The current situation, with all its uncertainties, and the irruption of new technologies, encourage all military leaders to rethink their relationships with the Defense companies. It is the end of hard contracts, and the start of incremental innovation. A military exercise, “Trident Juncture”, which recently took place in Norway, was a full-scale benchmark for dozens of different drones which can be of use for all operators. Within the Forum’s frame, the discussions were organized as workshops in order to facilitate participation and direct exchanges. During a debate on logistics, a high-ranking German official stated that his priorities were digitalization, hybrid propulsion and automation. All are domains in which ARQUUS is currently investing research resources. Another workshop focused on AI, and the speakers insisted on the need to prepare for fast changes, largely pushed by civilian research.
Political leaders, as Helge Braun, director of the Federal Chancery and Federal Minister, or Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary general, intervened to present these subjects. General Lanata concluded the exchanges, stating Kissinger’s joke about the lack of identifiable contacts in Europe (“what phone number for Europe?”): “If you want a number for European military R&T, here is my phone number!” he added.