With the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine, 2022 has marked not only the return of all-out war to European soil but also a paradigm shift for security and defence in Europe. Member States have reacted with determination and resolve, providing significant support to the Ukrainian armed forces. Given the urgency of the situation, the European Defence Agency (EDA) has stepped up its support to our EU governments as they debate the way forward for European defence.
A visible sign of this paradigm shift is the increase in defence spending by the Member States. However, the conflict has highlighted gaps and potential future shortfalls in inventories and armed forces. EDA, in 2022, directed its energies to respond to these issues and help coordinate a joint response.
2022 Annual Report
The 2022 annual report provides an overview of EDA’s milestones and achievements over the past year. From deepening our work on the EU defence initiatives, assisting in the setting up of the Defence Joint Procurement Task Force, to launching a Hub for EU Defence Innovation (HEDI) and managing military projects and exercises across all domains.
Overall, in 2022 the Agency managed 97 cooperative ad hoc projects and programmes in capability development, training, joint procurement, as well as Research and Technology (R&T) and innovation, with a total estimated value of €672 million.
Delivering through cooperation
Among EDA's accomplishments was the completion of the ‘Safe Autonomous Flight Termination’ (SAFETERM) project in June 2022 with a successful flight campaign in a live operational environment. SAFETERM aims to develop a proof of concept of autonomous functionality to ensure a predictable yet adaptative Remotely Piloted Aircraft behaviour in case of emergency involving multiple failures.
In November 2022, Ministers of Defence signed the new EDA project for the ‘Military Computer Emergency Response Team Operational Network’ (MICNET). Known as milCERTs, this operational network is a substantial step towards enhancing cooperation in the cyber domain at the EU level.
With the European Green Deal, the EU aims to become climate neutral by 2050. To meet this goal and reduce the carbon footprint of armed forces, the EDA developed the Incubation Forum for Circular Economy in European Defence (IF CEED). The Forum is a place to discuss how the defence sector can mitigate its environmental footprint by applying and promoting the principles of a more circular economy in European defence.
From personnel recovery to Counter-IED and deepening our work on emerging disruptive technologies, EDA’s 171 staff have worked across departments and domains to support European defence cooperation.