The European Commission announced Monday the first 1.2 billion euros ($1.25 billion) in investments from the European Defence Fund to work on a variety of projects, including next-generation fighter planes.
The fund, created in 2019, boasts a budget of 7.9 billion euros for the 2021-2027 period, and is meant to support cooperation in EU defense production and development of military technologies.
The European funds approved on Monday will support the “next generation of fighter aircraft, armoured vehicles and ships, as well as critical defence technologies in the areas of space, cyber, military cloud, Artificial Intelligence, semiconductors, and medical countermeasures,” the Commission said.
Nearly 100 million euros will be allocated to a program for intercepting hypersonic missiles (EU HYDEF) being developed for 2035 by the Spanish company Sener.
Another 75 million euros will go to the EICACS aerial combat project developed by French company Dassault Aviation.
A total of 61 projects selected in July by EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton are being co-funded.
Today, we approved an investment of €1.2 billion to support 61 industrial R&D projects for defence capabilities.
With this decision, the EU is funding high-end projects such as next generation of fighter aircraft or armoured vehicles, as well as critical defence technologies.
— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) December 5, 2022
Supplying weapons to Ukraine to aid in its conflict with Russia has reduced the size of arsenals and shown the limits of European countries’ military capacities.