On 28 June the Steering Board of the European Defence Agency (EDA) approved the EU Capability Development Priorities as contained in the Capability Development Plan (CDP). The plan provides a full capability picture, supporting decision-making processes at EU and national level regarding military capability development and thus contributing to increased coherence in defence planning. It addresses security and defence challenges from the perspective of European capability development, looks at the future operational environment and defines EU Capability Development Priorities agreed by Member States.
“Since 2016, the European defence project has picked up speed. Based on the 2016 EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, several initiatives have been launched to reinforce defence cooperation: the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), and the European Defence Fund (EDF). Today’s adopted EU Capability Development Priorities serve as their benchmark to ensure that their combined outcome will be a more coherent set of deployable, interoperable, sustainable capabilities and forces,” explained EDA Chief Executive, Jorge Domecq.
The 2018 CDP is output oriented, taking hybrid threats into account, and will be further reinforced by the development of Strategic Context Cases later in the year. Subsequently, the CARD will help place the CDP in context by reviewing the CDP and identifying additional opportunities for cooperation. Finally, the coherence between the capability, research and technology and the industrial domains will be reinforced by a series of collaborative initiatives that include engagement with industry.
The CDP includes a capability shortfalls analysis and lessons learned from recent operations provided by the EU Military Committee. The mid-term dimension assesses the potential for cooperation for each capability. The CDP finally offers an assessment of future trends (2035 and beyond) and needs for each capability by linking long-term technology trends to future capability requirements and related R&T needs as well as industrial perspectives.
The 2018 EU Capability Development Priorities cover the following lines of action:
- Enabling capabilities for cyber responsive operations
- Space-based information and communication services
- Information superiority
- Ground combat capabilities
- Enhanced logistic and medical supporting capabilities
- Naval manoeuvrability
- Underwater control contributing to resilience at sea
- Air superiority
- Air mobility
- Integration of military air capabilities in a changing aviation sector
- Cross-domain capabilities contributing to achieve EU’s level of ambition