Agostini: We Need EU Support to Fulfill IRINI’s Tasks

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Operation IRINI Commander, Rear Admiral Fabio Agostini said that the EU needs clear guidelines to improve interoperability while avoiding fragmentation, in order to cope with growing global competition in the Defence industry.

In his speech at the Prague European Summit 2021, Agostini said: “with the launch of Operation IRINI, the EU has demonstrated its ambition to act as an important security provider. This ambition confronts the Member States with the dual need for greater cooperation in defining strategic objectives, and better financial planning for resources to be allocated to capacity building.”

He pointed out that IRINI stresses the importance of the development of “flagship” projects, particularly drones, and thus the additional ability to integrate military know-how into civilian drone technology.

“Drones provided to IRINI by Member States are not made in Europe but in the US and Israel. In the future, we definitely need more – and in particular, qualitatively more advanced – European UAVs,” he said.

Agostini indicated that the second item of vital importance for Operation IRINI is satellite connectivity, “space asset management is a key component to enhance the EU’s military capability. Without satellites, IRINI would not be capable of following through on its tasks,” he added.

“We use the EU Satellite Centre’s services, which provides valuable imagery analysis and imagery intelligence, on an almost daily basis. SATCEN is a great example of what the EU can achieve if it jointly uses the Member States’ most modern assets and technologies. In addition to satellite imagery, satellite connectivity is already essential for the Operation’s communication networks, and this will only become more important in the future,” the Commander concluded.