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Work on Cyber Ranges Initiated

EDA News - Fri, 06/07/2013 - 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:

Workshop on Biological Threat Detection Standards

EDA News - Fri, 05/03/2013 - 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:

EDA Annual Conference 2013

EDA News - Wed, 01/30/2013 - 10:41
EDA Annual Conference 2013

Italian Minister of Defence Visits EDA

EDA News - Tue, 01/22/2013 - 15:51

The Italian Minister of Defence, Giampaolo di Paola, visited the Agency on 21 January 2013. Minister Di Paola and EDA Chief Executive, Claude-France Arnould, discussed priorities in Italy’s involvement in current and possible future EDA Pooling & Sharing initiatives as well as the development of a more systematic approach to Pooling & Sharing. Minister di Paolo later received specific briefings on EDA initiatives in the areas of air-to-air refueling, medical field hospitals as well as military airworthiness. 

More information:

  • Find more information on Italy's participation in EDA projects here (select country in the search)

Why Another PhD Prize?

EDA News - Tue, 12/11/2012 - 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:


Increasing Europe’s Strategic Tanker Capability by 2020

EDA News - Wed, 11/28/2012 - 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.

Outcome of the EDA's steering board meeting

EDA News - Tue, 11/20/2012 - 15:22


Ministers of Defence met on 19 November 2012 in the composition of the European Defence Agency (EDA) steering board, under the chairmanship of Catherine Ashton as the Head of the Agency.

Ministers took note of the significant progress of pooling and sharing initiatives such as air-to-air refuelling, maritime surveillance, the European SATCOM procurement cell and medical support. Additionally, Ministers endorsed the EDA's proposal of additional pooling and sharing opportunities in the areas of cyber defence, route clearance CIED, NH90, air transport, and maritime landscaping. They also adopted the Agency's voluntary code of conduct on pooling and sharing aiming at supporting cooperative efforts of EU Member States to develop defence capabilities.

Additionally, ministers welcomed the Agency's work in support of national defence ministries vis-à-vis the development of EU policies in industry and market, research and innovation, European space policy, cyber security and defence, SESAR, radio spectrum and maritime security.

E-Quip: Non-Commercial Electronic Market Platform

EDA News - Tue, 11/20/2012 - 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).

Good Progress of EDA Pooling & Sharing Projects

EDA News - Mon, 11/19/2012 - 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

Call for Submissions: EDA-Egmont PhD Prize

EDA News - Mon, 11/05/2012 - 15:21

The European Defence Agency (EDA) in partnership with Egmont Institute has the pleasure of inviting the best and the brightest of European academic scholars to submit their candidacy for the EDA-Egmont PhD Prize in Defence, Security and Strategy.
If you have been awarded a PhD in the last academic year (1 September 2011 to 31 August 2012) and feel your findings stand out in terms of quality, innovation and impact on future EU policy, then you are what we are looking for.

You need to be a citizen of an EDA Member State (all EU Member States except Denmark). You will need to have been awarded the PhD by an academic institution in an EDA Member State. You will need to be available to deliver an intervention at EDA’s Annual Conference scheduled for 21 March 2013 in Brussels.

Does this sound interesting? If so, please consult the attached documents for full details on eligibility and award criteria as well as for the practicalities on how to submit your candidacy.
Deadline for receiving submissions is 1 January 2013. The Award notice will be published on 22 February 2013.
We look forward to receiving your submission!

EDA-EGMONT PhD Prize - Call for Submissions FINAL 2

EDA-EGMONT PhD Prize - Submission Form FINAL

Exercise Green Blade is under way

EDA News - Thu, 09/20/2012 - 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.


European Defence Agency calls for concerted action for future air systems

EDA News - Mon, 09/17/2012 - 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

New report highlights importance of defence cooperation

EDA News - Mon, 07/30/2012 - 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.

D-FUSE workshop

EDA News - 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.

Successful completion of first European Personnel Recovery Course in Sweden

EDA News - Fri, 03/18/2011 - 10:37

The Swedish Armed Forces invited EDA participating Member States as well as other countries to the first European Personnel Recovery Operations and Plans Course in Karlsborg, 7-18 March 2011. Course participants came from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Sweden. In addition to the Swedish instructors, Canada, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States additionally sent observers and instructors to Karlsborg.

The intensive two-week course aimed at enabling participants to prepare, plan and execute Personnel Recovery Operations. “This course is indeed very helpful for our operational planning. The instructors are very experienced and motivated”, said course participant First Lieutenant Jos Tijs from the Royal Netherlands Navy.

Major Tor Cavalli-Björkman, a Swedish Instructor, is convinced: “We all benefit tremendously from this international information exchange. I would like to stress that this initiative will increase the number of trained personnel available to support on-going operations as well as EU Battle Group.”

The initiative to standardise Personnel Recovery training emerged from the Project Team Personnel Recovery in the European Defence Agency (EDA) at the end of November 2010. Jon Mullin, Capabilities Director at EDA, stated: “I am most grateful that Sweden agreed to offer the first EU opportunity of this kind and hosted it so successfully at its Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) School. This initiative will significantly boost Personnel Recovery capabilities in Europe.”

A Belgian officer said “The course could not come at a better time, given the obvious requirements we have witnessed in the press regarding the events in North Africa during the past few weeks.”

Personnel Recovery is aimed at mitigating and reacting to the risk of isolation, capture and exploitation of military or civilian personnel during a Crisis Management Operation (CMO). The Personnel Recovery Course, envisaged to be held regularly by various host nations, is one of several results of the respective Project Team at EDA. Other initiatives include a Personnel Recovery Concept, a personnel registration tool and the preparation of joint procurement of Personnel Recovery Equipment in the future.

The European Defence Agency was established in 2004 to support the participating Member States and the Council in their effort to improve European defence capabilities in the field of crisis management and to sustain the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) as well as pooling efforts and resources in the development of transformed, interoperable and cost-effective armed forces.

Visit of Mr. William J. Lynn, the US Deputy Secretary of Defense, to EDA

EDA News - Tue, 01/25/2011 - 18:45

Mr. William J. Lynn, the US Deputy Secretary of Defense, with Ms. Claude-France Arnould, EDA's Chief Executive, upon arrival, at the Agency.


Mr. Lynn (below, on the right), and Mr. William E. Kennard, the U.S. Ambassador to the EU (at his side), meeting the European Defence Agency Management Board.


Visit of the EU Military Committee to EDA

EDA News - Tue, 01/25/2011 - 14:48
Visit of the EU Military Committee to EDA

Carlo Magrassi's speech at Defensys

EDA News - Fri, 10/29/2010 - 10:24
On 29 October, Carlo Magrassi, EDA's Deputy Chief Executive Strategies, delivered a speech at Defensys'10.

Keynote Address by Adam Sowa at ACT Industry Day, 5-6 October, Prague

EDA News - Wed, 10/06/2010 - 14:41
Keynote Address by Adam Sowa, Deputy Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency, at the ACT Industry Day, 5-6 October, Prague.

EDA holds a Biological Equipment Development and Enhancement Programme symposium in Paris

EDA News - Mon, 05/10/2010 - 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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