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EU Commission, EDA and OCCAR sign European Defence Fund agreements

Today, the European Commission, the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR) signed Contribution Agreements to delegate the implementation, under indirect management, of four strategic defence projects under the European Defence Fund. 

For EDA, the agreements involve two research projects:

ARTURO - The project ARTURO will provide a solution to fulfil future operational needs for advanced radar technologies in Europe.

ECOBALLIFE - The project ECOBALLIFE will research eco-designed ballistic systems for durable lightweight protection against current and new threats in platform and personal applications.

For OCCAR, the agreements involve two development projects:

European Patrol Corvette (EPC) - The EPC will focus on the initial phase of a European innovative, modular, flexible, interoperable, green, multirole vessel, enabling European navies to face the 21st century challenges. 

European Hypersonic Defence Interceptor (EU-HYDEF) - The project EU HYDEF will define the concept for a European Interceptor to achieve the highest maneuverability and capability to respond to high velocity threats.

Selected under the €1.2 billion European Defence Fund 2021 calls for proposals, these projects are highly important for the development of key EU defence and technological capabilities. The EU funding contribution to these four projects amounts to €190 million (almost 17% of the total EDF 2021 budget).

The signing ceremony was attended by Timo Pesonen, Director-General of DG DEFIS; Jiří Šedivý, EDA Chief Executive; and Matteo Bisceglia, OCCAR EA Director.

During the ceremony, they stated:

“This Contribution Agreement is an excellent opportunity for the European Commission and EDA to join forces and expertise, unlock synergies and build mutual trust again after the Pilot Project and the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR). This agreement can also pave the way for a continuous long-term cooperation, based on the governance framework and taking advantage of expertise and resources of the two organisations.” - Jiří Šedivý, EDA Chief Executive.E, DG DEfis Director Francois Arbault and Occar Director

 “The collaboration with the EDA and OCCAR under the EDF's precursor programmes EDIDP and PADR has already proven to be fruitful. The high-level expertise of both the EDA and OCCAR is crucial to implement projects of a very strategic nature and help to make the implementation of the European Defence Fund a resounding success. That is why the Commission is very happy to continue to work together to show the EU Defence community that cooperation among European/International Institutions is active in delivering tangible capabilities through EDF.” - Timo Pesonen, Director-General of DG DEFIS, European Commission.

“I strongly share the objective that cooperation between OCCAR and the Commission should grow more and more in order to strengthen the European Defence Industry and to assist Europe in making its defence environment more independent from our strategic partner across the Atlantic.” - Matteo Bisceglia, OCCAR EA Director.

Background and More Information

With the adoption, on 2 December 2022, of the first award of 61 projects supported by the European Defence Fund (EDF), the Commission has approved an investment of around €1.2 billion in collaborative defence research and development projects. Read the individual project factsheets and general information on the EDF 2021 calls for proposals results here.