. Aircraft are also stationed in Cologne, Germany. The Netherlands and Luxembourg launched the programme in July 2016. Germany and Norway joined in 2017. Belgium followed in early 2018 and Czechia joined the MMF programme in October 2019.

Seven aircraft from the fleet are in service. Two more are expected to join in 2024, with the tenth aircraft scheduled for delivery at the end of 2026. 

Flying high

At present, the fleet has already provided six million liters – or about twice the volume of an olympic-size swimming pool - of fuel to NATO allies. MMF aircraft were the first tankers to deploy over Poland in support of NATO air policing following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In total, the fleet has flown more than 500 missions, as well as supported the evacuation of civilians from Afghanistan and deployed for exercises with NATO partners such as Australia. Later this year, MMF aircraft will fly to the Middle East to support operations against ISIS.

EDA’s wider role 

EDA supports all EU 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 spanning 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

DANMARK TILSLUTTER SIG DET EUROPÆISKE FORSVARSAGENTUR

Thu, 23/03/2023 - 16:30

Bruxelles, den 23. marts 2023. I dag bliver Danmark den 27. medlemsstat i Det Europæiske Forsvarsagentur (EDA). Agenturets leder, Josep Borrell, modtog en officiel meddelelse fra fungerende forsvarsminister Troels Lund Poulsen om, at Danmark vil tilslutte sig EDA, der blev oprettet i 2004 for at støtte det europæiske forsvarssamarbejde. Beslutningen er resultatet af Danmarks historiske folkeafstemning om ophævelse af forsvarsforbeholdet i juni 2022 og følger efter afslutningen af behandlingen i Folketinget. Med Danmarks deltagelse er medlemmerne af EDA nu udvidet til at omfatte alle EU's medlemsstater.

Danmarks deltagelse i EDA er en kraftig styrkelse af det europæiske forsvarssamarbejde og giver Danmark mulighed for at deltage fuldt ud i alle agenturets projekter, aktiviteter og arbejdsgrupper.

"Vi bygger et stærkere, mere modstandsdygtigt europæisk forsvar. Danmarks medlemskab af Det Europæiske Forsvarsagentur er endnu et skridt på vejen mod et tættere forsvarssamarbejde. I juni sidste år sendte det danske folk et stærkt signal om deres engagement i europæisk sikkerhed og forsvar. Fordelene ved denne beslutning er klare. Som chef for agenturet byder jeg Danmark hjerteligt velkommen til EDA, især i en tid, hvor EU åbner nye veje for forsvarssamarbejde med fælles indkøb af ammunition, kapacitetsudvikling og innovation for fremtiden,” siger EU’s Udenrigsrepræsentant og Chef for Forsvarsagenturet Josep Borell.

”Den internationale orden er under opbrud, og demokratiske værdier er under pres. Ukraine har fortsat brug for massiv støtte fra allierede, herunder ammunition, for at kunne modstå de russiske aggressioner. En del af ammunitionen skal skaffes gennem koordination af indkøb og øget produktion i EU. Det er rigtig positivt, at vi kan være med i disse vigtige initiativer fra dansk side,” siger fungerende forsvarsminister Troels Lund Poulsen.

Jiří Šedivý , EDA's administrerende direktør, udtaler: "I dag bliver Det Europæiske Forsvarsagentur en helhed. Det glæder mig at byde Danmark velkommen som medlem af EDA efter folkeafstemningen og folketingsbeslutningen. På et tidspunkt, hvor krigen er vendt tilbage til Europa, er samarbejdet på forsvarsområdet vigtigere end nogensinde. Danmark kan nu drage fordel af EDA's ekspertise og deltage i projekter og programmer for at fremme sine ambitioner på forsvarsområdet."

