International Conference on Missile Defence, Challenges in Europe

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Date(s) - 06/17/2014 - 06/20/2014
All Day

MAINZ Conference Centre

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Since the 2012 NATO Chicago summit, where an interim missile defence capability to defend the eastern part of NATO European populations, territory and forces was declared, there have been quite a few evolutions in the ballistic missile defence landscape:

  • For the first time, 6 Patriot batteries systems have been promptly deployed on request in Turkey under NATO Command and operational control, including Ramstein C2,  according to the collective defense principle.
  • NATO made very meaningful progress in the Interim BMD capability and the Initial Operational Capability with the Ramstein C2 BMD OC which  is now under normal BMD operation,  including ACCS TMD. It demonstrated capacities for Air and Missile Defense interfaced with US C2 and European/ NATO systems.
  • the North Korean threat is becoming more pressing, with another nuclear test and the launch of space faring rockets
  • the US decided to alter their missile defence plan and cancelled EPAA phase 4 to focus their effort on protecting the country from North Korea.
  • Discussion on cooperation between NATO, USA and Russia continues but with little progress at that time. There is a common will on threat assessment and EW share, but still pending points on the approach on the legal aspects and engagement planning or coordination.
  • China performed another space intercept test
  • the French/Italian antiballistic SAMP/T system carried-out another successful ATBM intercept test this time integrated with NATO C2 in Ramstein.
  • Israel launched operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza strip; the effectiveness of the Iron Dome system to destroy short range rockets was put to the test .
  • India is continuing its development of multilayered ATBM systems.

All of this, and more, was discussed at the 9th 3AF Missile defence conference that took place in Bucharest from 30th April to 3rd May 2013.  All the actors of the missile defence community were represented  at this landmark event, and included NATO representatives as well as participating delegates from over nineteen countries, among which the USA, Russia, Europe (France, Germany, Netherlands,..), Israel and India.

NATO progress on the development of its BMD capability was shown, after the approval of the NATO Staff Requirements for BMD in April 2013. New aspects of BMD were also discussed, such as legal issues and coordination with civil authorities, showing other dimensions of the complexity of the subject, outside the more traditional technical and operational dimensions. With the current pressure on defence budgets in most NATO nations, the contribution of the different allies was also a prominent debate, one of the many impacts of missile defence on diplomatic relations.  And, of course, the conference provided an up-to-date picture of the technology & program developments and of the evolution of the ballistic threat.  The consequences of the American decision to cancel EPAA phase 4 were also addressed but  have yet to be fully analyzed, particularly with respect to the Russian position.

The conference showed that many challenges lie ahead for a full Missile Defence capability in NATO and in Europe, requiring close coordination and cooperation between industry, governments and strong leadership:

  • How will NATO expand its missile defence capability from the interim capability?
  • What is the detailed plan to coordinate capability development with EPAA phase 2 deployment?
  • What are the new functionalities that the NATO BMC3I systems will need to implement?
  • What will be the European contribution to the NATO capability and when?
  • Could there be a joint European effort, sharing and pooling, fostered by NATO’s smart defence initiative,   or the call for a European defence scheme?
  • How will the situation evolve between NATO and Russia, now that EPAA phase 4 is cancelled ? Is it now possible to agree on cooperation objectives?
  • What are the NATO plans to approach countries outside NATO?
  • What consequences can we expect for the European Industry?
  • What solutions can the industry propose to improve efficiency and reduce cost, and how can they get endorsement from nations?
  • How will missile defence developments across the globe affect the technological landscape? The competitive balance?

The 10th edition of the 3AFInternational Conference on Missile Defence will provide a timely opportunity for discussion in an open forum and will address Missile Defence on an international level.  The conference offers a mix of technical and non-technical, contributed and invited papers, and descriptions of the many existing BMD programmes, including VIPs’ talks and specific plenary sessions.

Sponsored by industry, the conference includes an exhibition where companies will showcase their systems and technologies. It is an unrivalled opportunity to meet customers, suppliers and decision makers, to exchange facts and opinions, and to listen to papers presented by world experts in missile defence.

The 10th 3AF International Conference on Missile Defence is planned from 17 to 20 June 2014 in Mainz, Germany and will bring new information and debate on this continuing challenge for Europe and European Industry.

We look forward to meeting you in June 2014 and to your contribution to our dialogue on “Challenges in Europe”.

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Last updated: July 18, 2013 at 2:25 pm

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