The European Defence Agency (EDA) has revealed prioritised actions to enable more cohesive, effective and stronger European land defence capabilities by 2035, based on the findings of the Future Land Systems (FLS) study report.
Conducted by a BAE Systems-managed consortium of 17 European defence companies in five work packages (WP), the 12-month study has enabled EDA to identify three distinct areas for prioritised common actions.
The areas include launch of European demonstrator programmes, focus on key enabling technologies and those of dual nature, as well as additional activities to support and strengthen the land-related European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB).
The study concluded that the European land industrial sector was more fragmented and less consolidated when compared with air and naval sectors, which could risk Europe on losing critical capabilities, skills and know-how.
A methodology based approach was used by the study to analyse all available information on member states' future military capability requirements, in parallel with a comprehensive stocktaking of global land-related Defence Technological and Industrial Base.
The approach helped to deliver guidelines and implementation plan with short, mid and long-term actions to help EDTIB mitigate the identified shortcomings.
European Defence Agency chief executive Claude-France Arnould said: "The land defence industry is not only vital for ensuring key capabilities, but also for growth and competitiveness in Europe."
Requirement for interoperability improvement between member states' armed forces was highlighted by the study, which also recommended better cooperation, including pooling and sharing among EU countries.
The next steps proposed by EDA for development of an effective action plan include enhancing efficiency of the land-related supply chain with a special focus on small medium enterprises (SME), and undertaking actions to alleviate the risk of losing critical skills and know-how using wider EU policies.
Other members include Cassidian, Diehl BGT Systems, Expal, General Dynamics European Land Systems, IVECO Defence Vehicles, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, Marshall Land Systems, MBDA, Thales, Safran, Saab, Rheinmetall Defence, Patria, OTO Melara, Nexter and Navantia.
Image: The FLS study serves as baseline to help land related EDTIB meet future military capability requirements. Photo: © 2005-2012 European Defence Agency.