Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD)

Armaments Cooperation Cooperation between NATO countries in the armaments field is the responsibility of the Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD),  which meets on a regular basis to consider political, economic and technical aspects of the development and procurement of equipment for NATO forces.  Army, Air Force and Naval Armaments Groups support the work of the Conference and are responsible to it in their respective fields.

A Research and Technology Board, which is an integrated NATO body responsible for defence research and technological development, provides advice and assistance to the CNAD and to the Military Committee.  It conducts a programme of collaborative activities across a broad range of defence research and technology issues.

Assistance on industrial matters is provided by a NATO Industrial Advisory Group (NIAG), which enables the CNAD to benefit from industry's advice on how to foster government-to-industry and industry-to-industry cooperation and assists the Conference in exploring opportunities for international collaboration. Other groups under the Conference, formerly known as Cadre Groups and renamed "CNAD Partnership Groups", are active in fields such as defence procurement policy and acquisition practices, codification, quality assurance, test and safety criteria for ammunition, and materiel standardisation. Within the above structure, working groups and ad hoc groups are established to promote cooperation in specific fields. The overall structure enables member countries to select the equipment and research projects in which they wish to participate. At the same time, it facilitates exchange of information on national equipment programmes and on technical and logistics matters where cooperation can be of benefit to individual nations and to NATO as a whole. In 1993, the North Atlantic Council approved revised policies, structures and procedures for NATO armaments cooperation. These were designed to strengthen cooperative activities in the defence equipment field,   to streamline the overall CNAD committee structure in order to make it more effective and efficient; and to direct the work of the CNAD towards the following key areas:

  • harmonisation of military requirements on an Alliance-wide basis;
  • Promotion of essential battlefield interoperability;
  • Pursuit of cooperative opportunities identified by the CNAD and the promotion of  improved transatlantic cooperation;
  • The development of critical defence technologies, including expanded technology sharing.

In 1994, the CNAD agreed on a series of practical cooperation measures with the Western European Armaments Group (WEAG), providing a means of expanding the dialogue on transatlantic armaments issues between European and North American allies.