ESA and EDA to co-ordinate space and defence activities

Europe’s space and defence agencies have signed a deal to work more closely together.

The administrative arrangement between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Defence Agency (EDA) was announced this week at the Paris Air Show.

It aims to co-ordinate activities between the two organisations and examine how Europe’s space assets could help develop security policy and crisis management.

ESA’s director general, Jean-Jacques Dordain, said the deal would bring more of a security dimension to European space policy.

‘I am convinced that an increased dialogue and co-ordination between the space and defence communities is of mutual interest and will allow European space programmes to better support Europe’s security and defence needs.’

The two organisations will come together to co-ordinate research and technology demonstrations, and explore how their existing and future programmes could overlap to help carry out EU policy and support industry.

ESA and EDA are already co-operating in a number of areas, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, satellite communication in support of unmanned aerial systems and space situational awareness.

EDA chief executive Claude-France Arnould said: ‘The signature of this arrangement will allow [us] to consolidate our already close and fruitful working relations with the European Space Agency.’