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Updated: 2 weeks 1 day ago

Successful second sea demonstration for OCEAN2020 in the Baltic Sea

Thu, 26/08/2021 - 17:03

OCEAN2020, the largest EU funded defence research project, has concluded two successful days of testing in the Hanö Bay, Sweden. The sea trial brought together 12 unmanned systems, 4 naval vessels, 5 tactical command and control systems, one earth observation satellite system plus a prototype of an EU Maritime Operations Centre, installed at the EDA. The live demonstration marks a major milestone for the project in demonstrating enhanced situational awareness in a maritime environment through the integration of new technologies for unmanned systems. 

The Second Baltic Sea Demonstration tested how the information collected from the assets deployed in the area of operations can be integrated to create a Recognised Maritime Picture (RMP). The execution of two scenarios was based on the utilisation of the twelve different unmanned systems that proved their capacity of patrolling, detection, identification, and classification of threats thanks to the information acquired by different types of sensors. Some unmanned systems were deployed for patrolling and threat detection, while others tracked the threat up to interception and dissuasion.

OCEAN2020 aims to achieve operational and technical objectives, ranging from enhanced situational awareness, autonomy, cost effectiveness and increased interoperability for joint missions. The variety of assets involved in OCEAN2020 highlights how collaborative autonomy between multi-domain unmanned vehicles can provide a force multiplier.

Coordinated by Saab, the sea demonstration ran two scenarios: a high-speed surface threat and an unknown submerged activity scenario. While the first scenario combined surveillance, interdiction, and engagement of multiple high speed unmanned surface threats with all types of UxV´s, with Persistent Wide Area Surveillance and Maritime Interdiction actions including radar detection and EO/IR video, the focus of the second scenario was to detect and identify underwater threats (e.g., sea mines or IED), laid from hostile submarines and to detect the insertion of hostile Special Forces on a friendly coast.

BUILDING ON FIRST SEA DEMONSTRATION

Building on the experience and lessons of the first sea demonstration in the Gulf of Taranto (Italy 2019), the second sea demonstration focussed on the verification of objectives, such as the launch and recovery of Unmanned Systems (UUV) from a vessel, integration between tactical systems and naval Combat Management Systems, coordination between unmanned assets operating in squad with the use of AI and demonstration of how data fusion can improve the tactical picture at the tactical and operational level.

ASSETS INVOLVED

The following assets participated in the second sea demonstration. 12 different Unmanned Systems from Saab (3), Leonardo, Safran, Bluebear, IOSB (2), TNO (2), CMRE and GMV. 4 naval units; Swedish Navy HMS Pelikanen; Lithuanian Navy P11 Žemaitis; German MOD R/V Planet (WTD 71) and Polish Navy Minehunter Czajka of Krogulec. The satellite systems are COSMO SkyMed. Finally, the EU MOC (Maritime Operation Centre) coordinated by Indra & IOSB including connectivity with the Spanish MOC through MARSUR network.

BACKGROUND

Funded from the European Union’s Preparatory Action on Defence Research under grant agreement No 801697, OCEAN2020 received funding of €35.48 Million. Since its launch in April 2018 the project has carried out extensive research and technology work to reach the point of undertaking two live sea demonstrations. The consortium has been involved in a significant amount of solution analysis, system design, technical development and system integration of individual assets and trials. Information on the 43 consortium members can be found on the OCEAN2020 website.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA Chief Executive holds talks in Slovakia

Thu, 26/08/2021 - 14:25

EDA Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý, visited Slovakia this week (25-26 August) for high-level talks with Minister of Defence Jaroslav Naď, State Secretary Marian Majer, Chief of Defence General Daniel Zmeko as well as several officials from the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs. Mr Šedivý also visited the International Defence Exhibition Bratislava 2021 (IDEB) and met with representatives of Slovakian defence industry associations.

Discussions with Minister Naď focused on opportunities for Slovakia to grow its engagement with EDA. Mr. Šedivý took the opportunity to further present EDA’s work and projects, with a special focus on the cooperation opportunities identified in the first Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) and the state of play in PESCO implementation where Slovakia is coordinating one project (EuroArtillery) and participates in six.  

Speaking on the occasion, Defence Minister of the Slovak Republic Jaroslav Naď said: “Promoting and strengthening European cooperation in the field of defence is also an important area for our country where we can improve the capabilities of our armed forces and at the same time help our domestic companies to compete internationally. I consider this a highly important factor in their overall development and I am open to deepening cooperation both at the international level and within the EDA.” 

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to personally present the work and role of the EDA to Slovakia. I believe with the challenges that Europe is facing, cooperation remains the best and most effective way of addressing them. There is much potential in defence cooperation and the EDA for Slovakia to exploit. I particularly welcome the opportunity to encourage the Slovakian authorities to benefit further from collaborative opportunities in defence, especially using the Agency to their full potential”, Mr Šedivý commented.

The Chief Executive began his visit at the International Defence Exhibition Bratislava (IDEB) 2021. Speaking at the event, Mr. Šedivý presented EDA’s industry engagement approach and related opportunities for industry to participate in and benefit from EDA’s activities. He encouraged strong participation of industry in EDA R&T&I activities and hoped to attract innovative industries to the defence sector.

Mr Šedivý had also talks with National Armaments Director Jozef Zekucia, DEFPOL Director Martin Sklenár, Designated Capability Director Dalibor Pavolka and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Policy Director Roman Bužek. Among the industry representatives met by Mr Šedivý were President of NDIA (National Defence Industry Association) Tibor Straka and President of AFCEA (Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association) Miroslav Brvnišťan.

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

CE in Italy for high level talks

Thu, 22/07/2021 - 11:51

EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý was in Italy this week (20-21 July) for high-level talks with Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini, Chief of Defence General Enzo Vecciarelli as well as several high officials from the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs. He also met with senior representatives of the Italian defence industry. The trip to Rome was part of Mr Šedivý’s ‘tour des capitales’ that will see him visiting all EDA Member States (last week he was in Greece).  

