The Defence Test and Evaluation Base (DTEB) is more than a database. DTEB is rather a strategic program for the creation of a European network of defence technology centres. The now established database system “DTEB Database” represents the major tool for supporting the creation of a network of European agencies.
The DTEB project can now look back on a long history. Since the 1990s efforts have been made on a European level to make access to defence technology and defence research agencies more efficient not only for one's own country, but also for other European nations. These agencies, which will be called Test and Evaluation Centres (TEC) below, were already supposed to be included in a catalogue within the context of the Western European Armaments Group (WEAG). The Sub Group on Test Facilities (SGTF) compiled the "WEAG Test Centre Catalogue” which, however, could not be further pursued due to the dissolution of the WEAG – SGTF.
In the eyes of the EDA, the great and steadily increasing number of cooperation in the field of Test and Evaluation (T&E) and the demand for a preservation of European evaluation capabilities with regard to T&E confirmed the ongoing demand for a support tool as it had already existed in the WEAG. Thanks to the international support in the DTEB Plenary group , more specified demands led to the design of the "DTEB Database" and to a great opportunity achieve progress in a DTEB Development Plan.
EDA Member States approved a 10-year Defence Test and Evaluation Base (DTEB) Strategy (2015-2025). Such strategy is based on five contributing phases, which started or will start in sequence, then will be developed in parallel until the end of the reference period:
- Phase 1: Support T&E collaboration under the umbrella of DTEB and increase the number of multilateral European collaborations (started in 2015). In the context of the DTEB initiative, domain-specific subgroups have been created (Land, Air, Maritime, etc.). The scope of these subgroups is to identify needs for standardisation, as well as cooperation projects related to T&E, in their respective fields.
- Phase 2: Collect more information about Defence T&E Capabilities in Europe (started in 2016). This collection will be performed using the tool of DTEB database. Traditionally reserved to governmental use, the DTEB will be also opened to industrial and academic users.
- Phase 3: Develop a Gap Analysis mechanism based on a case study (started in 2017). Such mechanism has been already developed and it will be constantly updated and refined.
- Phase 4: Apply the Gap Analysis Mechanism to all EDA projects and activities (started in 2018). A comprehensive analysis of capability gaps in the T&E domain - focused on 2018 Capability Development Plan (CDP) priorities - is currently under way.
- Phase 5: Develop and apply smart EU T&E Capability investment mechanisms, where required (due to start in 2020). Starting from the results of the T&E Gap analysis studies conducted under Phase 4, the DTEB group will identify cooperation projects and their investment needs with the most appropriate national and European funds for the acquisition and sharing of new capabilities.