European defence industry needs to increase its capacity in medium and long-term

Source: Aerospace, Security and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD), Defence Industry Europe

On 23 March, EU Heads of State and Government held a meeting of the European Council in Brussels. Among others, they discussed an agreement reached earlier this week in the Foreign Affairs Council to urgently deliver ground-to-ground and artillery ammunition to Ukraine and, if requested, missiles, including through joint procurement and the mobilisation of appropriate funding, aiming at providing 1 million rounds of artillery ammunition in a joint effort within the next twelve months.

In their conclusions, the EU leaders welcomed the agreement in the Council, underlining that the EU will continue to provide strong political, economic, military, financial and humanitarian support to Ukraine and its people for as long as it takes. The Council also invited the Commission to present concrete proposals to urgently support the ramp-up of manufacturing capacities of the European defence industry.

“The measures announced by the FAC earlier this week and endorsed by the heads of state and government at the European Council today, lay the appropriate foundation to increase and accelerate production of ammunition for short-term delivery to the Ukraine and for replenishment of ammunition stocks of EU member states. The plan provides a framework for concerted action needed, and the European defence industry stands ready to play its role in that endeavour”, said Jan Pie, Secretary General of the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD).

“At the same time, this plan could be a stepping stone towards further strengthening Europe’s overall defence capabilities in the medium and long-term. The challenge is to not only ramp up production to satisfy an immediate peak of demand, but also to enhance industrial preparedness for possible future crises. After decades of peacetime planning, reflected in shrinking national defence budgets and order volumes, visibility and certainty around longer term requirements are crucial for European defence companies – particularly the thousands of SMEs in the supply chain – to scale up production volumes for defence equipment in an economically sustainable way. We call on political leaders from the EU and Member States to provide such certainties and implement complementary supporting measures – including guaranteeing reliable access to finance – to allow the European defence industry to grow its capabilities in order to fulfil its role in strengthening Europe’s defence in a new security environment,” he commented.



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