Discussions with Minister Guerini on Tuesday (20 July) particularly focused on Italy’s strong involvement in EDA’s current and future activities (the country participates in more than 50 Agency projects and programmes), the follow-up on the conclusions and recommendations of the first Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) presented last November, the state of play in the PESCO implementation and the preparation of the next round of new project proposals (Italy currently participates in 24 PESCO projects of which it leads nine, two in the maritime domain including the European Patrol Corvette one) as well as the set-up and functioning of the new European Defence Fund (EDF). 

“I am particularly grateful for Italy’s very active involvement in the Agency’s work and for its strong commitment to EU defence cooperation in general, as it is also reflected in the high number of PESCO projects in which it participates or even coordinates. I can only encourage the Italian authorities to pursue with their leading role and further contribute to making use of the many cooperation opportunities that were identified in last year’s first Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), especially in the maritime focus area where Italy has proven leadership expertise”, Mr Šedivý commented. 

Mr Šedivý had also talks with the Military advisor to Prime Minister Mario Draghi, General Luigi de Leverano, Defence Policy and Capability Director General Giovanni M. Iannucci, Secretary General of Defence and National Armaments Director Nicolò Falsaperna, Deputy Secretary General of Defence Admiral Dario Giacomin, R&T Director Luisa Riccardi, EDA Central PoC and Director for industrial policy and international relations General Fortunato Di Marzio, Director General for Political and Security Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Pasquale Ferrara, and the Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali, Dr. Nathalie Tocci. 

Among the industry representatives met by Mr Šedivý were Alessandro Profumo (CEO Leonardo), Giuseppe Giordo (General Manager Naval Vessels Division, Fincantieri), Enzo Benigni (Elettronica) and Carlo Festucci (Secretary General, AIAD, Federation of Italian Companies for Aerospace, Defence and Security).  

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

CROWN: European multifunction radiofrequency system project launched

Tue, 20/07/2021 - 09:00

Europe’s defence research programme - PADR - has launched a new project. The CROWN project will focus on European active electronically scanned array with combined radar, communications and electronic warfare functions for military applications. 

The project, with a budget of approximately €10 million and a duration of 30 months, was selected under the 2019 call for proposals for ‘Electromagnetic Spectrum Dominance’ under the EDA-managed EU Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR). The CROWN consortium is coordinated by Indra (Spain) and brings together 11 leading industry members, research centres and an SME from seven EU countries. The project was officially launched at an online kick-off meeting on 6 and 7 July 2021, with the participation of the consortium members, EDA and European Commission representatives. 

CROWN will lay the foundation for designing and building a next-generation multifunction radiofrequency (RF) system based on Active Electronically Scanned Arrays (AESA) technology for a broad range of applications, to become available in several military domains within the next decade. 

The planned activities include R&D assessment and recommendations on critical technologies, R&T activities on system and component level as well as designing, manufacturing and testing of a small-scale prototype. 

CROWN CONSORTIUM

CROWN - European active electronically scanned array with Combined Radar, cOmmunications, and electronic Warfare fuNctions for military applications - brings together 11 participants from 7 countries:

Indra (Spain), Thales (France), Office National d'Etudes et de Recherches Aerospatiales - ONERA (France), Hensoldt Sensors (Germany), Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (Germany), Saab (Sweden), Totalforsvarets Forskningsinstitut - FOI (Sweden) Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek - TNO (Netherlands), Leonardo (Italy), Elettronica (Italy) and Baltijos Pazangiu Technologiju Institutas - BPTI (Lithuania). 

BACKGROUND

Being part of the PADR programme, CROWN will support the European Commission, EDA and Member States and will contribute to the long-term critical capability for European Strategic Autonomy. The project is also closely linked to the activities conducted under EDA’s Capability Technology Groups, namely CapTech Radar and CapTech Components.

 

ABOUT THE PADR

The CROWN 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.  

FURTHER INFORMATION  
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Chief Executive visits Greece as part of ‘tour des capitales’

Fri, 16/07/2021 - 12:58

EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý was in Greece this week (12-14 July) for high-level talks with the Minister of National Defence, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, the Chief of National Defence, General Konstantinos Floros, the National Armaments Director, Aristeidis Alexopoulos and several senior representatives of the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs. He also attended the Greek defence exhibition DEFEA and participated in an industry workshop co-organised by the Agency and the Greek Ministry of Defence. 

The ongoing work on the EU’s Strategic Compass, the implementation of the recommendations made in the first Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), the state of play of the various PESCO projects with Greek involvement (the country participates in 16 PESCO projects, one of the highest numbers among participating Member States, and coordinates five of them), EDA’s role as the European hub for collaborative capability development and driver of defence innovation, Greece’s involvement in EDA projects and programmes as well as EU-NATO cooperation were among the main topics discussed. 

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to visit Greece as it is an important stakeholder and active contributor to EDA’s projects and programmes. With Minister Panagiotopoulos, I expressed my gratitude for Greece’s particularly active role in PESCO as well as its valuable contributions to the Agency’s activities, especially in areas such as maritime surveillance (MARSUR project), research and development (R&D) or the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS). In these challenging times, I particularly welcome the strong support from Greece to EDA and European defence cooperation”, Mr Šedivý commented.

Industry workshop, ministerial round-table

On Tuesday, the Chief Executive attended the opening ceremony of the Defence Exhibition Athens (DEFEA, from 13-15 July) where international companies present land, naval, aerospace, national and cyber security defence systems. 

In the margins of the exhibition, Mr Šedivý participated in an industry workshop co-organised by EDA and the Greek Ministry of Defence where he spoke about EDA’s support to innovative capability development.

Also in the margins of the DEFEA exhibition, the EDA Chief Executive furthermore moderated a ministerial round-table focused on the state of implementation of the EU defence initiatives - CARD, PESCO, EDF - in which participated four acting Defence Ministers: Greece’s Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, Cyprus’ Charalambos Petrides, Portugal’s João Gomes Cravinho and Slovenia’s Matej Tonin.

