Seven EU Member States have placed orders with European industry through the European Defence Agency’s fast-track joint procurement scheme for 155mm ammunition. More orders, for instance for national replenishment purposes, could materialise in the coming weeks and months. The EDA’s fast-track for 155mm ammunition covers all-up-rounds and elements thereof (fuses, projectiles, charges, primer) for four different, modern firing platforms designed and produced in Europe (France’s Caesar, Poland’s Krab, Germany’s Panzerhaubitze 2000 and Slovakia’s Zuzana) and most used by the Ukrainian armed forces. Nine framework contracts with industry are currently in place. The seven Member States’ orders, signed for both all-up-rounds and elements, are eligible for European Peace Facility reimbursement. EDA cannot divulge contractual details at this stage. The EDA fast-track procedure for joint procurement was set up in record time, allowing for the tendering process to be simplified, and contracts finalised at short notice. It has been designed to reach the whole EDTIB, including both major companies as well as subcontractors, to provide Member States with flexible options and to speed up deliveries.
EDA’s Chief Executive Ji?í Šedivý said: “This is proof of the confidence placed in EDA and in European defence collaboration. Joint procurement is the best option to support Member States in purchasing ammunition according to their national needs or for Ukraine. It also sends a strong signal to industry, showing the EU’s commitment to the European defence technological and industrial base (EDTIB).”
High Representative Josep Borrell, who is also Head of the European Defence Agency, said: “We have put an ambitious framework in place to support joint procurement of ammunition – to replenish stocks and to support Ukraine. The European Defence Agency played a crucial role in this endeavour. Several Member States are buying 155-mm artillery ammunition together, thanks to the contracts negotiated by the EDA with the European defence industry. More are expected. We need this for Ukraine, but also for the EU. Joint procurement is the best way to spend better more efficiently and effectively together. This is a new step towards a more coordinated and capable EU defence.”
Joint procurement is the best option to achieve cost reduction through economies of scale and interoperability. The overarching EDA project arrangement has been signed by 26 Member States and Norway. Flexible and inclusive, it allows all EDA Member States to join the initiative. EDA’s joint procurement efforts are part of a three-track approach to deliver more artillery ammunition and missiles to Ukraine, agreed by the Council of the EU in March 2023. Through these three tracks, the EU is supporting Member States to deliver artillery ammunition and missiles from national stockpiles, to aggregate demand and jointly procure 155mm ammunition, and to ramp up the production capacity of the European defence industry.
EDA supports all EU Member States in improving their defence capabilities through European cooperation. Acting as an enabler and facilitator for Ministries of Defence willing to engage in collaborative capability projects, the Agency has become the hub for European defence cooperation with expertise and networks spanning the whole spectrum of defence capabilities.