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Updated: 2 weeks 4 days ago

Polish Secretary of State visits Agency

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 17:51

Czesław Mroczek, Secretary of State in the Polish Ministry of National Defence, visited the European Defence Agency today for discussions with Chief Executive Jorge Domecq. They exchanged views on the preparation of the European Council on defence in June 2015 as well as the cooperation between Poland and EDA.

During the meeting, Jorge Domecq confirmed his personal commitment to working closely with the Member States and thanked Poland for its involvement in some of the Agency’s flagship programmes: the Multi-Role Tanker Transport project, research on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, as well as the GovSatcom preparation phase. Poland is among others also actively involved in the Improvised Explosive Devices Detection Programme, SESAR and various industry and market related work strands. Mr Domecq and Mr Mroczek also exchanged views on support to defence industry in Central and Eastern Part of Europe and the importance of security of supply.

Jorge Domecq will visit Poland on 20 April on his series of visits to all EDA Member States.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Member States sign Helicopter Tactics Instructor Course agreement

Tue, 31/03/2015 - 17:29

Today, in a signing ceremony held as part of the EDA Steering Board, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the European Defence Agency brought into force an agreement to work together to deliver the European Helicopter Tactics Instructor Course (HTIC).  This course is designed to give selected European helicopter crews an enhanced awareness of helicopter tactics, operational employment and multi-national integration. 

At the end of the course, which is divided into three phases (ground-school, simulator and live flying), graduates will be qualified to delivering tactical instruction during home-based training; multinational courses and exercises; and on operations. They will also be capable of providing helicopter tactical advice at 1 Star level, as well as leading multi-platform complex Composite Air Operations (COMAOs).  

A proven concept

The concept of creating the HTIC was approved by the EDA Steering Board on 9 March 2011. The EDA in partnership with the UK Joint Helicopter Command and the Armed Forces of Sweden developed the concept during 2011/12 and the first course, jointly funded by Sweden and the UK was delivered at RAF Linton-on-Ouse and FMV Test Range, Vidsel in Northern Sweden in April-May 2013. The course consisted of 14 Students from Germany and Sweden and 14 instructors from the UK and received unanimous praise from all participants. 

Consequently, a year later, a second course was delivered.  Enlarged and with additional financial support from the Multinational Helicopter Initiative, the 2nd course graduated students from Austria, Czech Republic, German, Sweden and the UK.  Swedish graduates for the first course became staff instructors on the second – beginning the process of creating a self-sustaining cadre.  Nineteen students graduated from six helicopter types: Kiowa, Mi-171, CH-53, UH-1, AS330, and NH90. The course also involved eight fast-jets (Alca 159, Hawk, Gripen) from the Czech Republic, Sweden and the UK. These were used as “red air” both in the academic sorties teaching fighter evasion and also in a free role, trying to prevent the helicopters completing their “mission”.

Upcoming events

The next course, No3 HTIC, will be the first organised under the new arrangements. It will take place in August-September 2015. Once again, the simulator phase will be delivered at the EDA simulator facility at Royal Air Force Linton-on-Ouse and the flying phase will be hosted by Sweden at Vidsel.  The graduate instructors will go on to teach on future HTIC and also become mentors on the EDA Helicopter Exercise Programme.

More information

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Latest defence data published

Tue, 31/03/2015 - 10:53
The European Defence Agency (EDA) today published the aggregated defence data for 2013 of the 27 EDA participating Member States. 

2013 was no exception to the recent years’ trend across EDA Member States to cut defence spending. Despite the fact that EDA increased from 26 to 271 Member States in 2013, the total defence expenditure of its Member States decreased by EUR 1.7 billion or 0.9%, compared to 2012, to EUR 186 billion. In real terms², the total defence expenditure has been declining since 2006, dropping by over EUR 32 billion or about 15% from 2006 to 2013.

Both as a share of GDP and as a share of the total government spending, defence expenditure has decreased for the seventh year in a row to its lowest value since 2006, 1.45% and 2.97%, respectively.

