Cover Story

Drilling down into PESCO

Were there an ‘EU Acronym of the Year’ contest, PESCO would be well-positioned to grab the prize. The Permanent Structured Cooperation established last December has become a familiar term beyond the military community, standing for a new determination to enhance European defence and reinvigorate EU integration as a whole. In this issue of European Defence Matters, we look at PESCO from various angles through inspiring contributions from key actors from the academic, military political and operational domains.


Interview with Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo

Leonardo-Ceo-ProfumoIn an exclusive interview, Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo shares with European Defence Matters his views on the current state, challenges and future prospects of the European defence industry. He also comments on the EU’s recent defence initiatives as well as on the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) in which Leonardo is prominently involved through the OCEAN 2020 project. He stresses the European industry’s readiness to work on a European fighter jet for the future, provided “governments (…) move in this direction”.

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Political View

Interview with Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Krasimir Karakachanov

W  ith Bulgaria’s first EU Presidency (first half of 2018) in full swing, European Defence Matters sat down with Krasimir Karakachanov, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister to talk about recent EU defence initiatives and their implementation, the importance and sensitivities of EU-NATO cooperation and the Western Balkans’ European integration prospects, including in the security and defence domain.

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Defence Research:

The European Commission’s Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR), managed and implemented by EDA, reached cruising speed with the first projects signed, the second call for proposals published and close to 50% of the PADR budget already under implementation. Objective: paving the way for a future EU Defence Research Programme.

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In the field



Nowhere in the military is this statement more appropriate than in the Counter Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED) domain where European cooperation spearheaded by the European Defence Agency's Project Team C-IED has produced remarkable results over the past 10 years.

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Small but innovative

The company name Utilis is probably not familiar to many of our readers but the young Croatian SME specialising in cybersecurity wrote history, so to speak, as the leader of the consortium running the first fully fledged defence research project co-funded by the EU under the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).

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HOT BLADE 2018, already the 12th helicopter exercise organised under the umbrella of EDA's Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP), took place last May at Beja Air Force Base, in Southern Portugal. It involved 21 helicopters, six fighters and two transporters as well as crews/observers from Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic and Italy.

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In House


Airworthiness, standardisation & certification (hereafter: ASC) are usually not the first domains that spring to mind when considering the biggest potentials for European defence cooperation. Think again: harmonisation in these areas is a key enabler for defence cooperation and can generate considerable time and cost-savings. Spotlight on EDA's dedicated ASC Unit.

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