European land sector in danger of losing key capabilities, says EDA report

Contributor:  Andrew Elwell
Posted:  03/05/2013  12:00:00 AM EST
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Tags:   eda | land | armoured vehicles

The European land industrial sector is more fragmented than the air and naval sectors and is in danger of losing key capabilities and skills in the current financial climate. That’s the conclusion of a 12 month study conducted by the European Defence Agency (EDA), which also highlighted the need to improve interoperability between member states and held that “Pooling & Sharing is more crucial than ever.”

The Future Land Systems (FLS) study explored the demand and supply side challenges in the European land defence industry, which accounts for 25% of all defence expenditure and employs 128,000 highly skilled people.

Speaking to EDA’s Chief Executive in December, Claude-France Arnould told me that the land sector is “a driver of innovation and creates spin-offs into the civil sector.” She went on to state that, “most of the troops deployed abroad are land forces, so it is really a key sector both operationally and for industry and growth.” The overall turnover of the European land defence industry is 17 billion Euros annually and it employs about 128,000 high-skilled workers.

The next step, according to the EDA, is to launch demonstrator programmes with member states and move to improve efficiencies in the supply chain. For this the SME community will be a particular focus.

The FLS report has eleven recommendations:

1) To coordinate and harmonise European Defence Technology export and import regulations.

2) To strengthen the EDA role as the coordinator for the Land System Sector.

3) To implement interoperability standards (including methods for simulation training and encryption, protocols, open architectures, etc).

4) To invest in proposed future defence technologies.

5) To perform studies and projects in the areas of new methods for funding, methods for harmonisation, qualification procedures, rationalisation of test and evaluation centres, cross recognition of certification, outsourcing of maintenance and logistics and new business models.

6) To establish new education opportunities for the defence industry workforce.

7) To study the effects of Pooling and Sharing on the industrial supply chain.

8) To perform studies and projects in the area of new Power Sources for land assets.

9) To perform studies and projects to improve War Gaming and Combat Simulations methods.

10) To perform studies and projects regarding Protection materials.

11) To perform studies and projects in the area of Electronics (including FPGA).

Andrew Elwell Contributor:   Andrew Elwell

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