Defence expenditure breakdown (billion EUR and % change on previous year)

Operation and maintenance and R&D/R&T expenditure increase slightly

In terms of the distribution of defence expenditure, there were some shifts in 2013. Personnel-related expenditure decreased by over 4%, from EUR 95.7 billion in 2012 to EUR 91.8 billion in 2013, and for the first time since 2006, its share in the total defence expenditure dropped below 50%, to 49.3%. Personnel expenditure expressed per person employed in defence (military and civilian) has been increasing since 2006 to reach its highest value of EUR 51,475 in 2011, and started to decrease the year after. It decreased further from 2012 to 2013 (-2.6%), to EUR 49,836.

With a share of 25.1% - the biggest since 2006 - operation and maintenance expenditure remained the second largest component of the total defence spending in 2013, and, despite minor annual fluctuations, it appears to be on an upward trajectory. From 2012 to 2013, it increased by EUR 2 billion or 4.4%, to EUR 46.8 billion, and almost reached its highest level of EUR 46.9 billion recorded in 2007. By contrast, defence investment, comprising equipment procurement and R&D (including R&T) expenditure, following a sharp decrease in 2011 (-10.5%), increased slightly in 2012, but decreased again in 2013 below the level it was in 2006, to EUR 37.5 billion or 20.1% of the total defence expenditure. This resulted from a decrease in one of its components - equipment procurement - which reduced by EUR 1.5 billion or 4.9%, to EUR 30 billion (16.1% of the total expenditure).

The second component - defence R&D expenditure - increased slightly to EUR 7.5 billion (4% of the total expenditure), breaking a downward trend observed since 2006 (with the exception of 2010, when it marginally increased). R&T expenditure - a subset of R&D - followed a similar path. Being on a decline since 2006 (except 2011), it increased by just over 3% from 2012 to 2013, to reach EUR 2.1 billion. In real terms, defence investment decreased by EUR 4.8 billion or 11.3% from 2006 to 2013, whereas its components – equipment procurement and R&D - decreased by EUR 1.7 billion (-5.3%) and EUR 3.1 billion (-29.1%), respectively.

Defence expenditure in current and constant1 prices (billion EUR)

Collaboration3: a sharp decrease in procurement and a marginal increase in R&T

Since 2012, it has not been possible to have a comprehensive picture of the total EDA Member States’ expenditure on collaborative (including European collaboration) defence equipment procurement and R&T projects or programmes, as several Member States were not able to provide this data. A glimpse into the partial 2012-2013 data reveals a worrisome trend, particularly for defence equipment procurement. Between 2012 and 2013, reported collaborative equipment procurement expenditure decreased by 20.7% to the lowest level since 2006 of EUR 4.75 billion. In relation to the total defence equipment procurement, collaborative expenditure accounted for 15.9%, suggesting that over 84% was spent nationally. European collaborative equipment procurement experienced an even sharper decrease of 21.6%, and in 2013, amounted to EUR 4.5 billion, accounting for 94.6% of the total collaborative equipment procurement.

The total collaborative defence R&T expenditure of the EDA Member States that provided the data also shrank, though less dramatically (-0.9%), to EUR 203 million. Its share in the total defence R&T was 9.7%, the remaining 90.3% being regarded as national expenditure. Although the reported European collaborative defence R&T expenditure increased by 21.4% between 2012 and 2013, with a total of EUR 168 million, accounting for 82.5% of the total collaborative defence R&T, it nevertheless remained record-low.


Defence expenditure and investment per military decrease despite reduced personnel numbers

2013 saw the seventh consecutive reduction in the number of personnel working in defence (both military and civilian), caused mainly by internal restructuring processes. The total personnel decreased by almost 600,000 or 24% between 2006 and 2013, while the number of military and civilian personnel decreased by over 500,000 (-26%) and almost 80,000 (-16%), respectively, during the same period.

In 2013, there was a total of 1,435,693 military and 407,245 civilian personnel in EDA Member States - a decrease of 0.9% and 3.6%, compared to 2012. A share of military in the total personnel has also been decreasing from the highest of 80.6% in 2008 and 2010 to the lowest of 77.4% in 2012. In 2013, it was 77.9%. For the first time since 2006, defence expenditure expressed per military decreased by 0.05%, from EUR 129,878 in 2012 to EUR 129,814 in 2013.

