In 2022, the European Defense Association (EDA) managed 97 ad hoc cooperative projects and programs in the areas of skills development, training, joint procurement, and research and technology and innovation. The projects totaled €672 million.
As part of the publication of the 2022 Annual Report, the agency identifies three key areas of work. Listed is collaboration on analysis regarding defense investment gaps, coordination of the annual defense report (CARD), and management of various military projects. In addition, the EDA assisted in the establishment of the Defense Joint Procurement Task Force. Said task force supports the member states of the European Union in short-term procurement projects. This would apply in particular to replenishment of stocks following support deliveries to Ukraine.
Second CARD cycle completed
In 2022, the EDA completed the second cycle of the Coordinated Annual Defense Review (CARD). Between December 2021 and April 2022, the EDA consulted with member states and evaluated data to identify specific opportunities for capability development and technology development. The result of this effort is 41 opportunities for collaboration on capability development and 42 on research and technology. It also contributes to the six priority areas already fixed in the 2020 CARD report.
A colorful potpourri
In addition to the requirements analysis, EDA 2022 acted as an organizer of various military projects within the EU. Among others, efforts in the field of air mobility should be mentioned here. Here, the focus in 2022 was on implementing regulations for monitoring the movements of combat aircraft, rotorcraft and other specialized platforms. EVA helped develop common requirements for both Strategic Air Transport Outsized Cargo’ (SATOC) and Future Mid-size Tactical Transport (FMTC). In addition, EVA is also exploring with member nations opportunities to develop such activities in the area of multi-role helicopters.
In addition, it excelled in maritime surveillance. The Maritime Surveillance Program (MARSUR) is one of EVA’s longest-lived projects. It contributes to facilitating the exchange of operational maritime information and services such as ship positions, tracks, identification data, chats or images. Currently, it is in its third phase. In particular, the focus is on communication capabilities with other maritime security systems.
Gerd Schwiedessen, EVA’s aviation project manager, sees the projects as an important contribution to the European Union’s air sovereignty. “These systems will form fleets that will give strategic autonomy to the air mobility of member states, ensuring the mobility of member states while promoting the European defense industry.” After years of preparation, the two projects, SATOC and FMTC, are now about to take off, Schwiedessen continues.