 
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

HR management tool deployed to operations IRINI and ATALANTA

Thu, 15/07/2021 - 11:08

 EDA’s so-called ‘J1 Functional Area Service’ (J1FAS), a specialist software tool aimed at facilitating and supporting the management of human resources (HR) in national and international military missions, has recently been deployed to two additional EU CSDP operations:  the European Union Naval Force Mediterranean Operation IRINI (EUNAVFOR MED IRINI) which aims to enforce the United Nations arms embargo to Libya, and counter-piracy military operation ATALANTA at sea off the Horn of Africa.  

Over the last two weeks, EDA staff and contractors were present at the Operational Headquarters (OHQ) of both operations (Rome/Italy for IRINI and Rota/Spain for ATALANTA) to install the newly developed and certified software, deliver workshops and train the operations’ HR staff.  Previous, less developed versions had already been deployed before in other OHQ, including the Greek-led EUFOR RCA OHQ in Larissa in 2014, the Italian OHQ in Rome for EUNAVFOR MED operation SOPHIA in 2016 as well as several other exercises. To date, some 3,000 staff have been in and out-processed via J1FAS (about 50% in operations and 50% in exercises).  

J1FAS is a digital staff management tool developed at EDA with support from EU Military Staff (EUMS) and EU OHQs. It is a highly customised application that allows CSDP missions and operations (which traditionally have to deal with high staff turnover), but also exercises, to manage personnel data in a paperless and transparent yet secured way.  

The very first prototype was implemented by the EDA IT department and then extended by a contractor in 2011 to encompass a workflow management system which was then deployed to EUFOR RCA OHQ in Larissa in 2014. A second, slightly upgraded version followed in 2015 to be installed at Operation SOPHIA until December 2019. The latest and most powerful version of J1FAS, version 3, was only finalised and certified in the first half of 2021 and has now been deployed to Operation IRINI and Operation ATALANTA (July 2021). The software covers all three HR-management phases of a mission or operation, i.e. staff pre-processing, in-processing and out-processing. This is crucial as HR management is an essential - albeit not very publicised - aspect of operations, missions and exercises which need to be able to quickly and safely acquire, integrate, train and administer new staff if circumstances require it. 

© Operation IRINI Main functionalities and benefits of J1FAS 

More precisely, the latest version of the tool now deployed to operations IRINI and ATALANTA allows for:  

  • pre-processing, in-processing and out-processing of augmentees 
  • securely storing and processing personal data  
  • creating workflows for operations/missions individual processes creating roles to work on a need-to-know basis  
  • tracking information such as training records for compliance  
  • monitoring data changes for audit trails
  • facilitating data verification and standardisation   
  • uploading of data prior to physical presence of an augmentee  
  • mirroring the organigramme/chart  
  • role mapping tailored to operations/missions requirements  
  • vacancy management
  • management of security passes. 

The benefits for the operation commanders are obvious: the system uses an open source software which does not require the payment of licence fees (meaning usage is free of charge as it is an EDA project),  mitigation of human errors, streamlined transparent processes, improved sustainability of data records, easy accessibility of data by authorised staff, more accurate analytics and statistics, etc.. 

Way ahead 

The J1FAS service is available to all CSDP missions and operations. EDA is looking forward to deploying the software to more missions or operations to help Member States foster digital harmonised remote pre-processing, in-processing and out-processing of personnel. 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

HOT BLADE 21 increased interoperability among helicopter crews

Wed, 07/07/2021 - 17:51

HOT BLADE 21 (HB21), the 15th Blade exercise organised under EDA’s Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP) came to a close last week at Beja Airbase, Portugal. Over a period of two weeks (16-30 June) and in strict respect of all applicable COVID measures, the exercise involved a total of 21 air assets from Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Portugal as well as some 1,500 military staff.

Observers had been sent by Italy and Slovakia as well as Switzerland and Serbia (two countries which have concluded Administrative Agreements with EDA). Other capabilities involved were a multinational Joint Tactical Air Controller (JTAC) team and an Electronic Warfare (EW) emulator system from Slovenia. Additionally, a mentor team involving Helicopter Tactics Instructors (HTI) from Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden supported the delivery of academic lessons and provided mentoring during the planning and execution of all Composite Air Operations (COMAO) missions.

The main objective of HB21 was the performance of eight day/night COMAO missions in a realistic, harsh and complex environment, with the participation of all countries and assets involved. Furthermore, other national and multinational training activities such as formation flights, evasion manoeuvre training, sling load, helocast, rappelling and fast roping were also trained, resulting in 208 sorties amounting to around 500 flight hours. To maximise the training sorties, two Forward Arming and Refueling Points (FARP) were placed, to allow for ‘hot refuelling’ of the helicopters.

A Distinguished Visitors Day was organized on the 24th of June, with the participation of the Portuguese State Secretary of Defense, Human Resources and Veterans, Catarina Sarmento e Castro, as well as other military and civilian authorities. 

During the closing ceremony, EDA’s Project Officer for Rotary Wing, José Pablo Romera, thanked the Portuguese Air Force, in particular the Air Command, Airbase Nº11 and the Excon team for the outstanding organisation and execution of the exercise, as well as all the participants for their proactive involvement and cooperative mindset which resulted in the achievement of the expected training objectives.

The next EDA helicopter exercise, the Fire Blade 2022, will take place from 7th to 24th of June 2022 and will be hosted by Hungary, in Papa Air Base.

Background

Since 2009, 15 ‘BLADE’ exercises were held in eight different European countries (France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Finland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Portugal). In addition to that, 10 helicopter tactics symposiums, 67 Helicopter Tactics Courses, 6 Helicopter Tactics Instructors Courses and several other training activities, as Composite Air Operations (COMAO) planning courses and the Electronic Warfare (EW) courses have been carried out under EDA management, involving a total of 15 EDA Member States. Those trainings and exercises have contributed to enhancing the level of operational interoperability and helicopter cooperation among the helicopter crews of a large number of EDA Member States. Those programmes (HEP, HTC, HTIC) are now mature enough to be transferred to the future Multinational Helicopter Training Centre (MHTC) by the end of 2023.