So did defence investment per military, which has been on an overall increasing trend since 2006 due to declining military personnel, rather than increasing Member States’ investment. In 2013, defence investment per military was EUR 26,122 - a 2.9% reduction on the 2012 figure of EUR 26,906.


Increasing numbers of troops available for deployment and actual deployments

Between 2012 and 2013, the average number of troops deployed outside the EU territory increased for the first time since 2008, both in absolute terms (+17.2%) and as a share of military personnel (from 3.4% to 4%). EDA Member States together deployed on average 58,086 troops on a continuous basis throughout 2013, which constituted 4% of the overall strength of their military personnel. In 2013, there was also an increase in the total number of deployable (land) forces (+7%) and that of sustainable (land) forces (+1.5%). The 27 EDA Member States had in total 481,001 deployable (the highest number since 2006) and 110,433 sustainable (land) forces. The ratio between sustainable and a pool of deployable (land) forces remained stable at 1:4.4.

Meanwhile, after a five-year-long upward trend, the costs related to deployed operations4 decreased for the second time in a row, both in absolute terms - from EUR 9 billion to EUR 7.4 billion (-17.1%) – and as a share of the total expenditure - from 4.8% to 4% - between 2012 and 2013. Operations costs per military deployed decreased by 29.3% and stood at EUR 127,989 in 2013.



The European Defence Agency (EDA) collects defence data on an annual basis. The Ministries of Defence of the Agency’s 27 Member States (MS) provide the data. EDA acts as the custodian of the data and publishes the aggregated figures in a yearly defence data booklet.


Defence investment breakdown (billion EUR and % change on previous year)

More information



1 Data does not include Denmark which is not an EDA Member State. 2006-2012 data does not include Croatia which became the 27th EDA Member State on 1 July 2013.
2 In order to measure real growth and ensure a “real” comparison between years, inflation needs to be taken into account. Thus, data from 2006 to 2012 has been inflated to 2013 economic conditions (Source of deflator: European Commission ECFIN - based on weight of EU-28).
3 All 2012 and 2013 figures on collaboration are partial, as several Member States were not able to provide data.
4 2013 figure is an estimate, as several Member States were not able to provide accurate data, therefore sound comparisons with the previous years are limited.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Workshop on European Unmanned Maritime Systems: Programme Published

Mon, 10/03/2014 - 12:26
The programme of the workshop “Exploring Safe Design and Operations for European for European Unmanned Maritime Systems is now available. 

This workshop is organised by the European Defence Agency in cooperation with the working group on Safety and Regulations for European Unmanned Maritime Systems (SARUMS) 27 March 2014 in the EDA premises in Brussels. 

The workshop will be a major forum focusing on the discussion of latest developments and on the exchange of recent experiences in the field of safety of Unmanned Maritime Systems. It will bring together end users and various stakeholders from industry, research institutes and governmental organisations.

The workshop is supported by European Defence Agency and SARUMS working group whose aim is to provide European navies with a best practice framework for the handling, operations, design and regulations of Unmanned Maritime Systems. 

More information on how to register and the draft programme can be found here

More information:

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Your Work Will Be Read

Thu, 14/11/2013 - 17:01
Sven Biscop, Director of the Europe in the World Programme at the Egmont Institute in Brussels and jury chair of EDA-Egmont PhD Prize in Security, Defence and Strategy explains here below the aim of this prize and why young academics should hurry to send in their work. Deadline for submissions is 1 December 2013.

What is the aim of the EDA-Egmont PhD Prize in Security, Defence and Strategy?

Too many not only very interesting, but also very relevant PhD dissertations, offering insights that can bring real added value to policy-making, remain under the radar screen of “Brussels”. Our aim is to link those researching European defence and those who practice it very day, to the mutual benefit of both. For as an academic myself, I can only confirm that systematic contact with policy-makers is vital to producing quality research. 

Who should participate and why?
Every academic who has recently defended a PhD and therefore has a message he/she wants to get out there! If you feel you have something to say to the Brussels crowd: do submit. 

