Today (15 February 2023), Denmark and Sweden joined the European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI) coordinated by Germany. This brings the number of participants to 17, including 15 Allies as well as invitees Finland and Sweden. Among other things, the initiative aims to strengthen NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence by facilitating the multinational acquisition and integration of a broad range of air defence capabilities by European countries.
IRIS-T SAM. 2018 year. Germany. Photo credits: Timm Ziegenthaler
“Germany’s leadership through the European Sky Shield Initiative, leveraging already existing NATO cooperation frameworks, is a crucial step to ensure that NATO can effectively defend itself against air and missile threats,” said NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană.
A part of ESSI’s envisioned multinational acquisition will be conducted through a Rapid Acquisition Track within NATO’s Modular Ground-Based Air Defence High Visibility Project. Ten Allied Defence Ministers launched this effort today in parallel through signature of a Memorandum of Understanding and associated funding commitments.