News Feed nº5
Substantial reduction in the European defence budget
In 2018 the European Union planned to increase the share of its security and defense spendings to 2,1% of its total financial budget for the period 2021 – 2027. The defense fund alone should have increased from 575 Million € to 11,5 Billion €. The EU financial framework including that increase was proposed in 2018 and was renegotiated during the past days. In total the European Union agreed on a smaller budget of 1.074 Billion € against 1.135 Billion € projected in 2018. Moreover, the detailed financial framework published on 21st July 2020 includes the following implications:
The planned share of 2,1% of the total budget for category 5 spendings (security and defence) nearly halved to a share of 1,2 %. The European Defence Fund (EDF) shrinks from projected 11,5 Billion € to 7,01 Billion €. The budget generally increased compared to past spendings. Nevertheless, due to the Covid-19 crisis, the planned defence spendings for 2021-2027 were corrected down. A decision about the financial frame is yet to be confirmed by the EU parliament.
First deliveries for the MRTT aircraft program
On June 30th, the first MRTT (Multi-Role Tanker Transport) aircraft has been delivered in Eindhoven, for the profit of the MMU (Multinational MultiRole Tanker Transport Unit). This unit, managed by NATO with a strong support from OCCAR, is based on a pooling and sharing concept. Its 6 participating countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway and the Netherlands) will have access to 8 A-330 based MRTT for strategic transport, air-to-air refueling and medical evacuation capabilities. Each country owns one or several aircrafts, but cost and personnel are split based on the flight hours registered by each countries accordingly to the ATARES agreement.
Initiated by the European Defense Agency in 2011, managed by NATO Support and Procurement Agency and supported by OCCAR for the acquisition phase, the program is underlined as an example of EU/NATO cooperation for developing capabilities.
Highlight on the Baltic Air Policing, taken by France since May 2020
The Baltic Air policing is a mission conducted by NATO to ensure the airspace security of the three Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Since May 2020, France takes part in the Air Policing missions of the Baltic States, together with the United Kingdom and Spain. With a rotation of “hot” weeks with operational alert duties, and “cold” weeks for training and exercising, this helps to maintain interoperability between the allies.
The duration of this deployment is 3 to 4 months.
Italy’s engagement in development of the Tempest Program
On the 7th July of 2020, the Italian Undersecretary of Defense Angelo Tofalo and his English counterpart Jeremy Quin have signed an agreement to develop the future fighter aircraft project Tempest. The Tempest program has been created in 2019 by a mutual agreement between United Kingdom, Italy and Sweden, where BAE System, Rolls Royce, Leonardo S. p. A and MBDA industries are to participate. The Tempest program has the objective to develop the sixth-generation air combat technologies and replace the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft in 2035. Although the Tempest program will be in competition with the Franco-German aircraft project FCAS (Future Combat Air System), the Italian government wishes that the two programs converge in a unique project to develop the sixth-generation air combat technologies.
First meeting after COVID 19 crises between the Italian and French defense minister in Rome
The Italian defense minister Lorenzo Guerini has welcomed in Rome his counterpart Florence Parly. During their meeting, they have discussed about the following topics:
- – They agreed that the budget for the European defense (European Defense Fund) suggested by the European Commission is too low since it will not cover the defense industry sector weakened by Covid 19 crises (8 billions instead of 13 billions as it was negotiated in 2018).
- – Guerini has congratulated the cooperation between the Italian company Fincantieri and the French company Naval Group. He has encouraged other companies to follow this exemple in spatial and anti-missile defense system fields.
- – Speaking about the Operation IRINI, developed by the EU to enforce the UN arms Embargo in Libya, Guerini has promised to send 500 soldiers, 1 naval unit and 3 air forces to maintain for the operation.
France thanks European partners during National Day for Covid19 support
July 14th is France’s National Day and commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison during the French Revolution. The military parade is the occasion for the French Nation to celebrate and thank its armies, and exceptionally this year, its medical staff and their commitment in the COVID-19 crisis.
It has also been an opportunity to thank Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria and German for their concrete support in the COVID-19 French patients care. For that purpose, military units from each country marched in the parade, and an German A400M aircraft flew with the aerial parade.
As 2020 is also the 80th birthday of the June 18th, 1940 call from General de Gaulle to France to continue fighting in World War II, British Eurofighters also joined the aerial parade for that occasion.