What is your experience from last year’s first edition of the PhD Prize?
The first edition attracted a lot of really good submissions, making my work as chair of the jury very difficult, for there were several potential winners. But even those who in the end did not win the prize, now know that their work was read by the head of the EDA, the chairman of the EUMC etc., which is an achievement in itself. 

Picture: Sven Biscop and Claude-France Arnould together with the winner of the first EDA-Egmont PhD Prize, Benjamin Pohl © EDA
More information
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Workshop: Doing Business with European Security and Defence Bodies

Sun, 16/06/2013 - 10:11
On 12 June 2012, the European Defence Agency together with the Austrian Ministry of Defence and Sports and the Austrian Defence and Security Industry Association was hosting a workshop on Doing Business with European Security and Defence Bodies in Vienna.
The workshop targeting governmental and industrial representatives from Austria and the Visegrad countries brought together European customers and suppliers in the field of security and defence and provided specific guidance to industries on how to successfully engage with defence and security related entities in Europe. Speakers included the Austrian Armaments Director, LtGen Freyo Apfalter, the EDA’s Armaments Director, Giampaolo Lillo and NSPA’s Director of Procurement, Patrick Fesquet, as well as high-level representatives of the European Commission, Frontex, Athena and OCCAr.
The workshop tackled different fields of the European Security and Defence Market, including Security Research, Defence R&T, European Development Programmes and Off-the-Shelf Purchases of both goods and services, which are increasingly conducted through common or centralised procurement by or through EU bodies.
Co-organiser Karl-Heinz Dernoschegg from the Austrian Defence and Security Industry Association stated at the end of the event that this was a perfect way to bridge the gap between supply and demand in the area of defence and security. He continued by saying that his association would be happy to host events of this kind on a more regular basis and considers this a very good model for other countries and associations to follow.


Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Work on Cyber Ranges Initiated

Fri, 07/06/2013 - 14:53
On 30 May, Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Finland, and the Netherlands signed a letter of intent to work towards the Pooling & Sharing of available and future resources for cyber defence training, exercise and testing. The project, called cyber ranges, aims at maintaining and improving cyber resilience as well as the levels of awareness, insight and expertise of personnel Member States. 
By signing the letter of intent, the Member States confirmed to participate and cooperate in the development of a Common Staff Target which will for example determine the functional requirements for cyber ranges. These requirements will have to be agreed by the EDA Steering Board at a later stage. The initiative on cyber ranges has also been recommended by the recently presented EDA cyber defence landscaping study as a viable opportunity with respect to the practical implementation of Pooling and Sharing.
Cyber ranges are multipurpose environments supporting three primary process: knowledge development, assurance and dissemination. Under the Pooling & Sharing initiative, cyber ranges may consist of three complementary functionality packages: Cyber Research Range, Cyber Simulation & Test Range as well as Cyber Training & Exercise Range. 


More information:

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Workshop on Biological Threat Detection Standards

Fri, 03/05/2013 - 09:19

On 15 April the European Defence Agency organised a workshop on test and evaluation (T&E) standards for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defence (CBRN) detection under the auspices of the Irish Presidency.

Participants from national ministries of defence, industry and research organisations/universities attended the event which focused on T&E equipment standards for biological threat detection as dealt with in the EDA project T&E BIODIM.

Conclusions of the workshop are:

  • The need for standards / harmonisation and common agreed protocols/standards for Test and Evaluation of (B) detection equipment was confirmed;
  • The EDA project T&E BIODIM will form the backbone for further developments in this area;
  • Civ-Mil synergies are recognised and will be elaborated between the Agency and the European Commission under the European Framework Cooperation;
  • Recent EC workshop on Standards Mandate in JRC ISPRA confirmed high priority for test and evaluation/detection standards;
  • Common agreed EU protocols/ standards  will create a win-win situation for end-users and industry:
    • For end-users in terms of interoperability (mil-mil, civ-civ and civ-mil) and  sensor network capabilities;
    • For industry in terms of cost reduction and level playing field and clarity on parameters they are tested against.
  • “Live (= real)” agent testing for identification equipment/ procedures is needed.


More information:

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Why Another PhD Prize?

