On 21 May 2021, the OCCAR-EA Director, Mr Matteo Bisceglia, had a virtual meeting with Mr Jiří Šedivý, the Chief Executive of EDA* and Major General Andreas Schick, Commander of EATC**, to assess progress on the “A400M roadmap” and to agree the way ahead for future cooperation.
For the second year running, the COVID-19 pandemic did not allow a face-to-face meeting, but the trilateral was anyway very productive. The paramount issue was to optimise and develop A400M joint capabilities. This important meeting gives real meaning to the “Letter of Intent” that the three Principals signed in 2018.
The three organisation heads positively assessed progress achieved so far on A400M capabilities and re-affirmed their intention to continue on this mutually beneficial path of cooperation, with particular emphasis in avoiding duplication of effort and to maximise efforts to enhance interoperability in Europe.
Air mobility in Europe is a strategic topic and initiatives like this contribute to making it more effective. The A400M fleet, delivered by the OCCAR A400M Programme Division is and will be even more in the future the backbone for strategic and tactical airlift, also ensuring Air-to-Air refuelling capability. OCCAR is fully involved in promoting the continuous improvement of A400M capabilities amongst its partner nations and in engaging with like-minded organisations.
At the end of the meeting, EATC handed over the chairmanship role of the cooperation initiative to EDA, which will manage it for the year 2022.
* European Defence Agency
**European Air Transport Command