Defence Ministers from 14 NATO Allies and Finland came together in Brussels on Thursday (13 October 2022) to sign a Letter of Intent for the development of a “European Sky Shield Initiative”. Spearheaded by Germany, the initiative aims to create a European air and missile defence system through the common acquisition of air defence equipment and missiles by European nations. This will strengthen North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD).
“This commitment is even more crucial today, as we witness the ruthless and indiscriminate missile attacks by Russia in Ukraine, killing civilians and destroying critical infrastructure. In this context, I strongly welcome Germany’s leadership in launching the European Sky Shield Initiative. The new assets, fully interoperable and seamlessly integrated within the NATO air and missile defence, would significantly enhance our ability to defend the Alliance from all air and missile threats,” said NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoan?.
The initiative will allow all participating nations to jointly develop an air and missile defence system using interoperable, off-the-shelf solutions. This multinational and multifaceted approach offers a flexible and scalable way for nations to strengthen their deterrence and defence in an efficient and cost-effective way. The 14 NATO allies included: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, the United Kingdom.
NATO IAMD is an essential, continuous mission in peacetime, crisis and conflict, safeguarding and protecting Alliance territory, populations and forces against any air and missile threat and attack. It is an essential element of NATO’s deterrence and defence, which contributes to the Alliance’s indivisible security and freedom of action. The original concept was implemented in 1961 through the use of the NATO Integrated Air Defence System (NATINADS) under the command and control of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR).