LWI - Land Warfare

Europe set to receive new artillery and air defence capabilities

9th October 2019 - 16:46 GMT | by Ilker Aktaşoğlu in London

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European nations are expected to spend in excess of $46 billion acquiring new artillery and air defence capabilities over the next decade, according to a new analysis of the market by Defence Insight.

The Artillery and Air Defence Market Report and Forecast 2019-2029 shows, however, that much of this spending is already committed as countries in the region have responded to the Russian annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 with a sharp increase in defence spending.

‘Figures from NATO show that military procurement expenditure across all the European members increased by 46% between 2015 and 2019,’ Matt Smith, director of analysis, stated.

‘This recent surge in procurement activity has created a bow wave of spending that will peak in the early 2020s and then drop-off rapidly as current programmes come to a conclusion,’ he added.

Much of this it tied up German and Turkish air defence programmes. Germany’s next generation integrated air and missile defence (IAMD) system is worth an estimated $8.9 billion, with a MBDA Deutchsland/Lockheed Martin joint venture, TLVS, having submitted their proposal in June 2019.

Contracts for Germany’s short-range air defence programme have not yet been awarded.

In Turkey the largest procurement is for the indigenously developed Siper long-range air and anti-missile project, which is expected to be worth $4.5 billion. Other key programmes include the procurement of S-400 Triumf long-range defence systems from Russia’s Almaz-Antey which are estimated to be worth $2.5 billion.

Despite this, there are a number of as-yet unawarded requirements in Belgium, Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

‘In the near-term Poland’s NAREW short-range air defence programme is already in progress, with Raytheon offering a variant of its Skyceptor missile and MBDA it CAMM-ER, as is Switzerland’s Bodluv programme,’ Smith added.

In the UK, the British Army released an RfI for a programme to replace its 155mm AS90 self-propelled howitzers with a new platform in March 2019. The army is expecting to have the capability in place by the middle of the next decade.

In 2018 the Czech Ministry of Defence identified a need to replace its current inventory of Dana artillery units with 52 new 155mm self-propelled guns.

Looking further out Sweden also has a potential requirement for a new artillery system. The Swedish defence commission’s White Book 2021-2025 states that self-propelled guns should be acquired for the three artillery battalions that form part of its mechanised brigades. These are in addition to the existing Archer platforms. There is no firm timescale attached to this, but it could be expected to be completed by the end of the White paper period.

Belgium’s 2016 defence white paper also states a requirement for a new mobile long-range precision artillery system, scheduled to begin in 2027.

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