Germany, Romania, Netherlands, and Spain, members of the European NATO, are set to acquire a staggering 1000 Patriot missiles.
This hefty purchase will cost close to 5 billion euros. The production and delivery of these missiles is commissioned to COMLOG, a joint venture of the MBDA Deutschland and the American group Raytheon.
The European Sky Shield Initiative
This missile purchase is not arbitrary. In fact, it is a part of the European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI), an initiative originally put into motion by Germany back in 2022. The primary objective of this project is to enhance the air and missile defenses of the participating European countries.
Boost in Production and Economies of Scale
The NATO Support and Acquisition Agency (NSPA), who placed the order on behalf of the four European nations, asserts that this order is projected to ramp up the production of GEM-T (guidance enhanced missile) interceptors in Europe. This will, in turn, lead to economies of scale, which will lower costs in the long run. The GEM-T interceptors are slated for production in Schrobenhausen, Bavaria.
This joint purchase has garnered praise and recognition from various quarters. NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, commended the decision, associating it with the bolstered security of Ukraine and NATO members. Echoing a similar sentiment, Dutch Defense Minister, Kajsa Ollongren, emphasized the success of this European collaboration.
From an industrial perspective, the Chief Executive Officer of the MBDA Deutschland, Thomas Gottschild, expressed that the contract is a boon. It intensifies the industrial and military capabilities across Europe and generates employment opportunities in Germany. Furthermore, it fortifies the ammunition supply chain, thus ensuring a consistent and reliable supply of arms.
Looking back, cooperative missile purchases are not new to Europe. In 2023, France and Italy jointly purchased 700 ASTER missiles for an estimated cost of roughly 2 billion euros. This sheds light on the ongoing trend of armament collaborations among European nations.