War’s Footstep on the Door, EU Focuses on Armed Forces

War’s Footstep on the Door, EU Focuses on Armed Forces

European Defence Agency (EDA) announced on 14 November that the Steering Board of the Agency agreed to the 2023 Capability Development Priorities. The defence ministers of 27 EU countries approved EU-wide defence planning and all EU defence-related initiatives. The military realities experienced in Ukraine consist of most of the 22 priorities. 

The EU acknowledges that the investment and cooperation in defence were poor and created capability gaps. 

Following the meeting, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Head of the Agency, Josep Borrell, said, “The newly adopted military Capability Development Priorities will provide us with an impactful and actionable framework that will guide defence planning and all EU defence initiatives. In line with the objectives of the Strategic Compass, the new priorities will allow our Member States and their armed forces to maintain freedom of action and be better prepared to respond to an ever-changing and increasingly deteriorating security environment. Now is the time to translate these priorities into concrete defence cooperation projects to ensure more resilient, agile and robust European armed forces, ready to tackle present and future threats.”

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EU has prepared the priorities in short, medium, and long-term planning. The priorities address current operational realities to face future threats and challenges. 

Some of these priorities are;

Land-based Precision Engagement: The range, precision, and mobility of land-based precision strike capabilities must be extended and improved, including quantitatively, through improvements in large-calibre ammunition stockpiles, advanced anti-tank systems, versatile close fire support, and cyber resilience.

Integrated Air and Missile Defence: Includes all surface-based capabilities facing an airborne threat. Priorities in this area include upgrading existing air defence systems and developing next-generation systems with space-based early warning and counter-UAV capabilities.

Underwater/Seabed Warfare: Advances in seabed warfare, underwater protection, and anti-submarine capabilities with advanced autonomous underwater vehicles and surveillance systems.

Sustainable and Agile Logistics: Combines capabilities to improve force projection, sustainment, and effectiveness. The key areas are shared stocks and common warehousing, logistics footprint, and strengthening maintenance requirements to deal with extreme weather conditions.

Militaries that are cohesive and well-trained: Focuses on advancing professional military education, training, and the ability to adapt to an ever-changing environment and operate in new military domains such as space and cyber.