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Updated: 1 day 18 hours ago

Ambitious electromagnetic railgun project surpasses expectations, raising potential of future artillery systems

Thu, 28/09/2023 - 17:54

Today, the European Defence Agency (EDA) hosted the final meeting of the PILUM project, which focuses on a disruptive concept for an electromagnetic railgun (EMRG) - a future complementary artillery system with the potential of significantly higher projectile velocities and long-range effect. Launched in April 2021, with funding from the European Commission (EC) under the Preparatory Action for Defence Research (PADR), today’s meeting focused on the main research topics studied within PILUM and the results obtained for each of the three components of the EMRG: the railgun, the hypersonic projectile and electric energy storage and conversion.

All seven partners from four European countries working together on this study agreed that significant advancements in the three key areas of electromagnetic artillery were made. This progress sets the stage for the future of advanced electromagnetic weaponry. The achievements in the PILUM project serve as a strong foundation for the next phase called THEMA (Technology for Electromagnetic Artillery) and launched under the EC's European Defence Fund (EDF). THEMA's goal is to prepare for the testing of an electromagnetic railgun on a firing range by 2028. 

PILUM – Progress on three key components

Across the results obtained for each of the three components of the EMRG significant findings were reported in the final meeting. The railgun launcher's critical components, exposed to extreme heat and high-speed friction, were protected with special wear-resistant materials, which significantly extended the railgun barrel's lifespan.

The project also developed a concept for hypervelocity projectiles for speeds up to MACH 6. The performance of the projectile concept was extensively assessed at MACH 5 through wind tunnel experiments and computer simulations.


Additionally, the PILUM project explored various energy supply ideas, such as capacitive and inductive energy concepts. The capacitive system demonstrated a 25% increase in energy density under specific operational conditions. Another promising solution, the XRAM inductive energy concept, showed potential for storing magnetic energy efficiently, with ongoing work to address its technological challenges in the maturation phase (THEMA project).

Download the PILUM Factsheet here

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA Chief Executive visits Ireland for discussions on defence cooperation

Thu, 28/09/2023 - 10:21

EDA Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý, visited Ireland for high-level talks with Micheál Martin, Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and Minister of Defence, and senior officials from the Irish Department of Defence.  The Chief Executive also met with members of the Irish Defence & Security Association. The trip to Dublin was part of Mr Šedivý’s ‘tour des capitales’, which sees him visiting all the EDA’s Member States.

The discussions with Minister Martin mainly focused on Ireland’s ongoing and increased involvement in EDA’s activities, new opportunities for EDA to support Irish defence efforts and the upcoming EU Capability Development Plan (CDP). Mr Šedivý also met with senior officials from the Irish Department of Defence, including; Secretary General Department of Defence, Jacqui Mc Crum, Defence Policy Director, Bernie Maguire and Capability and National Armament Director, Eamon Murtagh.  During the second day of the visit, the Chief Executive also held discussions with senior Irish Defence Forces’ personnel, Col Matt Byrne, Director of Ordnance and Lt Col Fred O Donovan, Strategic Planning Branch. 

To date, Ireland participates in a total of 11 EDA projects and programmes. These include: the European Centre for Manual Neutralisation Capabilities; the EU SatCom market; Military Search Capacity Building and MARSUR Networking. Ireland also signed EDA’s recent collaborative procurement projects for ammunition, CBRN and soldier equipment, and is awaiting acceptance into the MICNET projects, as part for a recent government decision to join four projects within the Agency.   Ireland also participates in four projects under the Permanent Structured Cooperation mechanism, PESCO, and is an observer in 21 projects.

“My visit to Dublin is particularly important as the cooperation between the Agency and Ireland has been growing. Over the past few years, Irish participation and interest in the EDA has only increased and I believe there are further opportunities ahead to deepen the Agency’s support to Ireland. The recent signature by Ireland to join EDA’s ambitious collaborative procurement projects is a testament to EDA’s tailored support on offer to all its Member States”, Jiří Šedivý said.  

“I very much welcome the Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency to Dublin.  Ireland has been a participating member of the Agency since its establishment in 2004.  We work closely with the EDA to enable the delivery of key capabilities for the Defence Forces.  Engagement in EDA Projects allows access to training, information sharing and key technologies that we simply would not be able to achieve on our own.  Ireland will continue to use all opportunities to enhance and develop Defence Forces capabilities through the EDA”, Micheál Martin, Tánaiste and Minister of Defence said. 

EDA’s wider role 

EDA supports all EU Member States in improving their defence capabilities through European cooperation. Acting as an enabler and facilitator for Ministries of Defence willing to engage in collaborative capability projects, the Agency has become the hub for European defence cooperation with expertise and networks spanning the whole spectrum of defence capabilities. 

Member States use EDA as an intergovernmental expert platform where their collaborative projects are supported, facilitated, and implemented. For more details, please see here. 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA Gears Up to Enhance European Personnel Recovery Capabilities

Mon, 25/09/2023 - 10:25

In seeking to create viable personnel (PR) recovery capability in Europe, the European Defence Agency supported Joint Personnel Recovery Staff Course (JPRSC) recently concluded its 29th edition. Hosted from September 5 - 15 at Germany's Air Operations Command, this course provided significant elements for the process to enhance Europe's (PR) capabilities for the participants from six Member States. 

The course was attended by experts from Hungary, the Netherlands, Sweden, Romania, Ireland, and Germany. Throughout the training event, a challenging combined and joint learning environment was created to qualify the 15 students to organise the rescue of personnel in distress according to NATO and EU standards. In line with the primary objective of the course - to provide staff members with the knowledge, skills and expertise required to effectively assist their commanders in PR-related matters - all relevant aspects of Planning and Execution were covered, in addition to promoting interoperability amongst the forces.  

Empowering the Vanguard of Personnel Recovery

The JPRSC places a significant emphasis on training personnel earmarked for an employment in JPR C2 nodes such as: Tactical Operation Centres (TOCs), Personnel Recovery Coordination Cells (PRCCs) and Joint Personnel Recovery Centres (JPRCs). By doing so, it provides the participating European nations with a robust pool of proficient personnel that can execute PR operations with seamless precision as a precursor for the establishment of support structures in future operations. 

The next and 30th edition of the JPRSC is already under development and will be organised and hosted by Sweden from 28 November to 8 December. With PR already identified as an operational shortfall in many Member States, the JPRSC provides a unique benefit to enhance European PR capabilities by enhancing interoperability through training standardisation in a cost-effective way by pooling and sharing Member States’ available PR resources.

EDA’s wider role 

EDA supports all EU Member States in improving their defence capabilities through European cooperation. Acting as an enabler and facilitator for Ministries of Defence willing to engage in collaborative capability projects, the Agency has become the hub for European defence cooperation with expertise and networks spanning the whole spectrum of defence capabilities. 

Member States use EDA as an intergovernmental expert platform where their collaborative projects are supported, facilitated, and implemented. For more details, please see here. 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Defence conference calls for renewed energy in PESCO commitments and projects

Wed, 13/09/2023 - 18:03

Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), the EU’s flagship initiative for defence, has achieved a deepening of cooperation across all military domains over the past six years, but the European Union still lacks critical capabilities and strategic enablers for modern warfare, senior EU officials said on Wednesday. 

Spanish Defence Minister Margarita Robles, EU High Representative Josep Borrell and European Defence Agency Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý all called for new energy to be injected into the EU defence initiative that was launched by Member States in December 2017.

High Representative Borrell - who is also head of EDA - told the PESCO conference on 13 September, organised by the Spanish presidency of the Council, to use PESCO and not work in silos. "Cooperation among Member States is key to strengthening EU defence and the defence industry. On this, PESCO plays a key role in supporting the ambitions set in the Strategic Compass," he said.

