News from Europe

19 October 2016

Jorge Domecq at Euronaval: “More cooperation needed to develop the next generation naval platforms”

EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq today visited the Euronaval exhibition in Paris where he had a range of bilateral meetings with industry leaders. He also participated in a panel discussion organized by GICAN (Groupement des Industries de Construction et Activités Navales) on the “The future of naval warfare: high-end operations”. 

In his panel intervention, Mr Domecq called for more cooperation between Member States on European programs and the development of the next generation of platforms.

He said,

“The current scattered approach is ultimately putting at risk the very survival of our naval industry (…) European navies operate 20 different types of frigate, four different types of aircraft carrier, and multiple types of support ships and MCM Vessels. This situation is no longer affordable”

“There is no need to develop a ‘one size fits all’ solution. But we do need a full, frank, fair and mutual analysis of common gaps, common requirements and respective investments made at national and multinational level by Member States, including on high-end capabilities”, the EDA Chief said.

He called on Member States that face similar regional or procurement challenges to agree on common platforms with an open architecture approach for subsystems.

Jorge Domecq at Euronaval “More cooperation needed to develop the next generation naval platforms”
He stated,

“And I would like to encourage industrial stakeholders not to be afraid about competition nor about possible European consolidation”

EDA tools available

Tools developed within EDA like the Collaborative Database are unique instruments to identify the business case for cooperative capability developments.

45 collaborative opportunities for naval platforms have already been identified such as ‘surface combatants’, ‘submarines’, ‘maritime patrol vessels’ or ‘auxiliary ships for logistics support’ but also specific naval assets such as ‘maritime patrol aircraft’ and ‘naval helicopters’ or capabilities like ‘naval radars’, ‘sonars’, ‘naval air and missile defence’ and ‘ship protection’.

In particular, the capability of replenishment at sea and logistic support are essential. Many of the Member States share a common need for improved endurance at sea.

Mr Domecq said,

“Applying a model like the European Air Transport Command (ETAC) can be of interest”

Increased R&T needed

Mr Domecq also said that European naval forces have probably never been confronted with security challenges as big as today, ranging from territorial protection to dealing with refugee crises and combatting criminal trafficking networks in the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea.

He recalled that the recent EU Global Strategy explicitly highlights the importance of maritime security which will also be part of the upcoming revision of the Capability Development Plan (CDP) for which the EDA will seek a mandate by Defence Ministers in November.

Regarding the CDP revision, Mr Domecq insisted on the need to ensure strong interaction between the naval industry and research and technologies (R&T) community.

The EDA Chief Executive said,

“These efforts have to lead to an increased R&T commitment, either on an intergovernmental level through the European Defence Agency or on the basis of the future Preparatory Action and the European Defence Research Programme (EDRP). It’s paramount that we push ahead with innovation on disruptive technologies”