Ten NATO defense ministers signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday to further develop the European Sky Shield Initiative.
The initiative, launched in 2022 and spearheaded by Germany, enables the joint procurement of air and missile defense systems through efficient and cost-effective, interoperable, off-the-shelf solutions.
The ESSI “shows the value of allies stepping up to meet NATO’s requirements while ensuring interoperability and integration,” NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană said in a statement.
“This initiative therefore helps translate Allied commitments on defense spending into tangible capabilities available for our collective defense. It demonstrates the clear commitment of European allies to fair burden sharing as well.”
The MOU’s signatories are the defense ministers of Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Slovenia.
Denmark and Sweden are the latest members of the ESSI, joining in February to bring the initiative’s participants to 17.