Additive Manufacturing offers a wide array of solutions for the military, previously impossible with conventional manufacturing techniques. The flexibility provided by the technology can be game-changing through multi-domain integration (land, air, marine, space, and cyberspace). So, what is additive manufacturing?
An agreement was reached between the Israeli and Cypriot governments awarding Israeli high technology company Elbit Systems a 27.5-million-euro contract for a surveillance system. The head of the Israel Defence Ministry’s Directorate for International Defense Cooperation, former Brigadier General Yair Kulas and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Cyprus Andreas Louka were the ones who signed the agreement on the fourth of November. The contract has a duration of three years and reports state the system will most likely be used along the border between Cyprus and the Turkish-controlled part north of the island. The surveillance system is expected to aid the Cypriot forces in controlling the flow of asylum seeker and illegal goods coming from the Turkish-controlled part of the country. A region that has been under foreign control since 1974 and cut off from the rest of the country by the United Nations Buffer Zone also known as the Green Line. The northern part of the country remains unrecognized by all other members of the UN except for Turkey.
The European Union (EU) has recently increased its focus on the Indo-Pacific region due to its commercial and military importance. The Joint Communication of the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, issued in September 2021, is significant proof of the EU’s interest in this part of the world and presents the EU strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. This cooperation, as illustrated by the Communication, takes various forms, including completing trade agreements or resuming trade negotiations with several states in the area (including Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines), reinforcing the EU’s support in fields such as the healthcare system and fisheries management, and enhancing naval deployment by EU Member States (MS) to protect sea lines of communication and freedom of navigation (European Commission & High Representative, 2021).
On 16 November, Swedish Minister of Defence Peter Hultqvist made a statement regarding the further possibility of Swedish land force involvement in the Ukrainian conflict. This comes as a potential continuation of the Canadian Armed Forces-led operation UNIFIER. Formed as a wider Multinational Joint Commission, a larger body composed of the US, UK, Canada, Sweden, Poland, Lithuania, and Denmark, it aims to reform Ukraine's military. So far this reform process has involved the training of 10,000 Ukrainian land force troops.
In the context of the EU and NATO’s eastern enlargement, the need to enhance military cooperation in a post-conflict society like the Balkans has been introduced as a fundamental perspective to ensure peacebuilding and restore security in the region. Despite working towards full NATO and EU memberships in recent years, the defence environment and national shrinking budgets have delayed the Balkans’ objective of fulfilling the requirements needed to achieve a collective defence and military cooperation between armed forces.