The governments of the 15-nation European Union (EU) have decided to pool technology standards in order to challenge the U.S. defense industry. Defense ministers from the 15 member countries say standardization could put an end to chaotic, competing manufacturing programs that, they say, restrict market opportunities. The aim is to boost EU defense R&D from $12 billion a year to the U.S. level of $32 billion. Says London-based defense analyst John Redbird: "The EU standardization plan only can challenge U.S. domination of the world's defense industry if it is applied in a coordinated manner from the R&D level up to booking orders." But with Britain, Germany, and France still arguing about how to merge their leading defense and aerospace companies into a coherent cross-border group, U.S. industry clearly has no immediate worries.