Center for Strategic Decision Research

Paris '07 Workshop

Global Security--How Defense Industries Can Cooperate Better

EADS Chief Operating Officer Marwan Lahoud


Invited Address

Mr. Marwan Lahoud
Chief Operating Officer, EADS

Mr. Marwan Lahoud presents the invited address at
the Musee Jacquemart-Andre.

"...a large part of our security is embedded in the security of our partners. This situation requires
strong cooperation among the industries involved in the defense and security
domains and will see significant improvements in costs as well as schedule
through global leveraging of shared information, R&D, and investment."

It is a great pleasure to be here and I wish to thank Dr. Roger Weissinger-Baylon for gathering such a distinguished group of defense and security leaders not only from NATO and EU member-states but from other countries that share the same values and work together to foster peace and stability in several parts of our troubled world.           

          My colleagues and I are proud to host the International Workshop on Global Security in Paris for the second time. After the success of the 2005 conference as well as the workshop in Berlin in 2006, there is no doubt in my mind that these meetings will continue to be enlightened events and are bound to  contribute to strengthening international cooperation.


          Security cooperation is an old concept that deserves to be revisited with a fresh view. Today, security encompasses more than the traditional military, law enforcement, and policing dimensions; it covers economic aspects including energy, the environment, health, and humanitarian assistance in case of disasters. It is also no longer limited to being addressed by alliances formed to counter an identified, common adversary—the new alliances are more like loose partnerships underpinned by common interests shared by states with various stakes. When oriented towards crisis management that requires the use of military force, the new alliances are described as “coalitions of the willing.” Forty-two nations are currently working together to stabilize and reconstruct Afghanistan, with representatives of some 30 participating in this workshop.

          But cooperation is not limited to the military and law enforcement agencies of the different states that participate in a coalition. It also involves international organizations, NGOs, donors, and enterprises working to reestablish normal living conditions.


As the scope of security threats as well as new missions continues to enlarge, it is more and more important to develop a dialogue between policy makers, security experts, and the military in order to understand clearly the answers that industry can provide to the various challenges we face.

          EADS is a large group with a full array of technologies for large systems, space assets, commercial aircraft that can be converted into mission aircraft, combat and military transport aircraft, helicopters, missiles, and transporting information. It is a young company born of European” parents” with more than 40 years of experience with European programs, and is now looking forward to expanding cooperation with friendly states. As I discuss cooperation, however, I am not going to address the current EADS/Airbus restructuring, because it is not a topic of this workshop. However, it is a challenge like those that all companies working in the very competitive aeronautic and space businesses will have to face one day, so I am certainly open to questions about it.

          There are two approaches to fostering cooperation. The first is “top down,” and is based on common requirements of military or government agencies. The second is “bottom up,” and comes from the industrial sector. When establishing operational requirements for new equipment, both approaches deserve to be considered, as do three main trends:

1. The development of dual-use technologies, which is mainly driven by commercial investments and the industry.

2. The growing interpenetration of the security and defense domains.

3. The need for seamless interoperability, particularly between engaged military forces.


Ideally, defense industries from friendly states should be able to work together innovating, sharing technologies, and using common components. However, governments do need to protect national interests and avoid unwanted proliferation of military and security technology, but how can they do this without impeding needed cooperation? Is the current situation satisfactory?

          Globally, the answer is no, but we need to look separately at the situation inside the EU and at the Atlantic Alliance framework. In Europe, a good deal of progress has been made with the consolidation of a large part of the European defense industry, including EADS, Astrium, MBDA, and Thales Alenia Space, even if much remains to be done within the land and naval sectors. But streamlining exchanges among the six signatories of the Letter of Intent, the so-called LOI of 1998, has not yet delivered on all of its promises. We hope that the recently established European Defense Agency will rapidly become efficient, particularly in the field of R&D and with new programs, with the full support of European governments

          As a fully European group, EADS has not only increased its footprint in the U.K. but has also extended its roots beyond the borders of its founding nations, France, Germany, and Spain. It now has a strong partnership with Patria in Finland, OKEJCE in Poland, and OGEMA in Portugal, and Eurocopter has refreshed its links with Romania. We are also developing cooperation with Russia and with other friends outside Europe.

          All of us are working within the framework of international cooperation, but, in my view, all friendly states should keep some defense industry of their own, because it is a fundamental component of the national spirit of defense and security. However, the U.S. was harshly criticized recently by the Coalition for Security and Competitiveness, which consists of eight U.S. industry associations, for its policy of protecting its defense industry and maintaining its advantage in national security technology. This coalition is asking for fundamental reform of U.S. export policy “in order to facilitate joint actions in the fight against terrorism and to account for the fact  that defense procurements are increasingly dependent on an industrial base  that cuts across national borders.”

          However, encouraging steps are being taken toward developing a better balance in transatlantic cooperation, such as the U.S. Army’s recent choice of the EADS Lakota Light Utility Helicopter and EADS’ cooperation with General Electric and Northrop-Grumman to jointly propose using a U.S. Airbus A330-200 derivative as an air tanker for the U.S. Air Force. We are also working closely with our European and U.S. partners to develop the NATO Theater Layered Missile Defense, and are ready to take the second step should NATO members decide the Alliance has to protect Europe’s territory and populations against the proliferation of ballistic missiles possibly tipped with weapons of mass destruction.


          I am convinced that in this globalized world a large part of our security is embedded in the security of our partners. This situation requires strong cooperation among the industries involved in the defense and security domains and will see significant gains in costs as well as schedule through global leveraging of shared information, R&D, and investment. However, the smart management of secrecy still matters in maintaining combat superiority. We need to adjust our regulations quickly and find balance between conflicting strategic objectives.

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