Since the beginning of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the EU has provided about €2.5 billion worth of military assistance to Ukraine through the European Peace Facility (EPF), with some of the weapons coming from the EU countries’ stocks (Preussen, 2022). The EPF is a fund of €5 billion financed outside the EU Budget for a period of seven years (2021-2027), established by Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/509 of 22 March 2021 based on Articles 30 and 41 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) (Council of the European Union, 2021).
With the live coverage of the war in Ukraine from media all around the world, it is easy to run into photos or videos of Russian tanks. In Ukraine, Russia’s main battle tank (MBT) is the T-72, but they also deployed some T-80s and some T-90s. By carefully looking at these units, it can be noticed that Russian, but also Ukrainian tanks are equipped with small blocks all around their armour. These blocks are an additional defensive armour, which serves the purpose to protect the tank and its crew from anti-tank weapons. This additional armour is called Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA).
Europe is experiencing an unprecedented energy crisis since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine started. This is highlighting the challenges that the continent is facing, especially concerning energy. This is one of the reasons why energy security plays a central role in the common security plans of the EU and NATO allies.
On the 20th of July 2022, the European Commission finally approved the plans to invest nearly €100 million for the development of the concept phase of the European Hypersonic Defence Interceptor Programme, also known as the EU HYDEF. As war has regretfully returned to the European continent, this €100 million investment is the largest grant in a €1.2 billion investment round in 61 European collaborative defence research and development projects. The programme has a projected duration of 36 months. According to the EDF’s factsheet on the EU HYDEF, the main aim of the project is to develop an adequate European interceptor which is capable of achieving the highest manoeuvrability and capability to respond to high velocity threats from 2035 onwards.
As a result of the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine, the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu, confirmed that France is now at the “dispute alert” level, which is only followed by a military confrontation. For this reason, during a meeting with defence manufacturers on September 6th, Lecornu highlighted the importance of simplifying the French military’s procurement and producing more and faster.