EU calls for more joint defense projects such as the European Air Transport Command

An Airbus Military A400M aircraft lands at the Farnborough Airshow on July 20, 2010.

From the AP:  European defence ministers are urging member states to pool their defence resources in order to maintain military capabilities at a time of economic austerity and sharp cuts in defence spending.

Ministers say the newly launched European Air Transport Command [EATC] should serve as an example of how greater integration in strategic transport can result in savings on maintenance and the training of air crews.

From Robert Wall, Aviation Week:  The EATC is a partnership of Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium to consolidate airlift assets to gain efficiencies. Germany signed over its airlifters and shut down its airlift planning cell in October, and the Netherlands followed on Nov. 26. Belgium, the final partner, plans to do so in January, says air force Col. Mike de Coninck, an EATC official.

EATC will oversee 168 aircraft, including 80 from Germany and 61 from France. … EATC is still defining what needs to be done to reach full operational capability, which is expected around 2013.  (photo: Getty)

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