VELKOMMEN TIL DET EUROPÆISKE FORSVARSAGENTUR
  • Samarbejde à la carte – Danmark og alle de andre medlemsstater kan selv hver især beslutte, hvilke af EDA's igangværende 100 projekter og programmer, de ønsker at deltage i.
  • Arbejde hos EDA – Danske statsborgere kan søge aktuelle eller fremtidige ledige stillinger hos EDA. Praktikantprogrammet for 2023 åbner for ansøgninger i april og vil også være åbent for nyuddannede med dansk statsborgerskab.
  • Danmark i EDA – Det næste forsvarsministermøde i EDA's styringskomité vil finde sted i maj i Bruxelles, og for første gang deltager 27 forsvarsministre. Repræsentanter fra Forsvarsministeriet vil fra nu af deltage i alle EDA's møder og fora.
  • Muligheder for industrien – Dansk industri vil have mulighed for at deltage i EDA's forskningsaktiviteter inden for forsvarsområdet, innovationsknudepunktet på forsvarsområdet (HEDI) og de generelle aktiviteter med inddragelse af industrien.
EDA'S ROLLE I BREDERE FORSTAND

EDA hjælper medlemsstaterne med at forbedre deres forsvarskapacitet gennem samarbejde. Forsvarsagenturet fungerer som katalysator og formidler for forsvarsministerier, der er villige til at deltage i samarbejdsbaserede kapacitetsprojekter. Agenturet er dermed blevet knudepunktet for det europæiske forsvarssamarbejde med ekspertise og netværk, der omfatter hele spektret af forsvarskapaciteter.

Medlemsstaterne anvender EDA som en mellemstatslig ekspertplatform, hvor deres samarbejdsprojekter understøttes, faciliteres og gennemføres. Få mere information her

Noter til redaktører

  1. EDA-faktablad på dansk, engelsk og andre sprog.
  2. Det Europæiske Forsvarsagentur (EDA), knudepunktet for det europæiske forsvarssamarbejde:
    1. EDA blev oprettet i 2004 for at støtte og fremme forsvarssamarbejdet i Europa og er blevet det sted, hvor lande, der ønsker at udvikle deres forsvarskapaciteter, kan gøre det i fællesskab.
    2. EDA's ekspertise og aktiviteter omfatter hele spektret af samarbejde: fra harmonisering af krav til levering af operationel kapacitet, fra forskning, teknologi og innovation til udvikling af teknologidemonstratorer, fra uddannelse og øvelser til støtte af FSFP-operationer.
    3. EDA arbejder også tæt sammen med den europæiske forsvarsindustri for at styrke det europæiske forsvars teknologiske og industrielle grundlag og bidrage til at gøre industrien stærkere og mere konkurrencedygtig.
    4. Agenturets rolle og betydning er vokset konstant, navnlig med gennemførelsen af EU's globale strategi (2016), som også førte til, at medlemsstaterne udvidede agenturets mandat i 2017.
  3. Følg #EUdefence på de sociale medier, og besøg vores websted www.eda.europa.eu.

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Denmark joins the European Defence Agency

Thu, 23/03/2023 - 16:21

Today Denmark becomes the 27th member state of the European Defence Agency (EDA). Head of the Agency, Josep Borrell, received an official notification from acting Minister of Defence, Troels Lund Poulsen, that Denmark will join EDA, which was set up in 2004 to support European defence cooperation. Following the conclusion of a Danish parliamentary process, the decision is the result of Denmark’s historic national referendum to lift its opt-out on European defence in June 2022. Danish participation in EDA broadens membership of the Agency to all EU Member States.

Denmark joining EDA is a strong boost for European defence cooperation and allows full Danish participation in all Agency projects, activities and working groups.

Head of the Agency, HR/VP, Josep Borrell said: “We are building a stronger, more capable European defence. Today, Denmark’s membership of the European Defence Agency is another step on the path to closer defence collaboration. Last June, the Danish people sent a strong message of their commitment to European security and defence. The benefits of that decision are clear. As Head of the Agency, I warmly welcome Denmark to EDA, especially at a time when the EU is opening new avenues for defence cooperation, with the joint procurement of ammunition, capability development and innovation for the future.”

Denmark’s acting Minister of Defence, Troels Lund Poulsen, said: Europe must take greater responsibility for our own security and Denmark must participate fully in the cooperation. We are now a step closer with our membership of the European Defence Agency. The Defence Agency plays a special role in supporting the member states' cooperation and we look forward to contributing to this. The international order is changing rapidly and democratic values are under pressure. Ukraine continues to need massive support from allies, including ammunition, to resist Russian aggression.”