More information:

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Series of technology foresight events come to a close

Mon, 05/07/2021 - 13:06

The third and final event within the European Defence Agency’s (EDA) Technology Foresight Exercise 2021 closed last week. During these events, multiple possible futures have been discussed with a multidisciplinary group of experts. These will now be taken forward to identify new potentially disruptive technologies, weak signals and trends relevant for European defence.

These events have been part of a wider defence technology foresight exercise which was launched by the Agency in January and will run until the end of this year. The three events have been attended by experts from EDA Member States (and the countries associated with the Agency), as well as by several international organizations, in different technological and non-technological domains, civil and military, from different generations and backgrounds, from governmental and international organisations, research centres, academia, and industry. 

In closing the final virtual event, Jean-François Ripoche, EDA Director Research, Technology and Innovation, said: “The Technology Foresight Exercise will provide tangible results to support the EDA R&T Planning process, as the main outcomes will be in a form of foresight report and online products, containing the weak signals and the most interesting technologies towards 2040+ identified. The report will be complemented by the futures narratives, weak signals report, and back-casting conclusions”. 

The outcomes from the exercise will contribute to:  

  • provide a high-level, long-term vision on multiple possible futures with defence relevance, with a special focus of the impact of emerging and emerged disruptive technologies;
  • take advantage of the synergies between technology foresight and the Capability Development Plan (CDP) Strand B, in order to produce an input for any future updates of the EDA Prioritization tools such as the Overarching Strategic Research Agenda (OSRA), CDP or Key Strategic Activities (KSAs), as well as the creation of the Strategic Compass;
  • contribute broadly to the European Union’s resilience building and strategic autonomy efforts, while also informing future technology foresight workshops, the OSRA process and, in general, all the R&T activities within EDA.

The exercise is innovative as it combines different methodologies and processes, along with best practices and lessons learned from the wider EDA community of foresight practitioners. The exercise looked into technologies, and also on sociology, ethics, economy, medicine, history, international relations, defence capabilities and operational needs, philosophy, biosciences, etc.

Next steps

The report will be complemented by the futures narratives, weak signals report, and back-casting conclusions. These outcomes will be ready in the second semester 2021.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Ginette Manderscheid takes over as EDA Director Corporate Services

Thu, 01/07/2021 - 10:17

The Agency has a new Director in charge of its Corporate Services Directorate (CSD): Ginette Manderscheid who joined EDA in April 2017 as Deputy Director Corporate Services and Head of Human Resources, has taken over from Luigi Sandrin as of today, 1 July 2021.

Ginette Manderscheid, a Luxembourgish citizen, has vast international experience including at the Permanent Representation of Luxembourg to the Western European Union (WEU), the Security Policy Section of WEU and the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) in Thessaloniki (Greece) which she joined in 2000. In December 2005, she took up duties as Head of Human Resources and General Support in Cedefop, ensuring delivery of comprehensive HR services, financial management of staff-related expenditure as well as general support. She also served as an EU Agencies representative for negotiations with the European Commission after the 2014 Reform of the EU Staff Regulations.

“It is a privilege for me to lead the Corporate Services Directorate at a particularly challenging time for European defence in general, and for the Agency in particular. EDA plays a central role in implementing the various EU defence initiatives as well as in the prioritisation of EU defence capabilities and I look forward to contributing to this important work, together with my highly qualified, experienced and engaged colleagues”, Ginette Manderscheid stated when she took up her new post.

Ginette Manderscheid holds a B.A. in Philosophy from York University (UK), an M.Phil. in International Relations from Oxford University and an M.Sc. in International Human Resource Management from Birkbeck College (London University).

More information:

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA pursues work on Artificial Intelligence in defence

Tue, 29/06/2021 - 16:31

Last week, EDA hosted a virtual workshop on ‘Defence Applications of Artificial Intelligence’ (DAAI 2021) which, as part of the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence Applications and Innovations (AIAI 2021), brought together experts and scientists from  Member States who shared insight on the impact and potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in defence applications. With the AI work strand, EDA is entering a promising territory as it prepares to foster further integration of AI in R&T projects for defence applications.

To pursue a more structured and focused dialogue with industry and the research community, EDA is organising a series of workshops with industry and academia on a number of capability development and R&T areas in support of its wider work related to the Overarching Strategic Research Agenda (OSRA), the revised Capability Development Plan (CDP) and the associated Strategic Context Cases (SCC) through which the priorities are being implemented, as well as the Key Strategic Activities (KSA).

Artificial Intelligence has become a strategically important topic as many countries and entities are investing in it and because it is among the top priorities for research and development of future systems and concepts. EDA is very active in this domain and has provided a number of  papers and presentations to its Steering Board, with a view to developing an action plan and a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) on Artificial Intelligence for defence.

Last week’s scientific workshop was one of several steps taken by the Agency to work towards the action plan and the SRA. The following steps will be the development of AI based ad hoc projects and technology building block (TBB) roadmaps to further stimulate the application of AI in future defence applications.

The ambition of last week’s first DAAI workshop was to evaluate the various possibilities in which AI can be integrated to further support defence capability needs and EU research initiatives, and to present recent AI developments which have a potential to be used in defense and security applications.

The workshop lasted two days and encompassed a total of six sessions, including three keynote speeches delivered by the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), the European Union Satellite Centre (SatCen) and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX). Conference participants also witnessed a roundtable discussion on current trends and future research goals for AI in security and defence sectors with the participation of representatives of EDA, ENISA, FRONTEX and highly reputed university professors. In addition, two scientific sessions were organised: one showcasing EDA AI projects in different domains and another one dedicated to state of the art AI research. Finally, EDA presented elements of the upcoming AI action plan focusing on areas where academia, industry and research organisations can contribute. 

 
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Focus on EDA support to EU missions & operations: our new magazine is out!

