Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation en Matière d’Armement (Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation)
The OCCAr is a multi-programme organization with multiple sites all around Europe. Its headquarters are located in Bonn, Germany. Its executive administrator since 2019 is Matteo Bisceglia, an Italian Admiral, formal director of the National Armaments Directorate at the Italian Ministry of Defence. He is specialized in the procurement of vessels and sea equipment and used to work at NATO as Italian Navy Representative within the Sea Sparrow Project Office. The OCCAr is an independent organization, originated from the signature of France, Germany, Italy and the UK of the OCCAr Convention in 2001. This convention was the result of the principle of cooperation of Baden-Baden, between France and Germany. The purpose of the OCCAr is to increase the armament cooperation between nations and to reduce their costs. Belgium and Spain joined the member states in 2003 and 2005. Beside member states, OCCAr offers the status of participating states to other nations taking part to one or more OCCAr programmes. Those countries are: Finland, Lithuania, Luxembourg (represented by Belgium), the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Turkey.
The OCCAr is directed by of a Board of Supervisors, composed of the all the minister of defence of the member states. This board meets twice a year.
Main Tasks and Goals
In a more and more instable world, Europe is facing many threats and the tendency for European countries is to deploy on operations in the frame of coalition. In order to optimize national military capabilities, in terms of cost but also within multi-national coalitions, the OCCAr tends to work for a better interoperability and communality between forces. It sees its responsibilities by improving the industrial coherence of European capabilities.
Concretely, OCCAr manages European armaments programmes from national programmes to complex multinational cooperative programmes. The aim of OCCAr is to achieve the goals of European Security and Defense, by providing efficient methods and framework (legal and commercial) for an independent management in the development of new armament.
Currently, OCCAr manages 14 programmes, with a cash flow of 4 Bn€ (in 2020):
- In Bonn, Germany: the Tiger, Boxer, Cobra, Multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF), Essor and Musis ;
- In Munich, Germany: the MALE RPAS ;
- In Paris, France: the Multi Mission Frigates (FREMM), Next Generation of Surface-to-Air Anti-Missile Systems (FSAF), Maritime Mine Counter Measures (MMCM) ;
- In Toulouse, France: the A400M ;
- In Saint Nazaire, France: the LSS (Satellite Office) ;
- In Roma, Italy: the FREMM (Satellite Office), and Multipurpose Patrol Ship Programmeme (PPA) ;
- In La Spezia, Italy: the Logistic Support Ship (LSS) Programmes, and FREMM (Satellite Office) ;
- In Sevilla, Spain: the A400M (Satellite Office) ;
- In Madrid, Spain: the MMF (Satellite Office).
The experience gained in the development of one programme is capitalized. Lessons learned are taken into consideration for the development of other programmes, in order to improve the coherence of the industrial base.
The OCCAr tends to be a center of excellence for armament programme management in Europe, meaning in the development of new heavy weapons systems on a Through Life Management basis. Its goal is to be the organization of reference in this field and gather more and more European countries for a better cooperation between nations and cost efficiency for the members and participating states in the Defense sector.
The OCCAr manages 14 programmes in the fields of aviation, space, navy and ground system. It achieved to gather 12 countries, to partner the EDA (European Defense Agency) and the NSPO (NATO Support and Procurement Organization), and to work with multiple big industries such as Airbus, Naval Group or Fincantieri. Those successes allow OCCAr to win more and more recognition of the EU, matching with its ambition to be the benchmark organization in the field of armament programme management. The European Commission should conclude delegation agreements with the OCCAr in the short term.