Start Date: 2007
End Date: n/a
Participating Countries: All
Other partners:  European Commission, Industries

The harmonisation of applied defence standards in Europe is a key enabler for interoperability of materiel used by European forces. Moreover it is a prerequisite for successful cooperation of European Defence Agency participating Member States and their partners in the whole life-cycle of defence equipment starting from the development phase, testing and evaluation of material, maintenance up to the disposal. Estimations on product cost savings following a more intensive use of civil standards by the military sector range from 10% up to 50%.

Project goals

  • to select the best practice standards and to identify and/or develop standardisation requirements for defence projects
  • to provide a reference set of common standards for European defence programmes
  • to promote defence standardisation activities
  • to provide a network for defence standardisation experts 

Detailed description of the project 


Defence Standardisation Tools

In 2007 EDA established the European Defence Standards Information System (EDSIS) and in 2011 followed the European Defence Standards Reference System (EDSTAR) to support the objective of a harmonised standardisation for Defence Procurement. Both EDA portals available are online at  and

The European Defence Standardisation Information System (EDSIS) is the central portal for all European defence materiel standardisation services. EDSIS’s main function is to enable the EDA participating Member States and industry to advertise defence materiel standards that are to be developed or undergo major modification. Other stakeholders from government or industry are able to express their interest in joining the project through the EDSIS portal. This co-operative way of working enables standards to be developed, recognised and used by numerous parties. Furthermore EDSIS gives registered users the possibility to get actively involved in creating new standardisation solutions and to network with defence standardisation stakeholders.

The European Defence Standards Reference System (EDSTAR) has been established by the European Defence Agency in 2011. The web platform contains guidance on the use of roughly 2,500 standards and “standard-like” specifications to optimise effectiveness, efficiency, and interoperability of their application. The web platform is designed to assist governmental organisations and defence industry in the procurement of defence materiel (including development and production). In 2017,EDSTAR covers 24 technical domains, 4 new expert groups start their work in the following domains : Range Interoperability, Blast Effects, Automatic Identification Techniques and Camouflage.  

Council Conclusions on Defence Standards

In accordance with the European Council conclusions in 2013, the EDA, in cooperation with EC developed an agreed mechanism for developing hybrid standards and produced a new procedure for Hybrid Standards Development in coordination with the CEN - CENELEC - ETSI Defence Standardisation Cooperation Group (DSCG).

This new mechanism has been implemented since 2015 . Four  hybrid standard’ proposals are currently under consideration by the DSCG : Defence Shields, Measurement of Impulse Noise from Military Weapons, Explosives & Pyrotechnics (MWEP); and Selection of Hearing Protection.

Council Conclusions on Implementing the EU Global Strategy in the area of Security and Defence.

The 14 November 2016  Council conclusion  identified standardisation as a critical enabler for cooperation. The EUGS Implementation Plan on Security and Defence notably includes deriving standardisation needs and opportunities from the CDP, the Collaborative Database and other projects (such as in R&T), and to mainstream the use of the European Defence Standards Reference System (EDSTAR) and civilian / military standards in view of enhancing interoperability and efficiency and deepening defence cooperation, in coherence with NATO.

EDA is developing a new defence standardisation process that will include the identification of standardisation requirements deriving from CDP, collaborative opportunities  and all other EDA collaborative projects ( ‘top-down’ approach).

EDA is also strengthening  the collaboration and relationships with key stake-holders and standardisation organisations (EC, EASA, EUROCAE, NATO etc.) involved in the development of standards required in the context of EDA collaborative projects.