PARIS, June 21 (UPI) -- The European Defense Agency is proposing that European countries pool their satellite communications capabilities.
The proposal was put forward at a high-level seminar -- "Secure Telecom by Satellite" -- at the Paris Air show.
"Currently, five European nations operate military satellite communication assets: the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain and Germany," the agency said. "In the timeframe 2018-2025, all these assets will need to be replaced.
"This creates a unique opportunity for pooling and sharing these types of satellites ... for a European-wide use of governmental SATCOM."
EDA said its proposal takes current pooling and sharing of military satellite communications capabilities one step forward in suggesting a cross-use of future governmental assets on a broader basis. Future assets could be shared by leasing to other member states parts of government satellite communications for defense and security services, it said, and future assets could also be shared by offering a new capability package with European Union funding for internal and external connectivity needs.
"With its European Satellite Communication Procurement Cell, the European Defense Agency has already delivered a concrete pooling and sharing tool in the area of commercial satellite communications," said Claude-France Arnould, chief executive of the European Defense Agency.
"Our proposal for governmental SATCOM goes one step further. Pooling and sharing of critical assets is an opportunity as much as a necessity in times of tight defense budgets and eroding capabilities."