Mon, 28/06/2021 - 12:33

The latest European Defence Matters magazine (N°21) is now available, with a special focus on EDA’s support to EU CSDP missions and operations. The magazine also features exclusive Opinion Editorials by European Council President Charles Michel on the importance of EU Defence, as well as by the new Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), Josef Aschbacher.  You can read the magazine in PDF here or in digital format here. 

In the magazine’s cover story, we put the spotlight on the various support tools and services the Agency is already (or could be) providing to current and future EU CSDP missions and operations - ranging from commercially procured satellite communication solutions and the pooling & sharing of governmental satcom services to geospatial information support, maritime surveillance, air medical evacuation, diplomatic clearances and the organisation of cyber awareness seminars for mission headquarters, to name only them. In a series of articles, we explain how those support tools came about, where and how they are currently used and how they could be further developed in the future. We also give the floor to the users, Member States and EU mission and operation commanders, to hear their views and recommendations for the future.

We also sat down with the CEO of Naval Group, Pierre Eric Pommelet, for our traditional ‘Industry Talk’, this time focussed on the current state and future prospects of Europe’s military naval sector. In the ‘Innovation Corner’, we took a look at how modern and innovative Cloud computing will most probably impact the defence sector.

Have a look immediately – and enjoy!

More information:
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

New R&D project to focus on interoperability standards for unmanned systems ​

Fri, 25/06/2021 - 17:14

The implementation of INTERACT (‘Interoperability Standards for Unmanned Armed Forces Systems’), a project selected under the 2019 call for proposals for the EU Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) managed by EDA, was officially launched at an online kick-off meeting on 21 June 2021.

The aim of this 1.5 M€ project, financed by the European Commission, is to create a basis for a future European interoperability standard for military unmanned systems. For that purpose, the technical knowledge and operational experience available in Europe on control, monitoring, and application of unmanned systems will be integrated for the concept definition of a future European cross-industry interoperability standard. This standard will allow unmanned assets to be deployed flexibly in different configurations, such as singular deployment, in manned-unmanned teaming or as autonomous swarms independent of organisational or national provenance.

For this project an important consortium of 19 members including research and technology organisations, small and medium-sized enterprises as well as large industrial groups has been set up by the consortium coordinator Fraunhofer-Institut für Optronik, Systemtechnik und Bildauswertung (IOSB).  The fact that so many different entities are working together in this project was praised at the kick-off meeting as a very good start to set the way for a common unmanned systems standard.

The contractual aspects of this project (which is based on a grant agreement) is managed by EDA under a delegation agreement signed with the European Commission. By this agreement the Commission entrusts EDA with the management and implementation of the research projects launched within the PADR. 

About the PADR

The INTERACT project is part of the Preparatory Action on Defence Research launched by the European Commission in 2017 to assess and demonstrate the added-value of EU supported defence research and technology. 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.

 

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Energy Defence Consultation Forum gains momentum

Wed, 16/06/2021 - 13:00

More than 200 experts from 30 European countries and more than 20 different institutions and organisations participate in the 2nd conference of the third phase of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS III) which opened today. 

The two-day online event (16-17 June), held under the auspices of the Portuguese EU Presidency and hosted by the Portuguese National Ministry of Defence, takes stock of the progress made so far in Phase III in supporting EU Member States’ Ministries of Defence and partners to move towards green, resilient, and efficient energy models. It also showcases how the Forum contributes to the EU's efforts in achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

Efforts to address energy-related and climate change issues and their impact on defence are gaining strong momentum in the EU with the implementation of the European Green Deal. The Consultation Forum, the largest European defence energy community, is contributing substantially to implementing the Climate Change and Defence Roadmap, the first-ever EU's action plan to address the links between defence and climate change.

Political momentum in advancing sustainable and resilient defence

The conference was opened with speeches by João Gomes Cravinho, Minister of National Defence of Portugal, and Jiří Šedivý, EDA's Chief Executive. Paula Pinho, Director at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy, gave a keynote speech. 

Minister Cravinho highlighted that “the climate-defence nexus has become a key strategic priority for multilateral cooperation within the EU and NATO”. “This has been made clear in the effort to revise and update the guidelines of both organisations via the Strategic Compass, in the EU, and the NATO 2030 initiative. Both documents are giving great relevance to the connection between climate and security. As we upgrade our defence systems and strategies to a new security context, adaptation to climate change will certainly assume a central role in technological development for defence. This will also contribute significantly to more resilient societies – a growing and wise demand of European public opinion”, the Minister said.  

In his speech, Mr Šedivý said the conference demonstrated once again "the Member States' utmost interest in strengthening the EU's technology sovereignty and ensuring its transition to climate-neutrality by 2050". The recently approved European Defence Fund (EDF) will give an additional boost to this important endeavour, as it is expected to encompass “concrete actions for addressing defence energy and climate-related topics, further reinforcing the national defence efforts in these vital fields”, he stressed. EDA and the European Commission are currently exploring to initiate one of the first actions under Horizon Europe to enable the development of offshore renewable energy projects in maritime areas reserved for defence activities or used by defence. This is just one example that reflects the EU's increased interest at the highest level to support the EU Member States in moving towards a more circular, sustainable and resilient defence sector. In that context, "the work of the Energy Consultation Forum is essential in addressing the wider links between defence and climate, providing at the same time a prime platform for fostering synergies between defence and energy communities as well as industries and research and technology organisations", Mr Šedivý said.

In her speech, Commission Director Pinho underlined the importance of the European Green Deal as the EU sustainable growth strategy underpinned by a just transition. She recalled that the Fit for 55 package to be adopted by the Commission on 14 July 2021 represents “one of the most ambitious policy overhauls in recent EU history. Offering us a way to tackle climate change, to put in place the clean energy transition and providing crucial opportunities for the recovery while leaving no one behind.” Ms Pinho stressed the importance of a stronger energy efficiency target, the continuous exemplary role of the public sector, the importance of energy audits and energy management systems, and the need to provide a legal basis for the ‘Energy Efficiency First Principle’. On both energy efficiency and renewable energy, Ms Pinho underlined that both targets as set in the Climate Target Plan - namely between 38-40% and 37 % respectively, are attainable. Moreover, “We have the political will, the technological expertise and the EU funds, including from the Recovery and Resilience facility, to make it happen.” She concluded by recalling the growing engagement of the EU in the defence sector, where CF SEDSS is one of the most advanced actions.