Tue, 11/12/2012 - 10:37

The European Defence Agency and the Egmont Institute have launched a PhD Prize in defence, security and strategy. Young researchers who have recently completed their PhD thesis are encouraged to participate in the competition. The award? A financial remuneration and especially the chance for the winner to present the results of his/her research during the EDA annual conference in March 2013 in front of the European defence community. Dinesh Rempling, EDA Project Officer, in charge of the Prize explains the aims and background of the Prize.

​1. Dinesh, why another PhD prize?

While PhD prizes exist across the world, they are often either linked to academic institutions or societies. Some of the prizes have an international flavour but none are specifically targeting a European audience. Filling this gap will strengthen European research in defence, security and strategy. Moreover the hope is that it will encourage a new generation of scholars to continue to push the boundaries, helping shape better and more effective European policies. 

2. Why do the Egmont Institute and the EDA cooperate? As it so happened EDA and Egmont Institute were thinking the same thing at the same time. It is the ideal complementary partnership in many ways. Being an agency under the Council framework, EDA is very close to the heart of EU decision-making. In fact EDA is run by a Steering Board consisting of Defence Ministers from twenty-six EU Member States and chaired by Baroness Catherine Ashton (Head of the Agency, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission).
Egmont Institute on the other hand is in the forefront of research in defence, security and strategy. As such it come with a pan-European network of academic excellence.
The EDA-Egmont partnership is fortunate enough to be completed by a Prize Jury of brilliant minds. All Members come with a wealth of experience, each covering a different angle of defence, security and strategy – this is what boosts the essence of the Prize. Together the Jury Members will be able to objectively evaluate the quality and impact of the candidates’ achievements.
3. Who should participate? Anybody can submit their candidacy for the Prize. The more applicants there are the merrier because the ambition is to award outstanding work and the more there is the to choose from the likelier it is that exceptional achievements surface. Some basic provisions need to be met: the need to be a national of an EDA Member State, the PhD must have been awarded by an academic institution in an EDA Member State and the thesis needs to be available in English. Other than that there are no restrictions so long the substance of the thesis addresses one or more aspects of defence, security and strategy.

The Prize itself comes with a number of perks. Apart from the prestige, there is a generous financial contribution to look forward to. Furthermore the successful candidate will speak in front of an international audience of senior decision-makers at the EDA Annual Conference on 21 March 2013. In addition the winner will be offered the opportunity to publish the key findings of the thesis in the form of a book!

More information:


Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Increasing Europe’s Strategic Tanker Capability by 2020

Wed, 28/11/2012 - 16:37
During the meeting of the EDA steering board on 19 November, defence ministers from ten European states signed a letter of intent to work together to boost their military air-to-air refuelling capacity.
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

E-Quip: Non-Commercial Electronic Market Platform

Tue, 20/11/2012 - 10:44
The European Defence Agency aims at setting-up an easy-to use and permanent military surplus equipment market platform (e-Quip) for participating Member States (pMS).
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Good Progress of EDA Pooling & Sharing Projects

Mon, 19/11/2012 - 16:32
During today’s meeting of the European Defence Agency’s Steering Board, defence ministers welcomed the progress made by the majority of Pooling & Sharing initiatives they had endorsed one year ago. 

In 2012, two exercises were held in the framework of the Helicopter Training Programme (HTP). The exercises hosted by Portugal and Belgium allowed for the training of 56 helicopter crews and over 3,000 ground personnel. During the EDA Steering Board, Defence Ministers signed a Programme Arrangement for live exercises over ten years. Initially based on delivering live exercises aiming at disseminating tactical skills, the Helicopter Training Programme now includes a synthetic simulator based training project, a helicopter tactics instructor training course, and an operational English training course.

The Maritime Surveillance (MARSUR) live network continues to extend its membership. The goals of the network are to facilitate exchange of information and to support safety and security. In October 2012, Bulgaria, Latvia and Norway joined the network which now includes 18 nations. 

