Defence Business Unit


ASD acts as a central point for the development of common European positions on EU policies in the field of defence. The Defence Business Unit represents the interests of European defence industries and strives to ensure that the development of European policies, projects and regulatory initiatives support the sustainability of the European Defence Technology and Industrial Base (EDTIB). The Unit endorses recommendations to EU policy-makers and key stakeholders that support the goal of enhancing the competitiveness of the European defence industry along common parameters.


The Chairman of the Business Unit for Defence is Mr Bob Keen, Head of Government Relations of BAE Systems.

The Defence Business Unit currently comprises four Working Groups, covering two sectoral areas - air and land - and two horizontal focuses, research and export controls.

Working Groups act as an interface towards the EU institutions, key European and global stakeholders. Their objective is to identify, review and develop a common understanding of specific policies at EU level which may affect, either in a constructive or detrimental way, the conduct of defence businesses, whether at national or EU level.

The activities of the Unit and of the Working Groups involve a regular and close engagement with the European Commission, the European Defence Agency, national, European and international stakeholders, which aim at fostering an enhanced relationship between industry, policy-makers and authorities.

Defence Research and Technology (DRT)

Chairman: Mr Peter Collins, Director Business Planning, Leonardo and Vice-Chair of UK Defence R&T Council

The DRT Group analyses existing and proposed EU regulations and policy developments affecting the field of defence research and technology, and members collectively assess their business repercussion. The DRT monitors the activities of other national and international organisations relevant to European defence research and technology (LoI, NATO), and encourages exchanges of information on national positions. It focuses in particular on the proposed EU Preparatory Action for CSDP-related research.

European Land Defence Industry Group (ELDIG)

Chairman: Mr Roberto Cortesi, Managing Director, Leonardo Defence Systems Division
Vice-chair: Mr Massimo Gualco, Linea di Business Land Platforms and Weapon Systems Responsabile

ELDIG covers the interests of Europe’s land defence industry, ensuring those are taken into consideration in the development of EU industrial policies. It promotes the competitiveness of European land defence technologies. In particular, ELDIG focuses its activities on the following areas: Future Land Systems (FLS), Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) and related systems, Precision Guided Ammunition (PGA), simulation, soldier systems, sensors, weapons, protection, C4ISTAR and logistics.

For a full presentation of ELDIG, click here

Export Controls Committee (ECC)

Chairman: Mr Andrew Wood, Director Group Strategic Export Controls, Rolls-Royce

The Committee monitors European regulatory developments and policies affecting the control of the transfers and of the exports of armaments and dual-use technologies. The Committee focuses on the review of the EU export control regime for dual use goods and technologies and the intra-Community transfers mechanisms. On the global scene, the Committee also focuses on the international export control context, in particular the U.S. export control reform and the Arms Trade Treaty.

Aircraft Sectoral Group (ASG)

Chairman of the High-Level ASG: Mr Carl-Henrik Arvidsson, Director New Business at Saab AB

Chairing the ASG Management Team: Mr José García, Airbus Defence

ASG’s activities focus on EU regulatory and policy developments that affect the growth of Europe’s air power. This includes shaping the European Commission’s and EDA’s initiatives such as RPAS and FCAS/UCAV, as well as contributing to the implementation of the transfers and the exports of major European and dual-use technologies.

Unmanned Aircraft System Working Group (UAS WG)

Chairman: Mr Fabio Ruta, SESAR Program Manager, Leonardo

A separate Working Group on UAS provides a European industry platform to promote the development of dual-use unmanned systems (fixed and rotary wing) above 150Kg, aimed at defence and civil operations. The UAS Group focuses its activities on SESAR’s RPAS definition phase, the EDA JIP program and other recent European initiatives, but also debates the growth potential of UAS, the maturation of technology, system development, production and through life support for the next generation of Air Systems.


Both a window on the European Union as well as a source of information for the Industries it represents, ASD gathers all data and resources of interest for its overall community.