A letter of intent (LOI) has been signed by six Nato member countries at the recently concluded Nato Wales Summit, to help develop innovative methods for increasing the availability of munitions to the alliance.
Signed by the Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Norway, Portugal and Spain, the agreement will focus on multinational approaches toward air-to-ground precision-guided munitions (PGMs).
Led by Denmark, the project is also expected to establish an overall framework for strengthening international cooperation within the munitions sector.
Specifically, the project aims to address the lessons learned from recent operations where countries ran out of stocks of guided munitions and could not quickly or easily use the stocks of other air forces.
Danish National Armaments director lieutenant general Per Pugholm Olsen said: "Danish experiences from the air operation over Libya in 2011 showed us that national munitions stockpiles are not always sufficient … and they cannot easily be re-supplied within the short timeframe needed during operations.
"Therefore we must pursue innovative and more flexible approaches towards provision of munitions in general and specifically air-to-ground precision-guided munitions."
As part of the agreement, the signatories would consider a wide spectrum of multinational arrangements in the field of PGMs, including mutual loan arrangements, common warehousing, multinational procurement and the creation of multinational stocks of weapons, with an aim to ensure a more effective and efficient contribution to future operations by European states.
The project is actively supported by the US in a bid to address the export control issues for US-type PGMs.
The multinational effort demonstrates the success of the smart defence initiative and also represents an example of allies working together using scarce resources more efficiently by promoting the joint acquisition of important capabilities.
Image: Nato allies have agreed to cooperate and conduct research in the field of air-launched precision-guided munitions. Photo: courtesy of Nato.