The European Satellite Communications Procurement Cell (ESCPC) has moved forward as planned, with the signature of a framework contract in 2012. Five Member States participate on a pay-per-use basis of commercial satellite communications services. For the longer-term Future Military SATCOM project, decisions are required in the near future on the replacement of existing satellite networks in the 2018-25 timeframe. As the window of opportunity will close shortly, EDA stands ready to take action on P&S solutions, and is planning a high level workshop “MILSATCOM 2020” in the first half of 2013 in order to present proposals, foster common activities, and link with bi-lateral initiatives.

The Multinational Modular Medical Units (Medical Field Hospitals) attracts growing participation. Fifteen Member States have so far signed the Letter of Intent. The Common Staff Target is expected to be finalised by mid-2013. The Memorandum of Understanding and Common Requirements will follow, with the objective of procurement of assets in 2014 and Initial Operational Capability in 2015.

Air to Air Refuelling (AAR): EDA has developed a global approach with three objectives: increasing overall capacity, reducing fragmentation of the fleet, and optimising the use of assets. The Agency has started to work on short-term solutions including access to commercial AAR services and optimised use of existing assets. Longer-term actions include the acquisition of more AAR kits and increasing the strategic tanker capability in Europe by 2020. A Letter of Intent on a European Strategic Multirole Tanker Transport initiative, prepared under the lead of the Netherlands, was signed during the Steering Board.

Pilot Training has attracted significant interest. France has offered to lead on transport crew training, and Italy on fast jet training. 

Work on European Multimodal Transport Hubs has been launched through a study (the results of which will be available in March 2013). The aim is to develop a European concept to increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of Europe’s transport assets in support of military, civil and disaster relief operations. 

EDA has shaped substantive work on Smart Munitions. Possible P&S opportunities are outlined (i.e. in the areas of training and education) but no lead nation has yet been identified.

Ireland, as lead nation, has initiated work on European Naval Training with a view to inter alia improving the sharing of existing facilities and the realisation of civil/military synergies. 

Additionally, the Agency presented the successful work delivered as regards to Pooling & Sharing enablers:

Airworthiness: Member States are implementing EDA’s European Military Airworthiness Requirements (EMARs) in national law. Currently, additional EMARs for Maintenance Personnel Licensing and Airworthiness Management are being developed. A first practical example where EMARs are being applied is the A400M. 

Ammunition: EDA addresses the regulatory framework (harmonisation of qualification and certification regulations) in the field of ammunition; this will facilitate cooperation on procuring, stockpiling, exchanging or transporting all types of ammunition. 

The government to government online market place – eQuip – for redundant or surplus equipment will be launched shortly.

The first Technical Agreement on diplomatic clearance for military transport aircraft was signed during the Steering Board. The arrangement describes harmonised procedures for overflights and landings and enables Member States to operate without the need to submit diplomatic clearances requests for each flight (by using diplomatic clearance numbers valid for one year), including support to on-going operations and transportation of dangerous goods. 

The Go Green project on alternative energy sources for European army forces was launched in March 2012. Seven Member States are participating and the tender procedure has been launched. 

Pooling demand. EDA has concluded a € 228m Euro Framework Contract covering Basic Logistic Services to support the current German-led EU Battle Group.  

The EDA continues to work on the European Defence Standards Reference System for a harmonised approach to standardisation. The development of hybrid standards, with both civil and military applications, will contribute to an efficient EDTIB.

More information:

- Visit the project page of the EDA website

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Exercise Green Blade is under way

Thu, 20/09/2012 - 10:36

Around 550 personnel and 15 helicopters arrived at Kleine-Brogel Air Base on Monday 17 September to participate in the joint and combined helicopter training and Special Forces exercise Green Blade/Pegasus. Green Blade is the fifth helicopter training exercise in a row organised since 2009 by the Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP) of the European Defence Agency (EDA), while Pegasus is a biennial Belgian exercise for Special Forces. Combining both exercises into one not only offers excellent added training opportunities for both helicopter crews and Special Forces, but also has a cost-reducing effect.

By training together and exchanging ideas, the different Belgian, German and Italian helicopter crews and their support personnel develop common best practices and mutually improve their interoperability. The same goes for the participating Special Forces from Belgium, Italy and Spain. Additionally, the joint training of aircrews and Special Forces means that both groups of specialists are better prepared to work together in future operations.

