ESA, European Defense Agency Strengthen Ties

by

The European Defense Agency (EDA) will have closer relations with the European Space Agency (ESA) under an agreement signed by the two agencies’ directors June 20 at the Paris air show.

The agreement signed by EDA Chief Executive Claude-France Arnould and ESA Director-General Jean-Jacques Dordain stipulates that there will be no exchange of funds between the two agencies, but that each could contribute to commonly managed projects.

A first such project, ESA said, “will be concluded shortly in the area of UAS [unmanned aerial systems] command and control over satellite for a joint demonstration mission.”

The 19-nation ESA is a civil agency that has been gradually adapting its procedures to handle more security- and military-related topics. It has also moved into areas that are inherently dual use, including satellite navigation, space situational awareness and data-relay satellite systems.