PESCO was launched as the “cornerstone of European defence”, Spain’s Minister Robles recalled. Now the war in Ukraine and the critical situation in the Sahel region remind Europeans that the EU needs to preserve peace through solid armed forces, adequate investments and defence capabilities, she said.  

Borrell praised the 68 collaborative projects, including the European Medical Command and the Cyber Rapid Response Teams that have reached full operational capacity (FOC) within PESCO. Twenty-two projects are slated to reach FOC in 2025.  

Some of PESCO’s other achievements include headway in prototyping and testing  unmanned  systems as well as in designing a new class of military ship. PESCO helps Member States to develop new assets together. This helps save money, allows militaries to work closely together, and reinforces NATO for those who are allies.  The framework has also received a boost as Denmark has joined as the 26th Member State.  

The conference in Brussels, attended by some 150 representatives, is part of efforts to feed into a strategic review that will follow after the initiative’s initial phase between 2018 and 2025. EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý said: “We should use this window of opportunity to set its next political objectives, with Member States driving the European capability development process."

He also said: "A bold and concrete PESCO strategic review will be a sound political signal towards our citizens, but also our partners or competitors: governments of EU Member States are politically willing to advance common security and defence."

PESCO has 20 legally binding commitments for Member States, which include increasing defence spending, as well as planning and developing defence capabilities together. For PESCO’s next stage after 2025, Member States can decide to review  the commitments, as well as the number of projects. Performance indicators could also be introduced to measure PESCO  progress, diplomats, military staff and officials heard at the conference. 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

New EDA project to advance work on hybrid drive trains for military vehicles

Wed, 13/09/2023 - 11:07

To improve the sustainability of future defence mobility while retaining the highest performance demanded by military vehicles, the European Defence Agency (EDA) has been working on the development of hybrid drive trains for military use. EDA has formally kicked-off the HybriDT II (Hybrid Drive Train Demonstrator-phase 2) – project which involves the design of full-scale wheeled and tracked military purpose demonstrators with hybrid drive trains. The aim of HybriDT II is the design of demonstrators to verify simulation results and allow for tactical and logistic testing of new technologies. 

Phase two will work to identify the best technology for a modular and scalable hybrid architecture best fitting for military purpose which meets the objectives of significant weight saving, and space claim, thermal radiation reduction and fuel consumption reduction. Wheeled vehicles will be the primary focus of the research, with 8×8 and 6×6 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) will be considered. In addition, tracked vehicle applications will be investigated just within simulation.

The kick-off meeting, held on 6 September, has officially started the second phase   of the project (HybriDT II) that involves Germany, as lead contributing Member State, Austria, The Netherlands, Poland and Slovenia as contributing Member States. This phase of the project has a duration of 15 months and a total budget 1,7 M€. In the expected follow-on phase (HybriDT III), one or more demonstrators will be developed, manufactured and tested according to the results obtained in HybriDT II.

Pan-European consortium 

The project will be executed by a consortium composed of thirteen industrial and research entities:  the AVL List as project leader and General Dynamics European Land Systems – Steyr from Austria; the German AVL Schrick, AVL Software and Functions and Institute for Chemical Technology Fraunhofer; DNV, TNO and VDL from The Netherlands; the Polish Military University of Technology and Huta Stalowa Wola Ironworks; AVL Slovenia, Elaphe Propulsion Technology and University of Ljubljana (Slovenia).

Hybrid II project, prepared in the CapTech Ground Systems at EDA’s Research and Innovation Directorate, contribute to develop innovative propulsion and drivetrain systems, which could fulfil production of zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV), by introducing the most advanced technological trends in transportation.

EDA’s wider role 

EDA supports all EU Member States in improving their defence capabilities through European cooperation. Acting as an enabler and facilitator for Ministries of Defence willing to engage in collaborative capability projects, the Agency has become the hub for European defence cooperation with expertise and networks spanning the whole spectrum of defence capabilities. 

Member States use EDA as an intergovernmental expert platform where their collaborative projects are supported, facilitated, and implemented. For more details, please see here.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA signs framework contracts for joint procurement of 155mm ammunition

Tue, 05/09/2023 - 18:04

The European Defence Agency has so far signed eight framework contracts with European industry for the joint procurement of 155mm ammunition. The signing of the latest five contracts took place at EDA headquarters in Brussels on 5 September, during a visit of the European Union’s Political and Security Committee (PSC) ambassadors.  

High Representative Josep Borrell, who is also Head of the European Defence Agency, said: “We are taking another step forward in our three-track ammunition initiative. Member States can now pass orders within eight framework contracts. Time is of essence. Putin does not show any sign of letting up in his aggression against the Ukrainian people. This is why our military support for Ukraine’s defence must continue. ” 

EDA’s Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý said: “The signing of these framework contracts between EDA and the European defence industry shows our capacity to swiftly secure the best deals possible for EU Member States and Norway. 

We are now offering viable opportunities for Member States to place orders with industry through EDA, either to support Ukraine or to replenish their own national stocks. It is now up to Member States to make full use of these options,” he said.

To date, EDA has negotiated and signed the multiple framework contracts for the procurement of the 155mm ammunition round, also known as all-up-round, for the Panzerhaubitze 2000, as well as for the projectile and fuse components of ammunition for the Krab howitzer system.

More framework contracts will soon materialise for other howitzer systems. 

Collaborative procurement is the best option to achieve cost reduction from economies of scale and interoperability, while allowing Member States to purchase ammunition according to their national needs or in support of Ukraine. The overarching EDA project arrangement has been signed by 26 Member States and Norway. Flexible and inclusive, it allows all EDA Member States to join the initiative.

The ammunition being procured is for the most common self-propelled howitzers that EU Member States have sent to Ukraine: France’s Caesar; Poland’s Krab; Germany’s Panzerhaubitze 2000; and Slovakia’s Zuzana.

To comply with legal obligations and to protect commercially sensitive information, EDA cannot disclose the names of the contractors nor the unit prices at this stage, and does not comment on ongoing negotiations. 

These framework contracts have been signed as part of a three-track approach to deliver more artillery ammunition and missiles to Ukraine, agreed by the EU Council in March 2023. Through these three tracks, the EU is supporting Member States to deliver artillery ammunition and missiles from national stockpiles; to aggregate demand and jointly procure 155mm ammunition; and to ramp up the production capacity of the European defence industry.

EDA’s wider role 

EDA supports all EU Member States in improving their defence capabilities through European cooperation. Acting as an enabler and facilitator for Ministries of Defence willing to engage in collaborative capability projects, the Agency has become the hub for European defence cooperation with expertise and networks spanning the whole spectrum of defence capabilities. 

Member States use EDA as an intergovernmental expert platform where their collaborative projects are supported, facilitated, and implemented. For more details, please see here

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EU countries sign up to EDA’s joint procurement for CBRN and soldier equipment

Wed, 26/07/2023 - 14:41

Several EU Member States have signed the European Defence Agency (EDA) project arrangements for the collaborative procurement of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) equipment, and for soldier equipment. 

The signing of the two project arrangements in late July – by eight EU states in each case – allows them to come into effect. They lay the basis for Member States to buy together such CBRN equipment such as masks, filters and suits, and also to jointly purchase soldier equipment such as helmets and ballistic vests.  

EDA’s project arrangements, and Member States’ interest, send an important signal to industry about the European Union’s commitment to meeting critical military needs. Following competitive tendering, companies or consortia will be able to bid for contracts.  

The two new project arrangements follow the signing in March of EDA’s arrangement for joint procurement of 155mm ammunition, which was based on the work of the Defence Joint Procurement Task Force – composed of EDA, the European External Action Service, the EU Military Staff, and the European Commission – along with Member States, to identify critical shortfalls.  

