The European Defence Agency (EDA) is to open the new European Tactical Airlift Centre (ETAC) in Zaragoza, Spain, on 8 June.
The transfer of ETAC by the EDA is said to be one of the largest project transfers to one of its Member States on a permanent basis.
EDA stated that Zaragoza will officially become the home of the European Air Transport Fleet (EAFT) programme that seeks to increase the EU’s airlift capabilities by addressing shortages and increasing interoperability.
The establishment of a permanent multinational airlift training centre marks a major step forward in European defence collaboration in the critical capability domain of tactical airlift, according to the statement.
The Spanish Airforce will offer a third European Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Course for 2017 (EAATTC 17-3) at Zaragoza airbase from 28 May to 9 June.
The EAATTC 17-3 training employs five aircraft from four countries, including Belgium, Germany, Poland and Spain, to provide air transport crews with an airlift tactics training syllabus.
It seeks to improve interoperability between European air forces.
EDA will also deploy its project on 3D printing in defence as part of EAATTC 17-3.
The ‘Additive Manufacturing Feasibility Study and Technology Demonstration’ project will evaluate the areas where additive manufacturing (3D printing) can have a positive impact on defence capabilities and will demonstrate its feasibility.
Work under the project includes the demonstration of the usefulness and operational utility of deploying additive manufacturing technology in support of a military operation.
Image: The European Air Transport Fleet (EAFT) programme seeks to increase the EU’s airlift capabilities. Photo: courtesy of European Defence Agency.