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Looking for Euro-Drones: “Strong NATO needs a strong Europe” says Fogh Rasmussen.

Nato´s Secr Gral Fogh Rasmussen with German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Nato´s Secr Gral Fogh Rasmussen with German Chancellor Angela Merkel

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen wants to step up its commitment to defense by buying more surveillance drones, transport and tanker ait to air refueling aircraft, better ship radars and missile defence system and strengthening its fragmented defence industry. During the 2011 Libya conflict, European states had to rely heavily on the United States for air-to-air refueling, intelligence and surveillance.

Previously, Rasmussen himself have expressed growing concern that defence cuts have created a big gap  between U.S. and European military capabilities and risk weakening NATO.

 

The European Union has a debate, set to culminate in a summit of European leaders in December, on how Europe can improve its arms industry and strengthen a common defence policy.

 

In a speech to the Carnegie Europe think tank in Brussels on Thursday, Rasmussen will argue that a strong NATO needs “a strong Europe” NATO officials said.

 

 

The EU Commission proposed helping Europe’s defence industry with improved budgets by funding research and aiding the development of new technologies with military uses, but Britain opposes to protect British Defence Industry, like BAE Systems.

In the field of drones,  three European aerospace companies – franco-german EADS Cassidian, France’s Dassault Aviation  and Italy’s Finmeccanica Alenia Aermacchi – called on Europe in June to launch its own independent drone program to equip armies across the continent.