The procurement process, where EDA will act as the contracting authority, management body and ordering entity in the context of collaborative procurement procedures, should culminate with the first framework contracts with industry, allowing Member States to place orders from then on. 

Collaborative procurement is the best option to achieve cost reduction from economies of scale, while allowing Member States to purchase ammunition and military equipment according to their national needs and supporting Ukraine. The arrangements, which are flexible and inclusive in nature, allow all Member States to join the initiatives at a later stage. 

EDA’S wider role 

EDA supports all EU Member States in improving their defence capabilities through European cooperation. Acting as an enabler and facilitator for Ministries of Defence willing to engage in collaborative capability projects, the Agency has become the hub for European defence cooperation with expertise and networks  spanning the whole spectrum of defence capabilities. 

Member States use EDA as an intergovernmental expert platform where their collaborative projects are supported, facilitated, and implemented. For more details, please see here

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

OPTIMISE project proposes alternatives for military navigation

Thu, 13/07/2023 - 12:40

The OPTIMISE project has proposed a combination of technologies to provide alternative positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) systems for military navigation when Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) are disrupted. 

With funding from the European Commission’s Preparatory Action for Defence Research (PADR), the OPTIMISE project - innOvative PosiTIoning systeMfor defence In gnSs-denied arEas – is part of broader initiatives to explore alternatives to GPS and Galileo for military navigation. OPTIMISE focused principally on aircraft navigation scenarios in GNSS-denied environments.  

GNSS refers to a constellation of satellites providing signals from space that transmit positioning and timing data to GNSS receivers. The receivers then use this data to determine location. However, if such systems, which include Europe’s Galileo, were jammed by an adversary, the need for flexible and reliable alternatives would be crucial. 

OPTIMISE, which had a budget of approximately €1.5 million, trialed reliable and secure ways to allow data from different sensors and signals to work together and achieve the integration of different positioning, navigation and timing technologies. Those included relying on star sensors, radars, ground antennae such as telephone masts, atomic clocks and data fusion software.   


Real-time Demonstration

At the final session of the 28-month project at the European Defence Agency (EDA) in Brussels, OPTIMISE detailed the scenarios and requirements, and the developed technologies and validation activities including ground and flight tests. The technology integration, testing and operation of the different types of OPTIMISE sensors were showcased together with a detailed analysis of the data, via a multi-sensor/multi-platform software architecture for navigation.   

The OPTIMISE demonstration showcased the systems integration and data collection during ground and flight tests hosted by the University of Žilina; such tests were complemented with simulations using the information from a reference flight trajectory. 

OPTIMISE also elaborated, within its exploitation plan, a roadmap for the further development of the individual technologies and the overall project integrated system. The follow-up of part of the work within OPTIMISE will be continued in a EDA Category B (Cat. B) project. The project is also related to the work conducted under the Capability Technology Groups of EDA (namely CapTech Guidance, Navigation and Control and CapTech Space). 

OPTIMISE brought together nine beneficiaries from four countries. Led by Skylife Engineering SL of Spain, it also includes MBDA ITALIA SPA of Italy, SENER Aeroespacial Sociedad Anonima, also of Spain, France’s Office National D’Etudes et de Recherches Aerospatiales, Syrlinks SAS, STAR NAV and SYSNAV SAS, Zilinska Univerzita v Ziline of Slovakia, and Spain’s La Asociación de Investigación y Cooperación Industrial de Andalucía "F. de Paula Rojas". 

OPTIMISE was selected under the 2019 call for proposals for the EU Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) managed by the European Defence Agency.  

OPTIMISE was selected following an EU-wide PADR call for proposals on the topic of ‘Future Disruptive Defence Technologies - Emerging Game-changers’, in the sub-topic related to autonomous positioning, navigation and timing.  


The OPTIMISE project is part of the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) launched by the European Commission in 2017 to assess and demonstrate the added-value of EU supported defence research and technology (R&T). It paved the way for a proper European Defence Programme to come as part of the European Defence Fund (EDF), under the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027). 

The PADR implementation is run by EDA following the mandate via a Delegation Agreement between the European Commission and EDA signed on 31 May 2017. By this agreement the Commission entrusts EDA with the management and implementation of the research projects launched within the PADR.   



Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA-led project shapes standards for unmanned systems

Wed, 12/07/2023 - 14:26

A project managed by the European Defence Agency (EDA), which aims to create a basis for a European interoperability standard for military unmanned systems, has presented its recommendations after more than two years of work. The project INTERACT (Interoperability Standards for Armed Forces Unmanned Systems) would allow better use of a variety of unmanned assets and control stations across operational modes. By sticking to the same standards, different military units or even different allied armed forces could use such drones, whether they are in the air, land or maritime domains.  

The interoperability standard under development within INTERACT should allow unmanned assets to be deployed in flexible and varied configurations. It includes singular deployment, manned and unmanned teaming, in handovers or autonomous swarms -and independent of organisational or national provenance. An enhanced level of interoperability will greatly increase responsiveness and flexibility, and with it the warfighting capability of European armed forces.

INTERACT was coordinated by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB. The consortium consists of 18 other members, including research centres, small- and medium-sized enterprises and major defence companies.

Standardisation of systems, interfaces

Interoperability is key. The development of unmanned systems has increased in the past few years. Operations are also becoming more complex. For example, swarms of systems, control stations for the same vehicle that require handovers between them - and a mix of air and surface unmanned systems - are all important factors.

However, every manufacturer has used its own standards. Operational requirements can only be met by standardising the systems and their interfaces. 

Given that a long list of standards already exist, INTERACT's project recommendations lay the basis for a drone made by one defence contractor to be operated from a control station of another company, for instance.

Tabletop exercise

In March 2023, the consortium recommendations were tested in a tabletop exercise, showing their reliability. The project has now culminated in a roadmap that will pave the way to validate a complete standard in this area, once some follow-on actions are made.

Taking into account the wide range of unmanned systems, the European Defence Standardisation Management Group, NATO's standardisation office and the European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE) have all been kept abreast of developments. 


INTERACT received €1.5 million for a study from the PADR (Preparatory Action for Defence Research) in its 2019 call for projects. PADR is managed by the European Defence Agency, a role delegated by the European Commission.  

The Netherlands’ Organisatie Voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek (TNO) and Greece’s Institute of Communication and Computer Systems and Sweden’s FOI, were the main beneficiaries of this project under the coordination of Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB. They were aided by the main European manufacturers of unmanned systems in the domains of air, land and sea, along with leading research organisations. 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

PESCO Projects Adapt and Accelerate Amid Shifting European Security Landscape, EU Report Finds

Tue, 11/07/2023 - 10:49

Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), the EU’s flagship initiative to drive greater defence cooperation among 26 EU Member States, reports visible progress across projects in all military domains in 2022. A new report finds that the changing security environment is impacting many PESCO projects’ scope and timelines, with work on key defence capabilities being expedited and expanded. The annual Projects Progress Report finds that many projects are successfully transitioning from one phase to the next, with a marked uptick in progress in response to pressing security concerns.

In 2022, PESCO projects showed significant advances across their lifecycle phases. Out of the total 60 projects under review from the first to the fourth waves, a promising upward trend is evident. Twelve projects have successfully moved forward to the next lifecycle phase, while three are in the final completion phase, marking substantial achievements. Furthermore, 43 projects have made significant strides by meeting their interim objectives, indicating notable progress despite remaining in the same lifecycle phase.

