In May 2007, EDA Member States endorsed the strategy to create a stronger EDTIB, focused on meeting the real operational requirements of the Armed Forces of the future, able to rapidly exploit the most promising technologies and be more competitive both in Europe and around the world. The strategy underlines that EDTIB, which EDA participating Member States aspire to have, needs to be: capability-driven, competent and globally competitive.
Commitment to the development of such an EDTIB was reaffirmed in the European Council in December 2013. The European Council stated that ‘’Europe needs a more integrated, sustainable, innovative and competitive European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) to develop and sustain defence capabilities’’. It thereby reinvigorates the call included in the 2007 EDTIB Strategy, to identify the key defence-related industrial capabilities for preservation or development in Europe.
Studies on key industrial capabilities in different industrial domains were launched starting as of 2010. The first one was the study on the situation in the aeronautics sector (Future Air systems), then studies on Ammunition and Future Land systems followed. All of them focused on describing the situation in the respective sectors, identifying main stakeholders, technologies needed to be maintained and developed and the potentially appearing technological and industrial gaps. Roadmaps and specific actions plans were delivered within the study reports, and following discussions with Member States certain actions were undertaken for implementation by the EDA and pMS in the specific Captechs.
The last of the Key Industrial capabilities study, the one on Naval industrial sector was launched at the end 2014 after the adoption of the EU Maritime Strategy (EUMSS) and the respective Action Plan. This study aimed to map European industrial and technological competences critical to the future of a strong, competent and competitive European Naval Defence Industrial and Technological Base. It covers industrial and technological competences and the recommendations encompass further actions aimed at strengthening Naval DTIB. The study was finalised in 2016 and the way ahead still needs to be defined.
With the aim to inject more industrial rationale in its Capability Development Plan (CDP) EDA conducted industrial analyses for the identified Priority Actions of the CDP (e.g. Cyber Defence, C-IED/CBRNe, Tactical drones). The main objective of the studies was to map the defence industry in those areas, their industrial capabilities, verify whether European defence industry is able to meet the needs and requirements of the EU Armed forces, whether any particular dependence exist on the suppliers from non- EU countries.
In addition, EDA conducts other analysis requested by the pMS. One of the examples is the analysis on Defence Equipment Cost Escalation phenomena which has a direct negative impact of defence capabilities in the pMS. Mitigation strategies for the defence equipment cost escalation was analysed and recommendations provided to the pMS 2017.