Credit: Jasper Rietman

Goliath vs. David: The race to the EU defense money

By Lennart Hofman, Laure Brillaud, | 14 July, 2023

The war in Ukraine has unveiled a new threat to Europe’s security: Russia’s deployment of hypersonic missiles. With their unparalleled speed and maneuverability, these missiles pose a significant challenge to traditional defense systems. However, amidst the Ukrainian crisis, European arms manufacturers see an opportunity.

Enter the European Defense Fund (EDF), the EU’s brand new billion euros fund with its strategic focus on hypersonic missile defense.

The investigative report delves into the complex dynamics at play within the European Defense industry. The EDF has allocated a staggering 180 million euros to finance competing hypersonic interceptor projects, a decision that surprised industry observers due to the heated tensions between the European Commission and the renowned Franco-British missile champion, MBDA.

Unveiling the secretive negotiations and alliances between major arms manufacturers and their government allies, the investigation shines a light on the strategies employed to safeguard their positions at any cost. Behind the scenes, major industries engage in a fierce battle to secure their market share and capitalize on the newfound financial windfall. The strategy seems to be working, thanks to the support of their government allies. But it is uncertain whether this will serve Europe’s security.

Read the full story on Mediapart (in French).

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