Adapt and Strengthen in Response to Aggression

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has significantly impacted the European security environment, with Member States evaluating the lessons learned from the ongoing war and reshaping their defence capability development needs accordingly. The report finds that these developments are exerting significant influence on ongoing PESCO projects, manifested in key areas:

  • Expanded Project Scope: PESCO projects have demonstrated remarkable adaptability by broadening their scope and objectives to proactively address the wider challenges stemming from Russia's aggression. For instance, in the maritime domain, a project has been expanded to tackle the challenge of drifting mines at sea.
  • Adjusted Timelines: Recognising the urgency and criticality of certain capabilities, project timelines have been expedited. This acceleration can be observed in projects related to capabilities that address more complex and evolving air threats, including the missile domain, due to pressing air defence needs.
  • Resource Planning: The ongoing war has resulted in increased defence spending and project funding, while human resources remain largely unchanged with personnel navigating the challenges of increased demands.
  • Strengthened Partnerships: The war has prompted closer cooperation among PESCO member states, NATO Allies, and Ukraine. With some capabilities of PESCO projects used or activated in support of Ukraine.
  • Enhanced Interoperability: The ongoing war of aggression has further underscored the criticality of interoperability and exchangeability among member states. For instance, ongoing PESCO projects are adapting their scope and timelines and are considering synergies to better respond to the shifting security landscape.

The year 2022 was a milestone for PESCO, as the highest number of projects—18 in total—reached their project execution year. In total, 22 projects are slated to reach full operational capability (FOC) in 2025, highlighting the steady pace of progress within the PESCO initiative. However, eight projects require special attention or scrutiny as fundamental project management elements need to be addressed.  

PESCO projects are already producing deliverables and enhancing European capabilities in areas such as cyber defence, unmanned systems, medical services, and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) surveillance. Some of the capabilities of PESCO projects, such as 'Cyber Rapid Response Teams and Mutual Assistance in Cyber Security’ (CRRT) and ‘European Medical Command’ (EMC), have already been used or activated in support of EU CSDP missions and operations as well as EU partners, including Ukraine, with CRRT testing the capability in support of EU Partners and EMC acting as a coordinating and supporting body.

PESCO Projects Showcase Progress in Key Defence Areas

Within the realm of PESCO projects, several initiatives are already yielding fruitful results, bolstering Member States' capabilities. One notable project from the first wave, the EMC, has set up a coordinating entity to efficiently manage scarce European medical services in terms of planning, coordination, and management. Achieving full operational capability in 2022, this project played a pivotal role in successfully leading the Pandemic Response Exercise, RESILIENT RESPONSE, in 2023. Amid the ongoing war on Ukraine, the importance of robust military medicine capabilities in protracted, high-intensity operations has become evident.

Another project, ‘CBRN Surveillance as a Service’ is focused on establishing a persistent and distributed manned-unmanned sensor network utilising unmanned aerial and ground systems, providing comprehensive CBRN situational awareness. The project is set to deliver a technical demonstrator in 2023, followed by the establishment of a multinational CBRN unit.

The CRRT project developed a cooperation framework to respond to major cyber incidents through mutual assistance, joint training, operational support, and the creation of joint capabilities. Eight project members have formed Cyber Rapid Response Teams, actively refining their skills through regular exercises. These teams were activated in support of Ukraine and Moldova in 2022, demonstrating their operational value. The project is currently defining the next steps forward.

The Integrated Unmanned Ground System project, brings together 10 members to develop an unmanned ground system (UGS) capable of collaborating with other unmanned platforms and manned vehicles to provide combat support and service to ground forces. The project is progressing towards the design, prototyping, and testing of an integrated modular UGS platform by 2023, which could set the standard for future projects. In May 2023, a follow-on project (iUGS2) was established, reflecting the increasing importance of unmanned systems, as highlighted by lessons learned from the war against Ukraine.

Future capability needs moving forwards

The report also finds that many of the projects set up to address future capability needs have also moved forward. The European Patrol Corvette (EPC) project is on the cusp of achieving harmonised requirements, a significant milestone that will contribute to heightened maritime security and safeguarding critical infrastructure.

Similarly, the Maritime (semi) Autonomous Systems for Mine Countermeasures project has finalised the harmonisation of requirements and engaged an industrial consortium to develop underwater autonomous vehicles. Additionally, the Defence of Space Assets project aims to define crucial blocks that will bolster the safety and resilience of space assets, with the first joint exercise in this domain slated for 2024.

  1. All data and findings are from the PESCO Secretariat’s – the European Defence Agency (EDA), the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Union Military Staff (EUMS) – Annual Projects Progress Report. The report is not publicly available.
  2. PESCO Project Spokespersons
  3. PESCO Factsheet
  4. PESCO Website
  5. On 11 December 2017, the Council adopted a decision establishing Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). PESCO enables participating member states to work more closely together in the area of security and defence. This permanent framework for defence cooperation allows willing and able member states to develop jointly defence capabilities, invest in shared projects, and enhance the operational readiness and contribution of their armed forces.
  6. PESCO projects have been adopted by the Council and launched across five different waves;
    • 6 March 2018 – 17 projects
    • 19 November 2018 – 17 projects
    • 12 November 2019 – 13 projects
    • 16 November 2021– 14 projects
    • 23 May 2023 – 11 projects
  7. Each of the projects is carried forward by varying groups of PESCO participating Member States (project members) and is coordinated by one or more of them (project coordinators). The project members may agree among themselves to allow other participating Member States to join as project members or to become observers to the project.
  8. The key difference between PESCO and other forms of cooperation is the legally binding nature of its 20 binding commitments undertaken by participating Member States to one another. These include increasing defence spending, planning and developing defence capabilities together and improving the interoperability of forces and joint use of existing and future capabilities.
  9. 26 states participate in PESCO, the EU 27 with the exemption of Malta. There are 22 common members in the EU and NATO, and all of them are also participating in PESCO.
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA to support two further PESCO projects in the air and maritime domains

Fri, 07/07/2023 - 14:36

The European Defence Agency (EDA) will support two new projects developing the next generation of systems for European defence under the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) initiative. In the air domain, the Next Generation Small RPAS (NGSR) project will pave the way for an advanced unmanned aerial system (UAS) prototype by 2027, while in maritime, the Essential Elements of European Escort (4E) project, sets out to identify and detail the essential elements of future surface warships within the EU from 2030 to 2045. EDA’s Steering Board recently approved the launch of specific EDA ad hoc projects for both, following a request from the participating Member States (pMS) involved.   

Next Generation of Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems – Towards a prototype 

The goal of this project is to develop a new generation of tactical UAS with versatile capabilities. It aims to serve various purposes, such as supporting army units, maritime and air operations, and civilian activities. The war against Ukraine demonstrates the importance of persistent surveillance provided by unmanned systems. The UAS will be designed to be adaptable to different mission requirements and will incorporate autonomous features to ease pilot and operator workload. NGSR project is led by Spain, in collaboration with Germany, Slovenia, Portugal, Romania, and Hungary. 

Running for four years, EDA’s NGSR ‘Category B’ Project has a twofold objective. Firstly, it aims to harmonise the requirements among pMS, ensuring a unified approach to the UAS's development. Secondly, the project will support the development of the prototype through a contract with industry.

The tactical UAS that will be developed under this project will meet common requirements and be versatile enough to undertake various missions, ranging from high-intensity conflicts to peace enforcement and support to civilian authorities. It will have the ability to take off and land without a runway, cover medium ranges (up to 200 km), and sustain missions for 5-10 hours. The use of advanced technology will allow for flexibility, modular payloads, and interoperability to maximise effectiveness.

To facilitate the smooth execution of the project, EDA will play a crucial role. The Agency will provide overall coordination, administration, and management of the project. Furthermore, the EDA will lend its expertise to the requirements developed by pMS, supporting their harmonisation. The Agency also stands ready to facilitate the engagement with industry based on pMS requirements.

In addition, the EDA will negotiate, conclude, and manage the contract with the industry on behalf of the pMS, ensuring timely reporting and payments throughout the project's duration. The Agency will work closely with the pMS and industry to coordinate the development of the prototype. By offering next generation ISR capabilities, the NGSR project aims to improve crisis response capabilities and enhance the effectiveness of European armed forces in various operational environments.

