IS THE EUROPEAN GOAL FOR DEFENCE RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY EXPENDITURE ATTAINABLE FOR SMALL COUNTRIES?
 
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National Defence University, Helsinki, Finland
 
Security and Defence Quarterly 2016;13(4):32–49
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ABSTRACT
EU Defence Ministers have adopted a joint Strategy on Defence Research & Technology (R&T) that includes a 2 % goal for defence R&T expenditure. Th is paper discusses the feasibility of such a goal for a small country, including the motivations for undertaking defence R&T work in small countries, and asks are they diff erent from the large countries?

New and improved weapons systems that create a technological advantage in the battlefi eld are grounded on research in technology. However, as capability models demonstrate, there are also other aspects of military capability than the materiel which can therefore be a topic for research. Th rough reviewing a selection of strategy documents from large and small European countries, the fact that only large countries have fi nancial possibilities for major weapons system development and production is highlighted, while in small countries, this link from R&T through development to production and operation is broken. Both defence research and defence industrial base fi gures support this view. Small countries may still have a number of other reasons to engage in R&T in either technology or other areas, but these appear not to be able to suffi ciently motivate R&T expenditure even close to the 2% level.
 
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