Space for security: DG meets European Defence Agency Chief Executive

ESA Director General and EDA Chief Executive
22 July 2013

ESA Director General Jean Jacques Dordain welcomed the Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency to ESA’s technical hub in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, to discuss their ongoing cooperation on space and security.

Claude-France Arnould, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA) and her delegation visited ESA’s ESTEC establishment on 9 July for a bilateral meeting with ESA’s Director General and a comprehensive overview of ESA capabilities.

Specific focus was given to a recently concluded EDA study on European intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, which ESA supported. Also under discussion was the relevance of space to Europe’s Common Security and Defence Plan, due to be discussed in detail during December’s European Council.

“EDA’s role is to develop, for its Member States, key defence capabilities necessary both for decision-making and operations,” commented Chief Executive Arnould.

“Developing the right tools to act is our core mandate. Space is an obvious part of this objective as it has become a vital element of any security or military action.


“Space allows the European Union institutions and its Member States to be independently informed, enabling Europeans to make the right decisions at the right time. It also allows for increased operational efficiency.”

The EDA delegation toured ESA’s Concurrent Design Facility – equipped with a network of computers, multimedia devices and software tools to enable rapid mission or system design – previously employed for an EDA study.

They also paid a visit to the ESTEC Test Centre, which able to simulate all aspects of the launch and space environments to test entire spacecraft, to view ESA and Japan’s BepiColombo probe to Mercury and the latest Galileo satellite, part of Europe’s own satnav system.

Chief Executive Arnould also took the opportunity to meet Didier Faivre, ESA’s Director of the Galileo Programme and Navigation-related Activities.

For a full interview with the EDA’s Chief Executive, outlining key items on the ESA-EDA cooperation agenda, click here.

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