EDA calls for concerted action for future air systems
Claude-France Arnould, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA), today highlighted the need for urgent action on European cooperation in the area of future air systems (FAS) during a conference at ILA Berlin.
Recent EDA-sponsored work has shown that Europe risks losing significant industrial know-how between now and 2020. This includes the ability to produce advanced combat aircraft. Moreover, Europe risks falling significantly behind the global competition in UAS capabilities.
Almost 30 industrial entities, representing a significant proportion of Europe’s military aviation industry, were involved in the twelve month FAS4Europe study under the leadership of Saab.
The main result of the study is that the European military aeronautical industry is now losing capabilities. The situation for future air systems is severe, with some important industrial capabilities and technologies already at risk.
The study highlights that an opportunity exists to break the current trend of erosion. However, it requires the launch of actions based on a common and coordinated plan. The EDA study thus sets out a roadmap of projects and demonstrator programmes. This roadmap includes proposals to work on:
# Technologies for advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance UAS
# Increasing air system survivability against future threats (rotary and fixed wing); and,
# Improving the lifecycle affordability of military aircraft (rotary and fixed wing).
Additionally, the study highlights the potential to link civil-military research and development to exploit synergies within the civil aerospace market. Finally, it strongly suggests co-operative European aerospace development programmes to avoid further fragmentation.
The EDA will address the issue of a common European approach with stakeholders and will raise it at Board level. “What is in question today is Europe’s future ability to design and develop advanced new military aircraft. The Agency aims to make a strong case for strategic European cooperation for future air systems”, concluded Claude-France Arnould in Berlin.