Europe steps up procurement cooperation. (Government: Policy Notes).Representatives from the Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation en matiere d'Armement (OCCAR OCCAR Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d'Armement )--the European Joint Organization for Armaments Cooperation-recently discussed how this body is affecting U.S. defense firms that compete in the European marketplace.
OCCAR was created in 1993 as a French-German initiative to unify differing national policies for the development and procurement of joint armaments. In 1996, it was expanded to include Italy and the United Kingdom. It became a legal entity in 2001, following ratification of a treaty by the four founding nations.
OCCAR acts as a multi-national agent on collaborative projects for its member countries. It seeks to harmonize requirements, improve the efficiency of defense-procurement systems, encourage the formation of integrated defense contractors Noun 1. defense contractor - a contractor concerned with the development and manufacture of systems of defense
armed forces, armed services, military, military machine, war machine - the military forces of a nation; "their military is the largest in the region"; and eliminate the complex web of disparate national procurement rules and regulations that previously existed.
The Italian Defense Minister has described OCCAR as "the outcome of the need of the European allies to harmonize defense planning and operational requirements (programming) operational requirements - Qualitative and quantitative parameters that specify the desired capabilities of a system and serve as a basis for determining the operational effectiveness and suitability of a system prior to deployment. and to adopt joint procurement policies in order to make the best use of financial and technical resources."
OCCAR includes a board of supervisors (BoS) and an executive administration (EA). The BoS is made up of the national armaments directors of member nations and is the decision-making body of the organization. The EA is the organization's central day-to-day management office and is responsible for implementing the decisions of the BoS.
Additionally, for each armament program that OCCAR supports, a program committee is established, including the program manager, customer representatives from member nations and representatives from EA.
OCCAR is founded on the principle of an open structure to manage multiple procurement projects efficiently for many countries. Other nations may join, if they wish to become involved in a collaborative equipment program and agree to accept OCCAR's rules and regulations. The Netherlands, Spain and Belgium all have applied to join, and Sweden has expressed serious interest.
Non-Western European nations can apply for membership, but they must receive unanimous agreement from all OCCAR partners to join. Although it is doubtful that the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. would ever apply for membership, it can choose to participate in OCCAR-managed programs as a non-member nation. OCCAR-managed programs (and their national sponsors) include the:
* Tiger attack helicopter A helicopter specifically designed to employ various weapons to attack and destroy enemy targets. (France and Germany).
* Multi-role armored vehicle (Germany, United Kingdom and the Netherlands).
* Cobra counter-battery radar A counter-battery radar is a radar set designed to track the trajectory of incoming artillery and mortar projectiles (typically shells but possibly also rockets) and calculate the location on the ground they were fired from and where they will land. (France, United Kingdom and Germany).
* Roland surface-to-air missile sur·face-to-air missile
n. Abbr. SAM
A guided missile launched from land or sea against an airborne target.
Noun 1. (France and Germany).
* Future surface-to-air missile family (France and Italy).
* Hot and Milan anti-tank weapon systems (France and Germany).
Other programs currently under active consideration for integration into OCCAR are the A400M military transport aircraft and the ship-borne Principal anti-air missile system.
Many in the U.S. defense industry view OCCAR as the initial seed for a pan-European arms-procurement agency and potentially the template for the next generation of European procurement European Procurement is a centralized system of notification of public procurement of all supplies, services, and works by government bodies in the European Union (formerly known as the EEC) has been in existence since before 1992, as seen in Directive 92/50/EEC. organizations.
Waiting and Watching
OCCAR representatives addressing a seminar co-sponsored by NDIA NDIA National Defense Industrial Association
NDIA New Doha International Airport (Qatar) said that this would not necessarily be the case, but U.S. industry representatives have adopted a "wait-and-see" attitude. Clearly, as more European nations seek to become OCCAR members, they can be expected to fall under increasing pressure to acquire European-produced defense equipment.
As this article goes to press, the U.S. government does not recognize OCCAR as a Foreign Military Sales That portion of United States security assistance authorized by the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, and the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, as amended. This assistance differs from the Military Assistance Program and the International Military Education and Training Program (FMS FMS - Flexible Manufacturing System (factory automation). ) customer, but U.S. defense contractors can supply equipment and services to OCCAR-managed programs, either as prime or subcontractors. In such instances, OCCAR continues to serve as the agent/manager for the programs, but the end users on the export license are the member nations, not OCCAR. To date, U.S. companies have served only as in a subcontracting role.
New opportunities for business with OCCAR are advertised regularly on its Web page (http://www.occar-ea.org) and in the contract bulletins of the European Union European Union (EU), name given since the ratification (Nov., 1993) of the Treaty of European Union, or Maastricht Treaty, to the
European Community and participant nations. Companies may register their interest with the OCCAR Central Office via regular mail, e-mail, or fax.
Normally, OCCAR places a contract through open competition. New business opportunities are published, providing details of how and when interest must be shown, as well as the type and size of the proposed contract. Bids for small contracts may be submitted directly to OCCAR-EA via email. For large contracts, a registration of interest is required in order to receive a request for proposal. It should be noted that traditional European "offset" policies have not been applied to OCCAR contracts.
NDIA's International Division will continue to track OCCAR's progress and provide updated information to our members about new European procurement rules and their potential impact on transatlantic cooperation.
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