On arrivals day, all personnel received a place to work and a bed to sleep, and went through a series of mandatory safety and security briefings. Safety in general and flight safety in particular are among the major concerns of the exercise direction as well as of the host nation, as was stressed once more by their representatives in their welcoming speech on the first evening.

The first week of the exercise is fully dedicated to what is called Combat Enhancement Training/Force Integration Training (CET/FIT) in military terminology. In short, it is a phase preceding the actual exercise during which the participants familiarise themselves with the exercise area and the equipment and procedures of their colleagues.

Tuesday 18 September was mainly spent on familiarisation briefings and flights. Members of the participating Special Forces became acquainted with the general characteristics and performances of the different types of helicopters present as well as with the procedures for safe boarding and disembarking. Belgian helicopter crews showed their German and Italian colleagues around in the area of operations for Exercise Green Blade/Pegasus during a pinpoint navigation over the provinces of Antwerp, Liège, Limburg and Namur. During these flights, Belgian pilots made their guests familiar not only with the local landscape and its landmarks, but also with particularities of the Belgian airspace, local flight rules and exercise specific operating procedures.

The images and the video below show the arrival of the helicopters, and the initial familiarization flights. More updates from the exercise will be posted throughout the next fortnight.

To learn more about Exercise Green Blade, see the press release here.


Categories: Defence`s Feeds

European Defence Agency calls for concerted action for future air systems

Mon, 17/09/2012 - 12:44

Claude-France Arnould, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA), today highlighted the need for urgent action on European cooperation in the area of future air systems (FAS) during a conference at ILA Berlin.

The Agency is already supporting a wide range of projects in the air domain fostering cooperation among Member States. However, new results from a recent EDA study suggest that while the air defense industry is still healthy, important industrial capabilities are eroding. Without additional concerted action, the situation will soon become critical, for example for the development of future combat aircraft (manned and unmanned) and attack helicopters.

Military aviation is paramount in enabling EU Member States to meet their national security and defence requirements. Additionally, the industry has long been a driver for innovation, producing cutting edge technology that contributes to wider economic growth in Europe. Around 200,000 people in high-tech jobs are currently directly employed in the sector. It comprises important system integrators and a dynamic and innovative supply chain rich in SMEs. The industry generates an annual turnover of approximately 45 billion euro[1]. This technically advanced sector is a key supporting component of strong European military capabilities. Recent EDA-sponsored work has shown that Europe risks losing significant industrial know-how between now and 2020. This includes the ability to produce advanced combat aircraft. Moreover, Europe risks falling significantly behind the global competition in UAS capabilities.

“Europe has successfully managed to join forces in two fields closely related to military aviation: space and civil aviation. If we want a similarly strong and independent aeronautics defence sector, we have to set the course now”, said Claude-France Arnould during the EDA Future Air Systems Conference at ILA Berlin.

EDA: Fostering aerial cooperation

With budgets under pressure and joint operations more and more common, the EDA is playing a key role in pooling and sharing vital defence capabilities in Europe. Notably in the area of air operations, a number of successful projects are being conducted:

  • EDA’s air-to-air refuelling initiative is supporting Member States in developing interoperable European solutions to overcome current shortfalls, and propose options for future requirements in this respect.
  • Bringing together air crews from across Europe to train and qualify together in airlift disciplines is the aim of the European air transport training. The first training event was held successfully in Zaragoza, Spain in June this year. More exercises will follow in 2013.
  • To date, military airworthiness activities have been conducted and regulated on a national basis. This generates many problems in multinational programmes and is a primary cause for delay and additional cost. The EDA is a key actor in working towards an EU-wide harmonisation and unification strategy on military airworthiness which will make the process more efficient and will help to reduce costs.
  • The EDA’s Helicopter Training Programme provides a framework to Member States to allow them to develop, consolidate and share best practices to meet the challenges of flying helicopters in the modern operational environment. EDA has to date delivered four exercises: one in Gap, France, one in Logrono, Spain, one in Viterbo, Italy and one near Porto, Portugal. A fifth one, Green Blade 2012, will be held in Belgium at the end of September. These exercises have met an urgent training requirement for the participating Member States, greatly enhancing the helicopter capacity available. They are complemented by the EDA’s three-week Helicopter Tactics Course, ten being held in 2012.
  • The Agency has worked on Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) issues since its inception, and in 2007 it received an explicit directive from European defence ministers to examine the challenges to UAS air traffic insertion. Apart from facilitating concrete projects (e.g. Midair Collision Avoidance project (MIDCAS)) and funding studies (e.g. Study on military spectrum requirements for the insertion of UAS into general air traffic (SIGAT)), the EDA cooperates with European and international organisations to move forward technical, regulatory and standardisation issues.

