Capability development starts with harmonising military requirements. This is essential to prevent fragmentation of demand, which ultimately leads to national capabilities lacking interoperability and standardisation – so hardly needed for today’s and tomorrow’s multinational operations. Harmonisation of military requirements is the core business of EDA’s Capability Directorate.
But three other functional areas are indispensable for delivering capabilities: Research & Technology, Armaments Co-operation and Industry and Market. Science and new technologies can offer great scope for improving military capabilities, also to address technological challenges posed by adversaries. Promoting more collaborative R&T is a key activity of the Agency, for which it has an R&T Directorate.
Once military requirements have been harmonised and, in applicable cases, R&T results have taken on board, the preparation phase of Armaments Co-operation starts. This leads to an Armaments Cooperation programme of industrial development and procurement, to be conducted outside EDA but with Agency to monitor in order to guarantee the capability-driven approach throughout the remainder of the process. The EDA Armaments Directorate plays the central role in conducting these programme preparation phases.
Finally, without industrial supply there would be no equipment and other material, needed to carry out operations. Industry needs to be capability-driven. At the same time industrial-technological capacities will impact capability needs, which is very welcome as long as they fit in the CSDP context. Strengthening a capability-driven, competent and competitive European Defence Technological and Industrial Base as well as promoting a more transparent and competitive European Defence Equipment Market is the central task of the EDA Industry and Market Directorate.
….Integrated and coherently together
It is crucial that these four functions are treated together in a coherent way. Research & Technology has to support capability development. Armaments cooperation should focus on collaborative programmes, delivering equipment faster and more cost-effectively. Industry must produce what the military need tomorrow, not what was needed in the past. By working in integrated teams EDA breaks with the stove-piped approaches, which dominated the past. In essence this is the unique way of working of EDA: the integrated approach.