Next conference in 2021

The 3rd CF SEDSS III conference is scheduled to take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 23-24 November 2021 under the auspices of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU and hosted by the Slovenian Ministry of Defence.

About the CF SEDSS

The Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS) is a European Commission funded initiative managed by the EDA. This Forum was established with the primary goal to create a defence energy-related community to share information, knowledge and best practices on improving energy management, increasing energy efficiency and buildings performance, utilising renewable energy sources in the defence sector and enhancing the resilience of defence-related critical energy infrastructure. To address these objectives, and with the support of the European Commission, EDA has implemented two phases: the first phase took place from October 2015 to October 2017 and the second one from October 2017 to August 2019. Building on the successful outcome of these two phases and to address emerging and future challenges in the field of energy, EDA and the European Commission launched on 1 October 2019 the third phase, which will run over a period of four years until 30 September 2023. CF SEDSS phase III is funded by the European Union's (EU) horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement No. 882171.

More information:

 


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Exercise HOT BLADE 2021 kicks off in Portugal

Tue, 15/06/2021 - 12:22

HOT BLADE 2021, the 15th helicopter exercise organised under the umbrella of the European Defence Agency’s Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP), will kick off tomorrow (16 June) at Beja airbase in Portugal. It will last until 30 June. 

A total of 23 air assets (15 helicopters + 8 fixed wing) and some 550 military personnel from five countries – Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Portugal – will participate in this exercise hosted by the Portuguese Air Force. In addition, Italy, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland and several international organisations will send exercise observers. 

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.  

Objectives

The main objectives of HOT BLADE 2021 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). The focus will be on COMAO with live firing and trooping; 
  • train and practise TTPs with and against fighter jets and electronic warfare threats on the ground; 
  • improve interoperability in training and operational tasks with ground forces involvement (night vision goggles operations, low level flying, formation flights, forward arming and refueling point training, gunnery, etc…) in a live/simulated, full spectrum environment.  
Programme 

Participating crews will fly diverse day and night COMAO missions and execute, among others, Air Assault (AA), Special Operations Aviation (SOA), Combat Service Support (CSS), Close Air Support (CAS) including Urban CAS and Emergency CAS, Convoy/helicopter escorts, Reconnaissance and Surveillance, Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Personnel Recovery (PR), Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) and Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC).  

They will also train special procedures like marshalling procedures, fast rope and abseiling techniques, Special Patrol Insertion/Extraction (SPIE), and air-to-surface live firing (helicopter door gunnery and sniper training). 

HOT BLADE 2021 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. 

Eight instructors from Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden trained in EDA’s Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course (HTIC) accompanied by an instructor from the Netherlands trained on the Dutch Helicopter Weapons Instructor (HWI) course will jointly form the HOT BLADE 2021 Mentor Team, ready to support the multinational crews in preparation and execution of the challenging COMAO missions. EDA’s Chief Instructor (CI) Team will manage and supervise the rest of the components of the Mentor Team to ensure consistency and the best possible uptake of previous lessons learned in other programmes and during deployment. 

Distinguished Visitors Day 

A Distinguished Visitors Day (DVD) is planned for 24 June 2021 when representatives from EDA participating Member States as well as Switzerland and Serbia will attend and observe various live training sessions. The Joint Air Power Competence Centre (JAPCC), the NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ) and the European Air Group (EAG) are also invited to the DVD. 

Background 

The Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP) 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 (HTC) programme, the Helicopter Tactics Instructor Course (HTIC) programme and the future Multinational Helicopter Training Centre (MHTC). 

 

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HRVP Josep Borrell visits the European Defence Agency

Mon, 14/06/2021 - 19:45

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, visited today the European Defence Agency (EDA) in Brussels. As Head of the Agency, Mr Borrell was presented with a broad overview of EDA’s current work, its ongoing projects and its outlook as a critical provider of security and defence services to the EU and its Member States.

One of the key tasks of the EDA is to support Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operations.  The Agency  offers  tangible  services  to  Member  States,  military  and  civilian CSDP  missions/operations, as well as other EU bodies, institutions and agencies. These include the provision of commercially sourced Satellite Communications (Satcom) and wider Communication and Information Systems (CIS) services through EDA, the pooling and sharing of governmental satellite communications (Govsatcom), maritime surveillance assistance, geo-spatial information to support commanders’ decision-making, air medical evacuation solutions, diplomatic clearances for cross-border movements or cyber awareness seminars for mission headquarters, to name only them.

EDA also promotes capability development and training.  The Agency serves as an enabler of EU defence cooperation and a platform where Member States willing to join forces to develop new defence equipment can do so, with the Agency’s providing help and expertise to support them. Multinational capability development at EDA covers the whole life-cycle of a project, from research and development and definition of common standards and requirements to design planning, industrial development and procurement of new defence equipment. All capability domains are covered, including land, air, sea, cyber and space. Current projects promoted by the Agency include the Multirole Tanker Transport Aircraft (MRTT) Fleet, the EDA Helicopter Programme as well as Research & Innovation with a focus on Emerging Disruptive Technologies, IED detection and smart textiles.

 

 

Background

Created in 2004 to support and facilitate defence cooperation in Europe, the European Defence Agency (EDA) allows countries willing to develop their defence capabilities collaboratively to do so. EDA’s expertise and activities include harmonising requirements, delivering operational capabilities, research and technology (R&T), innovation, developing technology demonstrators, training, exercises and support to CSDP operations. EDA also engages closely with the European defence industry to enhance Europe’s defence technological and industrial base. It also helps make the industry stronger and more competitive. 

