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Brussels to launch spy initiative and missile development

The European Union will launch a series of armament and military projects which include a spy school and medium-range missile development.

Published: November 22, 2018, 8:56 am

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    Brussels

    As part of its planned EU army force PESCO, foreign and defence ministers from 25 countries agreed at the Council of Europe meeting on the 17 projects to be managed by the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) initiative.

    The Tiger Mk3 attack helicopter will be upgraded, a new generation of drones will be manufactured and a high-atmosphere airship for intelligence-gathering and reconnaissance will be built.

    The Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain are to lead development of a new military drone by 2025. Moreover, the Czech Republic will work with Germany to create a new “standing force” designed to “support EU battle groups with unique electronic warfare capabilities”.

    Also included is the Joint EU Intelligence School which will be working to “provide education and training in intelligence disciplines and other specific fields”. The “Joint EU Intelligence School” was announced by the EU Council in a press release after ministers met in Brussels on Monday, 19 November.

    Intelligence personnel from EU member states will be enrolled at the spy school to be headed up by Greece and Cyprus, the two most “Russia-friendly” bloc members.

    “Eyebrows will be raised by the proposal to have Greece lead the academy, with help from Cyprus, meaning two of the EU’s members with the closest ties to Moscow would run the project,” Politico reported.

    The medium-range missile project entitled, “EU Beyond Line Of Sight” will be run by France, Belgium, and Cyprus and will “be integrated on an extensive variety of platforms (ground-to-ground and air-to-ground) and to provide integrated and autonomous target designation capability”.

    The EU is expected to outline next year how third countries can participate in the Brussels defence force next year, seen as a nod to Britain after Brexit.

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