4E– Essential systems for the 2040s 

Essential Elements of European Escort (4E) aims to develop the most important systems of any surface combatant that may be built in Europe from 2035 to 2045 covering five areas: combat system, communication and information system, navigation system, platform management system and Integration of System of Systems. 4E project is led by Spain, in collaboration with Italy and Portugal.  

EDA’s ‘Category B’ project, which will run for two years, aims to support the 4E PESCO project by offering invaluable assistance in its initiation and execution. EDA’s responsibilities encompass drafting the Project Initiating Document, which defines the project's scope, working procedures, and strategic communication plan. The agency will coordinate pMS cooperation, including facilitating negotiations, staffing, and signature processes, as well as overseeing contributions, reporting, and procurement. Moreover, the Agency will facilitate the formulation of the High-Level Requirements Document and initiate feasibility and de-risking studies to ensure a seamless and efficient project implementation. Leveraging their expertise, the EDA will contribute to defining project objectives, harmonising working processes, and drafting the deliverables in collaboration with the pMS. This will serve as a steppingstone for further activities of the projects, notably related to the development of specific systems. 

The PESCO 4E project aligns with the EU Capability Development Priority Naval Manoeuvrability, aiming to foster collaboration among pMS in shaping the future of surface ships within the EU. Its goals encompass enhancing pMS adaptability to evolving operational environments, reducing fragmentation, and improving the coherence of the EU's capability landscape.

PESCO moving forward and supported by EDA 

EDA, as the EU’s hub for defence cooperation, has launched several dedicated projects to support moving a variety of ambitious PESCO projects forward. NGSR and 4E, launched under the fourth wave of PESCO projects in November 2021, are the 11th and 12th projects currently supported by the Agency.

EDA’s support has since grown from initial modest administrative support to a couple of PESCO’s smaller-scale projects to include major weapons platforms, such as the Future Medium Tactical Cargo (FMTC) and European Patrol Corvette (EPC).

EDA offers several forms of support to PESCO projects. One of them is consultancy and expertise, allowing the Agency and the PESCO project members to agree on the specific tasks EDA will carry out for a project. This could entail support in capturing the detailed operational and technical requirements, as well as developing its concept of operations or defining specifications for its technical study.

Another form of EDA support is when pMS of a PESCO project choose to establish their project at the Agency and use EDA’s project management tools, which means other Member States can choose to opt into, or join, the endeavour at a later stage, with EDA serving as project manager. To date, six PESCO projects are being taken forward within the Agency; CBRN Surveillance as a Service (CBRN SaaS); Deployable Modular Underwater Intervention Capability Package (DIVEPACK);  European Patrol Corvette (EPC); CIDCC (Cyber and Information Domain Coordination Center); Next Generation Small RPAS (NGSR) and Essential Elements of European Escort (4E).

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

NEW 2023 ISSUE ONLINE NOW - European Defence Matters

Mon, 03/07/2023 - 11:23
NEW ISSUE  "Broader Horizons – Strong partners for European and transatlantic security"  


The summer issue of European Defence Matters - the European Defence Agency's flagship magazine - is here! Read our digital magazine, as both a Webzine with a selection of articles, and the full PDF online.

With no let-up in Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, Edition 25 of European Defence Matters looks at how European and Western countries are coming together to deepen their relationships in defence.

As EDA welcomes Denmark as its 27th Member State, so this edition of European Defence Matters highlights the ties that unite us. Call it broader horizons, or something more prosaic, the enduring support to Ukraine is intensifying.

The EU-U.S. summit of June 2021 marked the beginning of a renewed transatlantic partnership. We discuss with our Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý and U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment William LaPlante what the new EDA-U.S. DoD Administrative Arrangement (AA) brings. We hear, too, from Norway’s defence minister about the benefits of its AA. 


Lessons from Ukraine, joint procurement

EDA’s Head of Agency, High Representative Josep Borrell, underscores the need for the collaborative procurement of ammunition. As the outgoing EU presidency chair, Sweden has been at the centre of the European jigsaw to improve defence cooperation. We hear from the country’s Minister for Defence, Pål Jonson.

As Portugal’s Minister of Defence Helena Carreiras explains, the EU needs a defence industrial base that is greater than the sum of its national parts.

Picking up on that point, EDA’s Capability, Armament & Planning Director Stefano Cont draws lessons from the war in Ukraine and suggests that a real defence-industrial capacity is a capability in itself. Enzo Benigni, President and Chief Executive of Elettronica Group, looks at another aspect seen in Ukraine: electronic warfare, his company’s speciality. 

Do have a look too at our timeline graphic on join procurement. 

Enjoy the read

Robin Emmott, Editor-in-Chief  


Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA’s final helicopter exercise ends, opens way for new training centre

Fri, 30/06/2023 - 15:02

After two weeks of intense training, Hot Blade 2023, EDA’s final multinational helicopter exercise, has drawn to a close. This year's iteration, the 17th edition of the Blade series and the sixth time held in Portugal, has once again showcased the European Defence Agency's (EDA) commitment to enhancing helicopter capabilities and preparing military personnel for future operational challenges. 

Since its inception in 2009, EDA has been actively engaged in organising multinational helicopter training activities, fostering cooperation among European nations and achieving substantial advancements in helicopter capabilities. Over the years, these exercises have played a crucial role in honing the skills of hundreds of crews and thousands of other military personnel, ensuring their readiness for multinational operations. 

Beja Air Base: hot and dusty

Hot Blade 2023 featured the participation of 25 air assets and approximately 1,100 military personnel from six countries, including Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Slovakia, Switzerland, and the host nation, Portugal. The assets comprised 15 helicopters (3 AB-212, 2 NH-90, 3 AS532, 3 Mi-171, 1 UH-60, 1 EH101 and 2 AW119) and 10 fixed-wing aircraft (3 PC-7, 6 F-16 and 1 P3C), providing a diverse training environment for the crews involved. In addition, Slovenia provided an air defence emulator and Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden participated with staff in different roles. Italy and Greece also sent observers to the exercise. 

The primary focus of the exercise was to enable crews to practice operations in various challenging environments, both during daylight and night-time sorties. These realistic scenarios aimed to replicate the conditions that participants would encounter in different operational theatres. 

Hot Blade 2023 pursued several key objectives, including enhancing tactical interoperability among participating countries' helicopter units, training and common practicing tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) with fighter jets and electronic ground warfare threats, and improving interoperability with ground forces in various training and operational tasks. 

Held at Beja Air Base, the exercise's comprehensive program included missions such as air assault, air interdiction, special operations aviation, combat service support, close air support, reconnaissance and surveillance, combat search and rescue, personnel recovery, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. Special procedures, including fast rope and abseiling techniques, air-to-surface live firing, and training with special operations forces from the air force, army and navy, were also practiced, highlighting the exercise's commitment to fostering joint and multinational interoperability. 

The multinational crews received invaluable support from an experienced mentor team comprising instructors from Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and EDA's Chief Instructor. Drawing on lessons learned from previous "Blade" exercises and operational experience, the mentor team played a vital role in preparing and guiding the crews through the challenging Composite Air Operations (COMAO) missions. 

To showcase the exercise's achievements, a Distinguished Visitors Day was held on June 15, 2023 with the participation of Vice-admiral Jorge Manuel Nobre de Sousa, Chief-of-Staff of the Joint Operations Command of the Portuguese Armed forces, and Lt General José Barros Ferreira, Vice Chief of Staff of the Portuguese Air Force. Representatives from participating EDA Member States, as well as other national and international authorities, witnessed live training sessions, underscoring the significance of this collaborative effort. 

