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Supporting nations of Test and
Evaluation hold plenary talks in Italy

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From its inception in 2004, the European Defence Agency has helped connect Member States' Test and Evaluation Centres. The Defence Test and Evaluation Base (DTEB) has led to a European network of defence technology centres. Its database is a major part of the network.

As EDA seeks to anticipate future defence trends, EDA's DTEB meeting in Italy on 13-14 March 2024 focused on the role and interface of test centres with the Hub for EU Defence Innovation (HEDI), the challenge of testing and evaluating autonomous systems and how to further test and evaluate technology and capability development, as well as working with industry.

A harmonised and strengthened network of European Test and Evaluation Centres is a prerequisite for European defence policy development and European projects.

The Italian Army Multifunctional Experimentation Centre (CEPOLISPE) in Montelibretti, Rome hosted the Agency's Defence Test and Evaluation Base Plenary Group and the Test Centres Network of Excellence for the Land, Maritime, Air and Cyber and Information, over the two days. The meeting was organised by EDA, in coordination with the Italian Secretariat General of Defence and National Armaments Directorate.

Fifty-eight experts from nine EU Member States, and countries with which EDA has signed Administrative Arrangements, as well as EU Institutions, attended the meeting and visited CEPOLISPE testing facilities.

The Plenary Group and Test Centres Network of Excellence meet three times a year at the expert level.

Testing and evaluation are an integral part of engineering to support the lifecycle of weapon systems, from development to production, joint procurement, introduction into service and in-service upgrades.

Reinforcing the Agency's work on defence test and evaluation could improve coordination of testing activities aimed at ensuring cross-certification of similar equipment across platforms. That would support built-in interoperability and exchangeability. This approach will be addressed in the new 'Defence Test and Evaluation Base Strategy 2025-2035' that will be submitted for the approval of the Member States in 2024.

EDA's wider role

EDA supports its 27 Member States in improving their defence capabilities through European cooperation. Acting as an enabler and facilitator for Ministries of Defence willing to engage in collaborative capability projects, the Agency has become the hub for European defence cooperation with expertise and networks allowing it to the whole spectrum of defence capabilities. Member States use EDA as an intergovernmental expert platform where their collaborative projects are supported, facilitated, and implemented.

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