“FAS4Europe” study: how to safeguard the future of the military aviation industry

Almost 30 industrial entities, representing a significant proportion of Europe’s military aviation industry, were involved in the twelve month FAS4Europe study under the leadership of Saab AB. Its aim was to analyse the current state of the European air defence industry, to identify the sector’s strengths and weaknesses and to provide a roadmap and implementation plan.

The main result of the study is that the European military aeronautical industry is now losing capabilities. The situation for future air systems is severe, with some important industrial capabilities and technologies already at risk. The study highlights that an opportunity exists to break the current trend of erosion. However, it requires the launch of actions based on a common and coordinated plan.

The EDA study thus sets out a roadmap of projects and demonstrator programmes. This roadmap includes proposals to work on:

  • Technologies for advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance UAS;
  • Increasing air system survivability against future threats (rotary and fixed wing); and,

  • Improving the lifecycle affordability of military aircraft (rotary and fixed wing).

Additionally, the study highlights the potential to link civil-military research and development to exploit synergies within the civil aerospace market. Finally, it strongly suggests co-operative European aerospace development programmes to avoid further fragmentation.

Agency position

The EDA will address the issue of a common European approach with stakeholders and will raise it at Board level. “What is in question today is Europe’s future ability to design and develop advanced new military aircraft. The Agency aims to make a strong case for strategic European cooperation for future air systems”, concluded Claude-France Arnould in Berlin.

Image credits: EADS/Cassidian

[1] ASD, Facts and Figures, 2010

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

New report highlights importance of defence cooperation

Mon, 30/07/2012 - 13:54
A new report from the European Economic and Social Committee has called for closer European defence cooperation, calling the arguments in its favour "overwhelming", and asking for a “radical” change of mindset.
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

D-FUSE workshop

Wed, 04/04/2012 - 17:00

The consortium in charge of D-FUSE (Data Fusion in Urban Sensor Networks) organised a dissemination workshop on 6-7 March 2012, at Delft, in the Netherlands. This event was be based on demonstrations to illustrate the innovations achieved during the first two years of the project.

The details of the programme may be found here. Posters are available here:

D-FUSE is an R&T Project contracted by the EDA on behalf of Member States contributing to the Joint Investment Program on Force Protection.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Carlo Magrassi's speech at Defensys

Fri, 29/10/2010 - 10:24
On 29 October, Carlo Magrassi, EDA's Deputy Chief Executive Strategies, delivered a speech at Defensys'10.
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EDA holds a Biological Equipment Development and Enhancement Programme symposium in Paris

Mon, 10/05/2010 - 00:00
EDA held a Biological Equipment Development and Enhancement Programme symposium, hosted by the French Ministry of Defence, from 10 – 11 May 2010 in the Military School, Paris, France.
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Wise Pen Team report on Maritime Surveillance (MARSUR)

Mon, 26/04/2010 - 00:00
Wise Pen Team report on Maritime Surveillance (MARSUR)
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Alexander Weis delivered a speech at the “Défense et Stratégie” Conference on “L’Europe puissance navale”

Wed, 16/12/2009 - 00:00
EDA’s Chief Executive, Alexander Weis, delivered a speech at the “Défense et Stratégie” Conference on “L’Europe puissance navale”. During the third roundtable, dedicated to a powerful industry as a condition for a European naval power, Alexander Weis has expressed EDA’s views on the naval European Defence Technological and Industrial Base, underlining the efforts needed in this domain.
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