The European Defence Agency is an intergovernmental agency of the Council of the European Union. It falls under the authority of the Council of the EU, to which it reports and from which it receives guidelines. Appointed in December 2019, Josep Borrell is the Head of the Agency. Led by the Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý, who was appointed in March 2020, the European Defence Agency has a unique mission, structure and history that brings together each aspect of the defence process.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Emerging propulsion technologies for air and space discussed at workshop

Wed, 09/06/2021 - 12:11
Last week, experts from 18 EDA Member States participated in an online workshop organised by the Agency to identify and discuss emerging propulsion technologies for the air and space defence domain.

The Technology Foresight Workshop on Propulsion for Air and Space, conducted from 1 to 3 June, is part of a wider ongoing series of EDA technology foresight workshops which aim at assessing emerging technologies with respect to their likely impact on future defence capabilities.

Supported by Ingeniería de Sistemas para la Defensa de Espana (ISDEFE), the workshop brought together about 50 European subject matter experts in order to focus on emerging propulsion-related technologies for the military air and space domain. It involved members from several EDA Capability & Technology Areas (CapTechs) and Working Groups (WGs), including CapTech Aerial Systems, the Ad-Hoc WG Space, CapTech Missiles and Munitions and CapTech Materials and Structures. The opening part of the event consisted in a plenary session during which the invited keynote speakers introduced the topic and set the scene, followed by separated working sessions during which three expert groups were established at virtual tables. Table discussions defined the landscape of propulsion technologies relevant for future air and space defence, assessed their impact on future military applications and related operational challenges. Beyond that, experts highlighted technological gaps and obstacles and pointed out research needs on the short, medium and long term with respect to military air and space propulsion. The workshop was wrapped up with another plenary session in which summarised results of the table sessions were presented and experts debated possible follow-on and implementation activities.
EDA analysis The workshop results will be further analysed by EDA in the following weeks with the objective to provide participating Member States an overview and assessment of upcoming propulsion-related needs and implications for future military air and space applications. The analysis will also yield recommendations on potential EU research goals and synergies in the air and space domains and help to address critical gaps within current EU air and space propulsion research portfolio.
Background

EDA’s Technology Foresight Workshops aim to provide input to the EDA process of technology evaluation, including the identification and classification of technology trends and emerging technologies as well as the prioritisation of important technologies with respect to medium- and long-term capability needs. The outcome of the workshops is used as background information for relevant defence technologies and will be integrated in EDA Strategic Research Agendas (SRAs) and their Technology Building Block (TBB) roadmaps, as well as the Overarching Strategic Research Agenda (OSRA) toolchain, the analyses of Key Strategic Activities (KSA) and in the Strategic Context Cases (SCC) of the 2018 Capability Development Plan (CDP).

More information:   
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MilCERT Interoperability Conference talks strategy

Tue, 08/06/2021 - 11:58

The EU MilCERT Interoperability Conference 2021, organised by EDA and launched early this year to improve European cooperation between Member States’ national Military Computer Emergency Response Teams (MilCERTs), will be completed this week with a two-day ‘strategic’ part (8/9 June) which was opened today by EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý.

The practical track of the conference, the first ever live-fire cyber exercise for MilCERTS, was held in February and gathered more than 200 experts from 17 EDA Member States and Switzerland. This week’s strategic event will focus on the lessons learnt from the practical exercise and discuss more strategic topics. 

The EU MilCERT Interoperability Conference 2021 (MIC) seeks to initiate the establishment of a permanent forum for discussing information sharing within the EU Network of Military Computer Emergency Response Teams. The expectation is that this conference - and potential future follow-up events - will help to create a more detailed understanding of the challenges and ultimately lay the groundwork to improve information-sharing without undermining the strategic importance of classification. 
In his opening remarks, EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý stressed that the conference was only possible thanks to the very active engagement of the Member States, both in the technical and strategic track: “It is my conviction that we are taking all together the right way towards a stronger cooperation between the military CERTs in Europe”. It is well known that the EU is facing many challenges and threats in cyberspace and that CERTs report an increasing number of attacks on a daily basis, Mr Šedivý said. “That is why the EU has conducted a comprehensive key threat analysis from global and regional perspectives and is preparing a Strategic Compass to strengthen a common European security and defence culture and guide the achievement of its level of ambition. I’m convinced that the interaction and discussions during MIC 2021 will be very useful to inform the related work under the Strategic Compass”, he stated.

Background The EU MilCERT Interoperability Conference 2021 is organised in two tracks, technical and strategic. The first technical track took place on 16/18 February 2021 and focused on a 3-days cyber defence live-fire exercise, with the aim to establish a collaboration channel between technical teams of the interested Member States. More than 200 cyber defence experts from pMS’ milCERTs participated in the exercise. The technical game was focused on the expert level as a capture the flag game.
This week’s strategic track follows-up on the practical part and addresses the heads of the Computer Emergency Response Teams with strategic topics. It consists of several online events, with keynotes delivered by high-profile stakeholders, interactive incidents and discussions between the participants. It aims to build confidence and foster cooperation and information sharing. 
Planning for a second iteration of the EU MilCERT Interoperability Conference is already underway in cooperation with the upcoming Slovenian and French EU Council Presidencies.
 
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New EDA helicopter training simulator inaugurated

Fri, 04/06/2021 - 13:52

Last week (26 May), a new helicopter mission simulator installed at EDA’s helicopter training centre at Sintra Airbase in Portugal was officially inaugurated during a joint visit by Portuguese Defence Minister João Gomes Cravinho, EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý, EU Military Committee (EUMC) Chairman General Claudio Graziano as well as representatives from all EU Member States. 

The new simulator, a top-notch piece of technology, will allow the training centre to deliver the ground and simulator training parts of the different helicopter tactical courses organised under EDA’s Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP) as well as the Helicopter Tactics Course (HTC) programme and the Helicopter Tactics Instructor Course (HTIC) programme.  

At the same time, it will help prepare the transition of EDA’s full range of helicopter training activities to the future Multinational Helicopter Training Centre (MHTC) which is expected to reach its initial operational capability in October 2023. Between now and then, EDA expects to deliver three more multinational ‘Blade’ exercises (the first of them, Hot Blade 21, will take place later this month in Portugal), two HEP helicopter tactics symposia, 15 HTC, three HTIC, seven Electronic Warfare and four Composite Air Operations planning courses. 