EDA Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý said: “Today, the European Defence Agency becomes whole. I am delighted to welcome Denmark as a Member State of EDA following its referendum and parliamentary decision. At a time when war has returned to Europe, defence cooperation matters more than ever. Denmark can now benefit from EDA’s expertise and join projects and programmes to further its defence ambitions.”

WELCOME TO THE EUROPEAN DEFENCE AGENCY
  • Cooperation à la carte – Denmark, like each Member State, can decide which of EDA’s ongoing 100 projects and programmes they wish to participate in.
  • Work at EDA – Danish nationals can now apply for open and future positions at EDA. The Traineeship 2023 programme which will open for applications in April will also be open to recent graduates of Danish nationality.
  • Denmark at EDA – The next EDA Steering Board of Defence Ministers will take place in May in Brussels, which will take place for the first time with 27 Defence Ministers. Representatives from its Ministry of Defence will now participate in all EDA meetings and fora.
  • Industry avenues – Danish industry will have the possibility to take part in EDA’s defence research activities, its Hub for Defence Innovation (HEDI) and its overall industry engagement related activities.
EDA’S WIDER ROLE

EDA supports all EU 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 spanning 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

EDA brings together 18 countries for Common Procurement of Ammunition

Mon, 20/03/2023 - 16:22

Brussels, 20 March 2023. Eighteen states signed on Monday the European Defence Agency (EDA) project arrangement for the collaborative procurement of ammunition. The project opens the way for EU Member States and Norway to proceed along two paths: a two-year, fast-track procedure for 155mm artillery rounds and a seven-year project to acquire multiple ammunition types. Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden and Norway have signed. More Member States have already expressed their intent to join the initiative soon following national procedures. In full respect of sovereign national decisions and without prejudice to the specific character of the security and defence policy of any EU Member States, the project may be used to replenish Member States’ national stockpiles and/or aid Ukraine. 

The ‘Collaborative Procurement of Ammunition’ project was set up in record time by EDA to answer the call to procure ammunition collectively and more quickly by aggregating, coordinating, and agreeing contracts with the European defence industry. EDA’s project provides a solid framework for Member States’ intention to jointly procure urgently needed ammunition for Ukraine. This project sends a clear message to industry and strengthens the EU’s support for Ukraine following Russia’s war of aggression.

Common procurement is the best option to achieve cost reduction from economies of scale, while allowing Member States to purchase ammunition according to their national needs and supporting Ukraine. The arrangement, which is flexible and inclusive in nature, allows all remaining EDA Member States to join the initiative at a later stage.

Head of the Agency, HRVP, Josep Borrell said: “Today, we take a step forward. We are delivering on our promises to provide Ukraine with more artillery ammunition. With today’s signature, 18 countries have signed up to aggregate orders and place them together with the industry through the European Defence Agency. The Ukrainian authorities have been clear about their needs and this EDA project is part of the EU response. By procuring together through the EDA framework and mobilising financial support from the European Peace Facility, we will deliver to Ukraine more and faster. We are again breaking a taboo and unlocking the potential of EU cooperation in joint procurement.”

FAST TRACK PROCEDURE FOR 155mm ARTILLERY ROUNDS

In the run-up to the informal meeting of the Ministers of Defence Council, which took place in Stockholm on 7 and 8 March, Head of Agency Borrell set out three complementary tracks to deliver more artillery ammunition and to deliver it more quickly: first to help Member States in sending such ammunition from national stockpiles or from pending orders; second to aggregate demand and quickly move to 155mm collaborative procurement; and third to ramp up the manufacturing capacity of the European defence industry.

EDA’s project sets out a path to meet the second track, providing a fast-track procedure, allowing for the tendering process to be simplified and contracts put into place at short notice. Member States can be reimbursed via the European Peace Facility (EPF), the EU’s off-budget instrument in support of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).

SEVEN YEAR PROJECT ARRANGEMENT FOR MULTIPLE AMMUNITION TYPES AND CALIBRES

EDA has been working since November 2022 on three areas for common procurement: ammunition, soldier systems and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) equipment, based on the work of the Joint Defence Task Force with Member States to identify their most critical shortfalls.

The ‘Collaborative Procurement of Ammunition’ project provides a seven-year framework for Member States to commonly procure multiple types and calibres of ammunition (5.56 mm to 155 mm) to replenish national stocks.

EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý said: “This is a significant moment in the EU’s support for Ukraine, European defence cooperation and the EDA. The availability of ammunition, as well as the associated stockpiles, are a critical shortfall which affects the readiness of Member States' armed forces and their ability to fulfil their missions while, at the same time, supporting Ukraine. EDA has created a flexible and open project which allows all Member States to join should they choose and I expect additional countries to come on board within the week. Today we have a framework for delivery – it’s now up to Member States to make use of it and for industry to be able to respond”.  

EDA’S WIDER ROLE

EDA supports its 26 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  spanning 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

EU Space Strategy for Security and Defence to ensure a stronger and more resilient EU

Fri, 10/03/2023 - 15:17

Today, the Commission and the High Representative present for the first time a Joint Communication on a European Space Strategy for Security and Defence.

Space systems and services in the European Union are crucial for the functioning of our society and economy, as well as for security and defence. As such, the EU has identified space as a strategic domain. In the current geopolitical context of increasing power competition and intensification of threats, the EU is taking action to protect its space assets, defend its interests, deter hostile activities in space and strengthen its strategic posture and autonomy.

The Strategy is a direct implementation of the EU Strategic Compass adopted less than a year ago and which defined space, together with cyber and maritime, as contested strategic domains, the security of which must be ensured. It provides for a set of actions covering the following strands.

Shared understanding of space threats

The Strategy outlines the counterspace capabilities and main threats in space that put at risk space systems and their ground infrastructure, building on a common definition of the space domain. To increase the common understanding of threats across Member States, the High Representative will prepare a classified annual space threat landscape analysis at EU level, drawing on Member States´ intelligence.

Resilience and protection of space systems and services in the EU

The Strategy proposes actions to strengthen the resilience and protection of space systems and services in the EU. For this purpose, the Commission will:

  • Consider proposing an EU Space Law to provide a common framework for security, safety, and sustainability in Space, that would ensure a consistent and EU-wide approach.
  • Set up an Information Sharing and Analysis Centre (ISAC) to raise awareness and facilitate exchange of best practices among commercial and relevant public entities on resilience measures for space capabilities.
  • Launch preparatory work to ensure long-term EU autonomous access to space, addressing in particular the security and defence needs.
  • Enhance the technological sovereignty of the EU by reducing strategic dependencies and ensuring security of supply for space and defence, in close coordination with the European Defence Agency and the European Space Agency.
Responding to space threats

The strategy outlines concrete measures to mobilise relevant EU tools to respond to space threats, including to:

  • Expand the existing space threat response mechanism, which is currently used for the protection of Galileo to all space systems and services in the EU.
  • Better detect and identify space objects via access to space domain awareness information through relevant national space commands, to characterise inappropriate behaviours in orbit and protect EU assets.
  • Carry out space exercises, including with partners, to test and develop further the EU's response to space threats and explore solidarity mechanisms.
Use of space for security and defence

The Strategy proposes to maximise the use of space for security and defence purposes. The development of dual-use services requires to take into account defence requirements when preparing the evolution of the EU space programmes. The Strategy proposes to:

  • Launch two pilot projects one to test the delivery of initial space domain awareness services building upon capacities of Member States, and a second one to test a new earth observation governmental service as part of the evolution of Copernicus.
  • Better connect space, defence and security at EU level and ensure synergies and cross-fertilisation, notably in terms of research and development.
  • Propose concrete measures to foster collaborative work between space and defence start-ups
  • Enhance skills related to the development of space services for security and defence.
Partnering for responsible behaviours in space

The EU will strengthen its engagement in multilateral fora and promote norms, rules, and principles of responsible behaviours in outer space through concrete and pragmatic steps. The Strategy will deepen existing space security cooperation, in particular with the United States, and expand exchanges with other partners, including  NATO, as well as other like-minded countries.

Next Steps

The Commission and the High Representative will soon present to Member States initial steps for the way forward in implementing the strategy. The Commission and the High Representative will report to the Council on a yearly basis on the progress achieved and potential further actions.

Background                                                                             

Last year, EU leaders identified space as a strategic domain in the Strategic Compass and called for an EU Space Strategy for Security and Defence.

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