National Armaments Directors discuss multinational cooperation, counter-terrorism and innovation

  • 26 Oct. 2017 -
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  • Last updated: 26 Oct. 2017 14:50

Top national defence procurement officials gathered in Belgium to discuss multinational cooperation and support to NATO priorities at the Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD) held at NATO Headquarters on 26 October 2017.

“It would be difficult to overstate the important role of the CNAD in boosting NATO’s agility and adaptability, actively supporting NATO’s operational priorities, and enabling our Alliance to contribute to international peace and security,” said NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller during the opening of the autumn conference. She underscored CNAD’s invaluable contributions to NATO’s mission and highlighted that through its work. “CNAD helps to send the message of one NATO, working together.” She also commended CNAD for the excellent contribution to the ongoing effort to improve the governance aspects of common- funded capability delivery, which will help adapt NATO’s capability delivery process and ensure the delivery of what is needed, when it is needed, and within an agreed budget.

Facilitating multinational cooperation

The CNAD platform is key to the initiation and success of multinational cooperative efforts. NATO’s Deputy Secretary welcomed that “there has indeed been a great deal of progress in this area and some high-visibility deliverables”.

Seeking to continue to identify new areas for multinational cooperation, the Directors had a discussion on defence spending, considering the effects of the 2014 Defence Investment Pledge and the aim of spending 20 per cent of their increasing defence budgets on new equipment, including related research and development.

CNAD Permanent Chairman and NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment, Camille Grand, moderated a lively informal discussion among Allied procurement officials on the European Defence Fund (EDF), underlining the need for NATO to stay apprised of European Union (EU) efforts to ensure complementarity and avoid duplication. The officials shared views on how to ensure EDF is compatible with NATO’s multinational cooperation efforts.

Countering terrorism and CNAD support to capability delivery

The Conference is contributing to the enhancement of NATO’s role in fighting terrorism through its oversight of the Defence Against Terrorism Programme of Work (DATPOW) and through proposals for specific use of Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. Directors were updated on the status of these efforts, and provided guidance for the continued success of the major programmes under CNAD governance (Ballistic Missile Defence; Alliance Future Surveillance and Control; Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance; Alliance Ground Surveillance; and Airborne Warning & Control System).

Fostering innovative approaches and cooperation with industry

Directors discussed ongoing activities and measures to foster NATO’s relationship with industry, and took stock of the implementation of actions to facilitate innovation in the NATO context. Ms Gottemoeller welcomed that “through [its] framework to facilitate innovation and related work programme, CNAD is contributing to the Alliance-wide effort to complement national innovation efforts to increase the breadth, depth, awareness of and access to innovative solutions.”

The next CNAD meeting will be held in spring 2018.