New home, same spirit  

Looking ahead, Hot Blade 2024 will mark a significant transition as the Multinational Helicopter Training Centre (MHTC) assumes responsibility for delivering the exercise, along with all the EDA helicopter training programs. This transition will mark the beginning of the second life of this dynamic and long-lasting project, which will surely continue support to improving European helicopter capabilities, maintaining the Blade spirit, and keeping its outstanding reputation among the European helicopter community.  

With an agreed plan of activities spanning the next decade and involving 14 European countries, the MHTC is poised to become a reference in helicopter military training throughout Europe. 

The MHTC will formally assume the responsibility over all the EDA helicopter training activities on the 1st of January 2024. The 1st MHTC Blade exercise (Hot Blade 2024) is expected to commence on the 22nd of May 2024, also at Beja Air Base.  

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA project to examine ammunition for potential ageing degradation

Fri, 30/06/2023 - 11:38

The European Defence Agency (EDA) and the European Network of National Safety Authorities on Ammunition (ENNSA) have kicked- off their latest ‘Round Robin Test’, focusing on ammunition monitoring for low velocity 40x46mm grenades. The initiative is designed to compare test results obtained in different Member States’ laboratories working on ammunition safety. A Round Robin Test is an important tool to ensure ammunition's safety and reliability, especially after being in storage for many years. 

Seven nations, namely Austria, Belgium, Germany, Finland, Netherlands, Norway and Poland as lead nation, are cooperating in this project by performing real fire testing and chemical testing. This collaborative effort focuses on examining the properties of crucial elements such as propellant and explosive materials, with a specific goal of verifying potential degradation due to ageing. Simultaneously, the results obtained will serve as a basis for comparing testing procedures across different laboratories in these nations and ensure the safety and reliability of this ammunition. 

The importance of ammunition degradation has become more pronounced as Member States donate arms to Ukraine, making it all the more vital to gather valuable insights and ensure the reliability of ammunition materials. By pooling resources and expertise, these nations are actively working together to address this critical concern. 

Round Robin and fire testing

In a Round Robin Test, the results from various laboratories are treated equally, focusing on the consistency of data and the establishment of reliable standards across different conditions. This approach helps ensure that reliable outcomes can be achieved consistently, regardless of the testing environment. 

This test includes real fire testing by three participating nations, where muzzle velocity, chamber pressure, action time, dispersion and self-destruction time will be assessed.

This project has an estimated duration of eight months, and the outcome will be an important step to harmonise ammunition safety requirements, procedures and improve interoperability. Additionally, it is an excellent opportunity for ammunition laboratory benchmark procedures and best practices.  


In 2010 the EDA Steering Board approved the establishment of ENNSA with the primary task to facilitate communication among the national bodies which are in charge of ammunition safety. 

The focus of ENNSA, as agreed by its members, was to explore the harmonisation of ammunition qualification to improve interoperability and increase cooperation among Member States, in parallel with achieving savings across the ammunition production/procurement cycle.

One of the basic tools designed for this purpose is the Round Robin Test programme. It serves to compare and validate test results obtained in different laboratories of the Member States working within the area of ammunition safety. 

The Endorsement of Test Houses (ETH) is also a complementary activity to the test where participating Member States can visit different test and evaluation facilities and discuss requirements and qualification processes. These activities are promoted by EDA Defence Test and Evaluation Area as a Critical Enabler of Member States'  capability development.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Offshore energy and defence require better synergy - EDA Symbiosis conference hears

Wed, 28/06/2023 - 15:16

The inaugural event promoting co-existence between defence activities and offshore renewable energy installations was held on 28 June 2023, in Brussels. The first plenary conference of the Symbiosis project, marks a significant milestone following its launch last October. As the first EDA Horizon Europe-funded project, Symbiosis enhances defence energy resilience and charts a path for future cooperation, amplifying the potential of offshore renewable energy within the European Union.

Symbiosis conference: harnessing offshore energy for sustainable energy

As the EU prioritises offshore renewable energy to achieve climate neutrality, it is  essential for the defence sector to adapt and contribute to energy resilience and sustainability efforts. The Symbiosis – Offshore Renewable Energy for Defence project, funded under Horizon Europe, aims to identify and present the conditions to promote the co-existence between offshore renewable energy projects and defence activities and systems in European maritime spaces.

Gathering more than 100 participants, and opened by Jean-François Ripoche, Director Research, Technology and Innovation with a keynote speeh by Hans Van Steen, Principal Advisor to DG ENER of the European Commission, the conference spotlighted Europe’s offshore wind sector, highlighting its potential and challenges while emphasising the EU’s role in promoting energy development and maritime security. The event also underscored the importance of developing synergies between offshore energy and defence and the need for a collaborative approach towards a sustainable future. Attendees delved into the Symbiosis project’s scope, objectives, and prospects.

Upscaling offshore

In his welcome address, the EDA Director Research, Technology and Innovation, Jean-François Ripoche, underlined that the “Symbiosis project was built on the extensive work carried out as part of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector, demonstrating EDA’s and Commission commitment for ensuring coherence of activities and turning ideas to real projects.” Ripoche acknowledged that “EDA has been identified as the most suitable actor in the EU defence landscape to act as the interface between the MoDs and the wider EU public, private and industrial communities to create viable conditions for co-existence”. In this regard, he encouraged all the relevant stakeholders to support EDA’s work stressing that this project aims to spur innovation and provide modelling solutions with mutual benefits.

In his keynote speech, Hans Van Steen, Principal Advisor to DG ENER, emphasised that the European Commission as well as the EU Member states have very ambitious plans for the upscaling of offshore energy in the years to come. Energy from offshore renewable sources is indispensable to avoid climate change and secure our energy supply. However, the maritime space is not infinite and the right compromises and solutions need to be found. For this co-existence is the keyword. To reach the offshore ambitions for 2030 and 2050 we need all actors involved: Industry, academia, spatial planners and of course defence.

Symbiosis project - scope

The project will map the maritime defence areas, assess their suitability for deploying offshore renewable projects, and identify hurdles and risks that constrain their exploitation. Managed by the Symbiosis project management team and guided by an expert Advisory Board, the project aims at securing relevant, high-quality outcomes. Regular interactions with relevant Commission entities (DG ENER and DG MARE), alongside collaboration with the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), will ensure adherence to project’s key objectives.

Symbiosis project - activities

Defence and civilian user communities are established to comprehend and address obstacles to deploying offshore renewables. Conferences, involving these communities and the advisory board, aim to facilitate networking between MoDs and the civil sector while raising awareness of the project’s main scope and goals. To enable targeted discussions on the technical aspects of the project, regional workshops and ad-hoc expert meetings are planned. Through research, simulation-modelling, and evaluation-testing, the project, with an external contractor's support, will formulate regulatory, technological, and operational solutions addressing concerns in European maritime spaces.


On 1 October 2022, EDA launched the Symbiosis – Offshore Renewable Energy for Defence project, which will run for 30 months. Its name signifies the mutually beneficial relationship between the interdependent civilian and military sectors, enabling co-existence. The Symbiosis project builds on the extensive work carried out as part of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS) - a Commission-funded initiative managed by EDA since 2015.

For more information

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

New EDA project to identify smart and adaptive materials to enhance camouflage of land systems

Thu, 22/06/2023 - 15:11

The European Defence Agency (EDA) has launched a new research and technology project aimed at improving new armament-related capabilities by enhancing camouflage and decreasing the signature of ground systems. The Advanced Solutions for Camouflage of Land Systems using smart and adaptive materials (ASCALS) - project aims at finding new materials and their application processes for active and adaptive camouflage in the visible, infrared and radar ranges.

