Today, nations commonly procure aircraft or train air and ground crews. The A400M is a perfect example. Five out of the seven EATC member nations have procured this capability. Belgium and Luxembourg have created a fully integrated bi-national unit, but this is the exception. When it comes to integrated employment, the multinational cooperation stays very limited.
Nonetheless common employment and interoperability, especially in operations and exercices, offers, through cross-support, reduced overall footprint, thus reducing the individual national burden. The pursuit of interoperability is also the quintessence of EATC’s core business. This is why, EATC outlined the lighthouse project exploiting the potential of common procurement through service exchange in all areas of operation, including maintenance and ground handling, as well as multinational training of the experts and crews.
EATC was closely coordinating with the national experts in order to identify common grounds, agree on processes and develop milestones for the future. The involvement of the Military Airworthiness Authorities, logistic agencies and technical management entities was essential to create the legal ground and to implement the process of mutual recognition of services.
The initial focus of the LHP is the A400M. This aircraft is the core capability of EATC’s portfolio, with currently 82 assets. The A400M project is a leverage and blueprint for other aircraft types such as the A330 MRTT and the C130J. Ultimately, all EATC nations are committed with their capabilities.
In 2023, the LHP becomes a reality with structured and validated frameworks and best practices. These can be used in many circumstances, such as operations, exercises, troubleshooting in overseas theatre, etc... New perspectives are opened!
Follow our next article on the LHP, a multi-stepped and concrete approach!