European Defence Agency signs framework contracts for joint procurement of 155mm ammunition

The European Defence Agency (EDA) has so far signed eight framework contracts with the European industry for the joint procurement of 155mm ammunition. The signing of the latest five contracts took place at EDA headquarters in Brussels on 5 September, during a visit of the European Union’s Political and Security Committee (PSC) ambassadors.
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Nexter Munitions' Katana 155 mm guided ammunition (Picture source: Army Recognition)

High Representative Josep Borrell, who is also Head of the European Defence Agency, said: “We are taking another step forward in our three-track ammunition initiative. Member States can now pass orders within eight framework contracts. Time is of the essence. Putin does not show any sign of letting up in his aggression against the Ukrainian people. This is why our military support for Ukraine’s defence must continue. ”

EDA’s Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý said: “The signing of these framework contracts between EDA and the European defence industry shows our capacity to swiftly secure the best deals possible for EU Member States and Norway. “We are now offering viable opportunities for Member States to place orders with industry through EDA, either to support Ukraine or to replenish their own national stocks. It is now up to Member States to make full use of these options,” he said.

To date, EDA has negotiated and signed multiple framework contracts for the procurement of the 155mm ammunition round, also known as all-up-round, for the Panzerhaubitze 2000, as well as for the projectile and fuse components of ammunition for the Krab howitzer system. More framework contracts will soon materialise for other howitzer systems.

Collaborative procurement is the best option to achieve cost reduction from economies of scale and interoperability, while allowing Member States to purchase ammunition according to their national needs or in support of Ukraine. The overarching EDA project arrangement has been signed by 26 Member States and Norway. Flexible and inclusive, it allows all EDA Member States to join the initiative.

The ammunition being procured is for the most common self-propelled howitzers that EU Member States have sent to Ukraine: France’s CAESAr; Poland’s Krab; Germany’s Panzerhaubitze 2000; and Slovakia’s Zuzana.

To comply with legal obligations and to protect commercially sensitive information, EDA cannot disclose the names of the contractors nor the unit prices at this stage, and does not comment on ongoing negotiations.

These framework contracts have been signed as part of a three-track approach to deliver more artillery ammunition and missiles to Ukraine, agreed by the EU Council in March 2023. Through these three tracks, the EU is supporting Member States to deliver artillery ammunition and missiles from national stockpiles; to aggregate demand and jointly procure 155mm ammunition; and to ramp up the production capacity of the European defence industry.

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Signing of the framework agreement for the European joint procurement of 155mm ammunition  (Picture source: EDA)

Defense News September 2023