In the face of highly sophisticated modern detection systems, the development of advanced materials and techniques to improve camouflage and decrease the signature of military ground systems is increasingly important. Effective concealment prevents ground systems from being detected, identified and observed, and in this way provide additional protection without affecting weight and mobility. Consequently, effective concealment improves stealth reconnaissance capability and surprise factor for ground systems. The wide variety of operational environments of modern ground systems creates a need for active and adaptive camouflage concepts that reduce optical and thermal signature under a variety of possible terrain and weather conditions.

ASCALS intends to address these challenges and pursue the advantages of smart and adaptive camouflage. The project will focus on the development of advanced materials for absorption and obscuring techniques. Whereas ASCALS will specifically investigate the feasibility of application to selected military ground platforms, the results of the project can be expected to bear potential for usage in the maritime and air domain as well.

ASCALS will run for 18 months with a budget of 1,3 M euros and brings together ten partners from six Member States. A follow-on phase (ASCALS II) is already envisioned to optimise the most promising routes identified in ASCALS I and develop several demonstrators. These demonstrators shall be assembled in land platforms and tested in a relevant environment, within an expected timeframe of 2027.

Ten partners from six Member States

The first phase of the project has officially started and is funded by Greece (lead Nation), Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Sweden. Within EDA, ASCALS is a cross-Capability and Technology Group (CapTech) project prepared in the CapTech Ground Systems and CapTech Materials and Structures within EDA’s Research, Technology and Innovation Directorate.

The project will be implemented by a consortium led by Adamant Composites (Greece) and comprising ten more industrial and research entities:  University of Luxembourg; TNO, MIS7 and Bolidt (The Netherlands); Military Institute of Engineer Technology and LUBAWA S.A. (Poland); CITEVE, INEGI and Military Research Academy (Portugal); Swedish Defence Research Agency.


Further information

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA managed TALOS project successfully closed

Mon, 19/06/2023 - 11:22

TALOS (Tactical Advanced Laser Optical System), a major collaborative defence research project launched under the European Commission’s Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR), has successfully closed. The final event took place online on 23 May 2023, with the participation of the members of the consortium, representatives of the European Defence Agency, Ministries of Defence, industry and academia.

The TALOS project aimed to develop a compact design laser able to quickly and precisely neutralise an agile target (i.e. Rocket Artillery and Mortar - RAM, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle - UAV), while significantly minimising collateral damage.  

The TALOS project achieved its objectives and developed a compact laser technology for neutralisation of agile targets, while significantly minimising collateral damage. The main results obtained addressed the following areas: CONOPS (Concept of Operations), target vulnerability, laser developments at 2 μm, laser combining technology, ethics and safety, roadmap for European LDEW (Laser Directed Energy Weapon) systems.  

The project implementation culminated in the development of two demonstrators: a high power amplifier at eye-safer wavelength and an innovative propagation demonstrator allowing highly efficient coherent combining on target. The results of the project will contribute significantly to enhancing EU Member States’ defence capabilities in critical laser effector technologies.  

About TALOS  

TALOS brings together 16 beneficiaries from 9 European countries. Led by CILAS (France), it also includes TNO (Netherlands), Leonardo (Italy), DLR, Airbus Defence and Space, Stelar (Germany), MBDA France, Erdyn Consultants, Université de Limoges, ONERA (France), Ustav Fotoniky a Elektroniky (Czech Republic), Wojskowa Akademia Techniczna, AMS Technologies (Poland), QinetiQ (UK), John Cockerill Defense (Belgium) and AERTEC Solutions (Spain). 


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EDA and Multinational Logistics Coordination Centre sign cooperation agreement

Fri, 16/06/2023 - 10:29

The European Defence Agency (EDA) and the Multinational Logistics Coordination Centre (MLCC) have established a cooperative framework through an Exchange of Letters (EoL). Cooperation was formalised with a signing ceremony during the Distinguished Visitors Day of the first Additive Manufacturing Village capability workshop in Ede, the Netherlands, on 14 June 20203. The EoL was signed by EDA Deputy Chief Executive, André Denk, on behalf of Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý, and MLCC Director, Col. Jakub Hrdina.

Cooperation between EDA and MLCC will focus on activities of mutual interest, such as logistics meetings, workshops, conducting studies, projects, exercises, exhibitions, conferences, training and education activities. EDA and MLCC intend to interact closely and to co-ordinate their work on the development of logistic capabilities to make a coherent contribution to multinational logistics transformational activities. The identification of common activities should focus on supporting EDA and MLCC participating Member States.

EDA Deputy Chief Executive, André Denk, said; “The long and fruitful relationship between our two organisations, EDA and MLCC, culminates in the signature of an Exchange of Letters. 12 MLCC members are also EDA Member States. We follow the same objectives. We serve our Member States to build up and enhance our logistic capabilities. We address their critical capability shortfalls. The logical next step is to underpin our common future cooperation.”

MLCC Director, Col. Jakub Hrdina, said; “It is my pleasure and honour that we will promote our long-lasting exceptional collaboration with EDA signing such a cooperation arrangement. MLCC Vision is: To be a centre of expertise for the development, coordination and provision of efficient and effective multinational military logistics solutions. Without close cooperation with strong multinational logistics stakeholders, which EDA definitely is, it wouldn’t be possible to achieve this goal and fulfil the vision.”

Enhancing cooperation in logistics

Logistic capabilities are a necessary asset to support and contribute to the success of military operations. The development and improvement of logistic capabilities is challenging, especially to ensure interoperability. Both EDA and MLCC are active in logistics, sharing similar objectives to improve and develop capabilities for their respective Member States. 

Areas for cooperation could include the following:

  • Logistic capabilities, logistic procedures, logistic concepts as well as joint enabling activities to enhance interoperability;
  • Logistic exercises, training, and other logistic events;
  • Mutual Logistic Support and used IT-application;
  • Exploring the use of new technologies, e.g., additive manufacturing.

In keeping with the activities of the AM Village, the EoL was signed by pens which had been printed using additive manufacturing materials during the capability workshop. 


EDA supports all EU Member States in improving their defence capabilities through European cooperation. Acting as an enabler and facilitator for Ministries of Defence willing to engage in collaborative capability projects, the Agency has become the hub for European defence cooperation with expertise and networks spanning the whole spectrum of defence capabilities.

Member States use EDA as an intergovernmental expert platform where their collaborative projects are supported, facilitated, and implemented.

The MLCC was established in 2011 by means of a Memorandum of Understanding and is governed by the MLCC Board of Directors. Currently, MLCC is composed of 20 Member States, 12 of which are EDA’s participating Member States. The MLCC’s mission is to build and enhance logistics capabilities, and to address critical logistics shortfalls of the MLCC Members and non-Members by providing multinational solutions for the logistic support of the forces in operations and exercises.


Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Climate change and EU defence: released new report analysing the links between climate, energy and defence

Thu, 08/06/2023 - 12:31

Climate change threatens military assets, capabilities, and operations. EU defence needs to adapt to increase its operational effectiveness.

The defence sector is critical for maintaining the safety and stability of our society. However, the sector is at risk from climate change either through direct impacts of climatic hazards or indirectly because of its dependence on vulnerable entities that operate critical energy infrastructure. The defence sector must therefore increase its resilience to climate change. A new study of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and the European Defence Agency addresses for the first time the climate-energy-defence nexus and proposes actions for EU defence to ensure climate resilience and energy sustainability.

Climate change affects all sectors of society, and the current trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions brings the world closer to dramatic impacts on ecosystems and human activities, posing an existential threat to humanity. This is not an entirely new phenomenon. Between 1980 and 2020, in the 32 countries of the European Economic Area, total economic losses due to weather and climate-related events ranged between 450 and 520 billion EUR. The production and distribution of energy is exposed to a range of climate hazards, from droughts affecting hydropower and cooling water for thermal power plants, to wildfire and storm damage to overhead cabling.

