Anti -missile shield project launched by Berlin Far Farm Paris

On February 15, Sweden and Denmark joined fifteen other European countries in the initiative launched in October 2022 by Germany. The ESSI is an integrated, medium and long -range integrated defense program, which combines German, American and Israeli manufacturing systems.

by Elise Vincent

This is one of the big subjects of discord between Paris and Berlin since the start of the war in Ukraine. Four months after the announcement by Germany, in October 2022, of the launch of a European anti-missile shield project, or European Sky Shield (ESSI), which now brings together seventeen countries, including fifteen from the Atlantic Alliance ( NATO), this Berlin initiative, which relaunches an old NATO ambition, defies the French vision of the strategic independence of Europe and upsets the interests of a certain number of manufacturers.

The ESSI project is only at the stage of the “letter of intention”, which makes Paris say that it is still far from materializing. But among the signatory countries are many states generally located on the eastern flank of Europe, anxious to go fast and worried about a possible overflow of the Ukrainian conflict on their soil. This is the case of Estonia, Lithuania, Norway, Romania or Finland. On February 15, two other countries joined the project: Sweden and Denmark, the latter being very careful on the anti-missile defense issues of the Alliance.

Poland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and France have so far remained behind the ESSI project. Either because they are already endowed with anti -missile defense – Madrid and Warsaw are home to NATO bases – or, like Italy and France, because they have developed their own system together for several years, Mamba. For France, the German initiative therefore includes major challenges of industrial and technological competition.

“multilayer” bubble

This anti-missile shield aims to save scale by purchasing already existing and complementary soil-to-air defense systems. The German Iris-T system, manufactured by Diehl BGT Defense, with a range of thirty kilometers, the Patriot system, manufactured by the American Raytheon, to ensure protection up to 200 kilometers, and the Arrow 3 , designed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), designed to destroy intercontinental ballistic missiles and ensure a bubble of 2,400 kilometers of radius around it. The whole is perceived, in Paris, as a big breach in the idea of ​​”European sovereignty” dearly defended by Emmanuel Macron.

The ESSI, however, responds well to a long-identified gap by NATO central bodies, dominated by the United States, and for whom anti-missile defense is a major axis. These three systems are supposed to create a “multilayer” bubble in order to protect both strikes from possible missiles as from certain drones or helicopters.

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/Media reports cited above.