When it comes to the military, Frank Haun wants to see more European integration, not less. The chief executive of German tank manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann believes Europe should better integrate its arms industry between different countries.
“The more that the same weapons systems are used, the lower the costs are,” said Mr. Haun.
For example, if France and Germany produced and even ordered tanks together, the quantities could be larger, production less expensive – and profits higher.
It’s a dream for a major tank manufacturer like Krauss-Maffei that may be slowly gathering steam in European political circles. Germany may surprisingly be taking the lead in making that happen.
Long reluctant to take up a primarily role in military matters in Europe – understandable given its history – the country’s defense ministry this week is expected to usher in a shift towards a more assertive stance.
A new policy paper is calling for Germany – and Europe – to take on a greater leadership in managing global conflicts. Consolidating the European defense industry is a big piece of that puzzle – and may also be the most challenging.