On the other hand, fossil fuels are still part of the energy mix and this sector too is threatened by climate change (40% of the world’s oil and gas reserves), with potential for severe health effects and environmental degradation. Furthermore, the expected damage to critical infrastructure in the EU, including the energy and transport sectors, may multiply over ten-fold by the end of the century. Climate change can also aggravate the global security situation, increasing the need for more humanitarian and military assistance. Failure to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement will exacerbate adverse consequences, inevitably affecting our society, including critical sectors like defence.

Defence must increase its resilience to climate change

Defence assets, capabilities, and operations are also at risk from climate hazards, such as severe floods, storms, and high or low temperatures. Such impacts can damage or destroy military assets or render them unfit for purpose in certain operating conditions, result in health and safety risks for military personnel, or lead to higher costs for infrastructure inspection, maintenance, repair and overhaul. The impacts of climate change and environmental degradation on defence are expected to increase in the future.

At the same time, climate hazards can also affect civilian entities that operate critical energy infrastructure (CEI) providing the energy which the military rely on, for example, electricity for powering systems or fuel for transportation. If such CEI is affected by climate hazards, the services it provides may be disrupted, cascading to military installations and compromising operational effectiveness and readiness. There is therefore a strong link between operational effectiveness and energy resilience.

Greenhouse gas emissions in defence have to be reduced

The defence sector is a large consumer of fossil fuels and raw materials which is reflected in a big carbon footprint. While there is a need for the armed forces to become more resilient to the effects of climate change, their efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions are also crucial and can contribute to improve the autonomy and energy security of the armed forces through diversification, and decrease exposure via the reduction of the amount of energy provided through the supply chains. The defence sector has recognised the limitations of fossil fuels and is ramping up its efforts to implement more sustainable energy choices in agreement with the goals of the European Green Deal.

Climate-proofing EU defence

The defence sector lacks the capacities and capabilities to adapt autonomously to climate change. The new JRC-EDA study analyses the link between climate, energy and defence, and stresses how there is a lack of a systematic approach when it comes to addressing climate change in EU defence. The study pinpoints existing gaps while providing recommendations for EU Ministries of Defence and CEI operators on climate change mitigation and adaptation, including guidance for investing in sustainable energy measures. It also outlines how the EU can complement national efforts and promote a long-term perspective to address these challenges comprehensively and effectively. The study provides scientific evidence to support the development of national strategies to prepare the armed forces for climate change impacts, in line with the EU Strategic Compass for Security and Defence.

The recommendations aim to facilitate the climate proofing and greening of all aspects of defence and focus on the operational dimension, capability planning and development, governance, multi-stakeholder engagement, and research, development and innovation. Addressing the emerging and future requirements of EU defence in the face of climate change is an important stepping-stone in the wider efforts of the EU to achieve climate resilience and neutrality.


This new JRC-EDA study on climate change impacts on defence-related critical energy infrastructure will be launched on 8 June 2023 at the High-level Joint Defence and Energy meeting of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS). The meeting will take place in Stockholm under the auspices of the Swedish Presidency and it is hosted by the Swedish Ministry of Defence.

The third phase of CF SEDSS was launched on 1 October 2019. The project is funded by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and will run until 30 September 2024. In its third phase, the Consultation Forum represents the largest European defence energy community, providing a unique platform for ministries of defence and other relevant stakeholders to share knowledge and promote collaborative defence research and technology innovation in the field of sustainable energy.

Past events have shown the vulnerability of the defence sector to the impacts of weather-related natural hazards. Climate change will increase the risk of adverse consequences. There is therefore a clear need to enhance climate-proofing and the greening of the defence sector, raise awareness, develop competencies, capacities and capabilities in this field, while at the same time increasing the operational effectiveness of the armed forces.

Several pieces of legislation acknowledge the need to consider climate change in the overall EU security context. The Climate Change and Defence Roadmap constitutes an integral part of the EU’s overall effort to address climate change under the European Green Deal. It was developed by the European External Action Service in close cooperation with the European Commission and the European Defence Agency. The forthcoming Joint Communication on addressing the impact of climate change, environmental degradation, security and defence to be adopted in June 2023 will take work further in this regard. 

The Strategic Compass for Security and Defence calls for the full implementation of the Roadmap, recognising climate change as a threat multiplier that affects the EU’s long-term security. It also invites Member States to share national plans on how to contribute to the objectives of the Roadmap.

The European Green Deal’s overarching goal is to make the European Union climate neutral by 2050 and resource efficient.

The Critical Entities Resilience Directive will strengthen the resilience of critical infrastructure to a range of threats, including natural hazards. Energy is one of the 11 critical sectors that are covered.

Further Information 

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EDA's final Hot Blade exercise lifts off in Portugal

Wed, 07/06/2023 - 13:49

A total of 23 air assets and some 750 military personnel from eight countries – Austria, Belgium, Czechia, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland and Portugal – will participate in Hot Blade 2023, hosted by the Portuguese Air Force. In addition, Greece and Italy will send exercise observers. The air assets comprise 13 helicopters and 10 fixed wings, including training and transport aircrafts and fast jets.

The exercise’s main focus will be to allow crews to practice operations in various environments during day and night sorties, replicating the challenging conditions that participant forces are expected to encounter when deploying to different theatres of operation. 

This will be the last Hot Blade exercise delivered by the European Defence Agency. From 2024, the Multinational Helicopter Training Centre (MHTC) will be in charge of this activity, whose current planning already extends into the next decade.

Hot Blade 2023’s main objectives are:

• To enhance tactical interoperability between helicopter units from the participating countries by using the COMAO concept in a combined, joint, realistic and challenging environment and to learn and practice common helicopter Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs);
• To train and practise TTPs with and against fighter jets and electronic ground warfare threats;
• To improve interoperability in training and operational tasks with ground forces involvement (Night Vision Goggles -NVG- operations, low level flying, formation flights, Forward Arming and Refuelling Point training, gunnery, etc…) in a live and full spectrum environment. 


Participating crews will fly diverse COMAO missions and execute, among others, Air Assault (AA), Air Interdiction (AI), Air Transport (AT), Special Operations Aviation (SOA), Combat Service Support (CSS), Close Air Support (CAS), Convoy/helicopter escorts, Reconnaissance and Surveillance, Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Personnel Recovery (PR), Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) and Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC). 

They will also train special procedures, which involve air assets like marshalling procedures, fast rope and abseiling techniques, Special Patrol Insertion/Extraction (SPIE), and air-to-surface live firing.

Hot Blade 2023 will also provide opportunities to practice multinational and national formation and training with the Special Operations Forces (SOF) units (infiltration and exfiltration) and enhance crews’ skills in using the HEP Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and COMAO planning procedures in the conduct of flight planning and operations, with the aim of standardise the training and foster the multinational interoperability levels of all the participants.

Eight instructors from Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden trained in EDA’s Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course accompanied with an Instructor from the Netherlands trained on the Dutch Helicopter Weapons Instructor course, and led by EDA´s Chief Instructor, will jointly form the Hot Blade 2023 Mentor Team, ready to support the multinational crews in preparation and execution of the challenging COMAO missions. This mentoring role will consider the lessons learned from previous “Blade” exercises and operational experience. 

Distinguished Visitors Day

A Distinguished Visitors Day is planned for 15 June 2023 when representatives from participating EDA Member States plus other national and international authorities will attend and observe various live training sessions. 


The Helicopter Exercise Programme is part of EDA’s wider Helicopter Portfolio aimed at providing Member States with a joint European framework to develop, consolidate and share best practices to meet the challenges of flying helicopters in a modern operational environment. Other components of this portfolio are the Helicopter Tactics Course programme, the Helicopter Tactics Instructor Course programme and the future Multinational Helicopter Training Centre.

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