In DepthMILITARY RESEARCH

Europe ramps up defense R&D

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Science  11 Dec 2020:
Vol. 370, Issue 6522, pp. 1259-1260
DOI: 10.1126/science.370.6522.1259

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Summary

The European Union, with no military of its own, is boosting spending on defense R&D. Spurred by tensions with Russia and declining U.S. engagement, Europe next year will unveil the European Defense Fund (EDF) with a budget of €7 billion over 7 years, split between early-stage research and late-stage development. That's tiny compared with the $80 billion per year the United States spends on defense R&D. And it's even small compared with the combined €5 billion or so spent on defense research each year by EU nations. But the European Union hopes the EDF, by topping up joint national investments, will encourage its members to strengthen their modest defense capabilities. For European researchers, the spending is opening new opportunities—and stirring some qualms.

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