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NATO Aims To Strengthen Industrial Base

This week’s NATO Summit, taking place in Washington, D.C., will restate the strategic Indo-Pacific partnership and bolster support for Ukraine.

In a longstanding commitment for resilience against adversarial threats, NATO vows to reenergize and strengthen its defense industrial base. 

For the third year in a row, Indo-Pacific partners including Australia, Japan, Korea and New Zealand have been invited to attend the annual NATO Summit hosted in Washington, D.C. this year.

The invitation, though in part a political message, is also about practical cooperation, a European official told members of the media ahead of the summit. 

While last year’s event in Vilnius, Lithuania, highlighted partnership plans with the Indo-Pacific, this year’s summit will present a more specific project largely focused on cybersecurity. 

"Ukraine is another area where we plan to do more working with Indo-Pacific,” the official stated. Flagship projects will include military medicine and defense innovation. 

“As part of our industrial capacity expansion plan, we also will have provisions there to work more closely not just with the defense industrial ecosystem in Ukraine but also with the defense industrial ecosystem in the Indo-Pacific.” 

As Russia continues its war of aggression, NATO negotiators are finalizing a declaration that restates vital support for Ukraine and its right to self-defense, “building that bridge to membership, and ensures when allies agree and conditions are met, Ukraine joins NATO and assumes its rightful place in the Euro-Atlantic family,” the official added.


The declaration was released during the summit. 

Notably, the People’s Republic of China continues to pose a significant threat, further emphasizing the need to strengthen NATO’s defense industrial base. 

Staying true to a 2014 presented guideline, 23 of the 32 allied countries are now meeting or exceeding the goal of spending 2% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on defense. 

“From 1.43% of their combined GDP in 2014 to 2.02% in 2024,” a NATO report states, partners “are investing a combined total of more than USD 430 billion in defense.” 

"We essentially are catching up after decades of underinvesting in defense,” the official said.  

The speaker called on industry to help expand its industrial capacity by ramping up production sustainably for long-term multiyear contracts.  

Capabilities such as air defense, long-precision strikes and unmanned aerial vehicles were the few mentioned. 

Another important topic to be discussed at this year’s summit is support for joint multinational procurement and acquisition, such as the NATO support and procurement agency, which has invested approximately $6 billion in contracts, including patriot missiles and ammunition.