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Parliamentary questions
15 July 2014
E-000698/2014
Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

The ability at strategic and operational levels to direct, collect, process and disseminate information is a major defence capability required for military operations including those undertaken under CSDP. To overcome existing gaps in this field some areas need specific attention and sustained investments.

In particular, persistent surveillance solutions are required to cover wide areas over long timescales, against a diverse set of threats in a cost effective manner. Part of this capability can be provided by Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). The spectrum of RPAS types is very broad in size, range, speed, endurance, altitude and payloads. Regarding very light RPAS, the cost of such systems makes them affordable at a national level. Many Member States have already equipped their armed forces with such systems; very often these are the result of private investments involving SMEs.

Some Member States are conducting, either nationally or collaboratively, technological demonstrations on future unmanned aerial systems. Some are at the leading edge of technology, and reinforce the strength of the European defence industrial base. On the segment of Medium Altitude and Long Endurance (MALE) RPAS, there is a recognised need to foster cooperation among the Member States. To that end, the European Defence Agency is supporting the Member States through a programme of work addressing a wide range of technological, regulatory and operational issues. The economic potential of remotely piloted aircraft systems and the related technologies for civil applications creates natural synergies between civil and military investments.

OJ C 355, 08/10/2014
Last updated: 16 July 2014Legal notice