European armaments standardisation

31-10-2018

The standardisation of armaments has been a long-standing focus of EU efforts to enhance the Union’s military effectiveness, to improve capability development and to support the competitiveness of the European defence industry. Armaments standardisation is a process that can lead to cost savings for defence spending by injecting added-value in defence production processes and the avoidance of capability and equipment duplication. Standardisation is a method of improving interoperability within and between European armed forces and a process that can enhance the operational effectiveness of Europe’s militaries. Both the EU and NATO have taken measures over many years and decades to enhance armaments standardisation in Europe. Yet the nature of the contemporary global defence market is that many more technologies and components integrated into military systems are sourced and/or produced in the civilian sector. The line drawn between defence equipment and capabilities on the one hand, and civilian products and technologies on the other, is increasingly blurred. In this context, and in relation to recent developments on EU defence cooperation, this study analyses the standardisation approaches taken by the EU in relation to maritime information sharing and remotely piloted aircraft systems. It makes recommendations on how EU approaches to armaments standardisation can be expanded and enhanced.

The standardisation of armaments has been a long-standing focus of EU efforts to enhance the Union’s military effectiveness, to improve capability development and to support the competitiveness of the European defence industry. Armaments standardisation is a process that can lead to cost savings for defence spending by injecting added-value in defence production processes and the avoidance of capability and equipment duplication. Standardisation is a method of improving interoperability within and between European armed forces and a process that can enhance the operational effectiveness of Europe’s militaries. Both the EU and NATO have taken measures over many years and decades to enhance armaments standardisation in Europe. Yet the nature of the contemporary global defence market is that many more technologies and components integrated into military systems are sourced and/or produced in the civilian sector. The line drawn between defence equipment and capabilities on the one hand, and civilian products and technologies on the other, is increasingly blurred. In this context, and in relation to recent developments on EU defence cooperation, this study analyses the standardisation approaches taken by the EU in relation to maritime information sharing and remotely piloted aircraft systems. It makes recommendations on how EU approaches to armaments standardisation can be expanded and enhanced.

External author

Daniel FIOTT (EUISS)