The future MHTC is expected to host around 35 weeks of training per year in its facilities. This will significantly contribute to standardising helicopter tactics training in Europe and enhancing interoperability between Member States’ helicopter crews. 
Portugal, as the host nation of the current EDA helicopter training centre and the future MHTC, has very actively supported EDA in the build-up of this centre and will lead the process to develop and implement the next generation of helicopter trainings at the MHTC.

First successful training 

The new state-of-the-art training simulator has already successfully undergone its baptism of fire on 17 May when EDA’s 67th Helicopter Tactics Course (HTC) was held at Sintra Airbase. The simulator was used for the first time, providing realistic and synthetic training to helicopter crews in an immersive environment that replicates the operational scenarios and environmental conditions in which rotary wing may operate.  Two crews from Portugal and two from Germany participated in this training that used the latest simulation software, including virtual reality devices. 

Composite Air Operations (COMAO) Planning Course

Earlier in May, another training, the 5th Helicopter Composite Air Operations (COMAO) Planning Course, has also taken place at Sintra Air Base. 17 trainees from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, Lithuania and Cyprus as well as an EDA chief instructor team supported by instructors from EDA´s contractor Inzpire, conducted the course assuring the related COVID-19 restrictions, rules and regulations were met to the highest standards. The main objective of the course was to increase interoperability and build a common understanding on how to approach complex mission planning in a multinational environment.

The 2-week course started with a theoretical part, including detailed briefings on COMAO and 4 T’s (Task, Target, Threat and Tactics) mission planning and finished with participants performing large force operations planning, allowing them to gather experience in rotary wing tactics in complex mission scenarios.    

More information:  
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

CE in Portugal for talks and informal EU defence ministerial

Tue, 25/05/2021 - 09:52

EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý is in Portugal this week for high-level talks with Defence Minister João Gomes Cravinho and several senior representatives of the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs. He also participates in an international conference on the European defence industry, visits the Sintra airbase and attends the informal meeting of EU Defence Ministers to be held in Lisbon on Friday (28 May) under the Portuguese EU Presidency. 

On Monday (24 May), Mr Šedivý participated in Lisbon in an international seminar on ‘European Defence Economy’ where he joined a debate on the current state and future prospects of the European defence industry, together with high-level speakers such as Portuguese Minister of Defence João Gomes Cravinho and European Commissioner Thierry Breton. In the margins of the event, he also met with various industry representatives. 

Later on Monday, Mr Šedivý had a bilateral meeting with Minister Gomes Cravinho to discuss a range of topics, including Portugal’s participation in EDA projects and programmes, the implementation of the EU defence initiatives (especially the recent CARD findings and recommendations) and the ongoing work on the Strategic Compass. 

Today (25 May), the Chief Executive will pursue its consultations at the Portuguese Ministry of Defence, inter alia with Defence Policy Director Paulo Lourenço, National Armaments/Capability Director Vasco Hilário and R&T Director Jorge Côrte Real Andrade. He will also meet the Director-General for Foreign Policy, Ambassador Ms. Madalena Fischer.  

On Wednesday 26 May, Mr Šedivý will pay a visit to Sintra Airbase, the site of the future European Multinational Helicopter Training Centre (MHTC). Sintra hosts today already the EDA helicopter training centre and, by mid-2023, will also progressively take over EDA’s three helicopter programmes: the Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP), the Helicopter Tactics Course (HTC) and the Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course (HTIC). 

On Friday 28, the Chief Executive will attend the informal Meeting of EU Defence Ministers in Lisbon, held under the current Portuguese EU Presidency.  

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA holds Technology Foresight Exercise

Wed, 12/05/2021 - 17:15

The European Defence Agency will organise next week (17-25 May) the first virtual event of the Technology Foresight Exercise in which will participate more than 160 experts from EDA Member States (and the countries associated with the Agency) as well as from governmental and international organisations, research centres, academia, and industry. The event is part of a wider defence technology foresight exercise which was launched by the Agency in January and will run until the end of this year. The results and findings will inform the future revision of the European research and capability development priorities as well as the work on the EU’s Strategic Compass.

The discussions and activities of next week’s exercise will build on ‘Futures Narratives’, produced by EDA with a core team of experts, so-called ‘Future Tellers’, and on a new emerging technologies report EDA has produced in collaboration with the Joint Research Centre (JRC). The event will include online meetings, discussions, speeches and brainstorming sessions.

The exercise is innovative in that it will combine different methodologies and processes, along with best practices and lessons learned gather from the wider EDA community of foresight practitioners. In addition, the ‘Future Tellers’ have been appointed to facilitate the outside-the-box thinking this exercise will need to be successful. The Future Tellers are experts from a diverse set of technological and non-technological domains, with civil and military background.

Expected exercise outcome

The expected outcome of the 2021 Technology Foresight Exercise is to provide a high-level, long-term vision on all possible future technologies which could have an impact or become relevant for defence by 2040+. This, in turn, will then help inform the next revision of EDA’s Capability Development Plan (CDP), which defines the European capability development priorities, as well as the Overall Strategic Research Agenda (OSRA) which contains EDA Member States’ jointly agreed defence research priorities. In addition to that, the outcome of the Agency’s technology foresight activities this year will also flow into the ongoing preparations for the EU’s Strategic Compass, supporting resilience-building and strategic autonomy.

Workshop held in April

 As part of the Agency’s initiatives on this domain, the 8th Annual Workshop on Technology Watch and Foresight took place remotely on 29 April, bringing together 56 experts and professionals from 16 participating Member States’ Ministries of Defence, the European Commission and its Joint Research Centre, EISMEA, Frontex, NATO ACT and STO, as well as public and private entities. An intense exchange and discussion on new methodologies, best practices and lessons learned took place within the community of practitioners.

New website page

Meanwhile, a new section on Technology Watch and Foresight activities has been published on EDA website. It offers plenty of information about EDA’s activities in this domain, as part of the Agency’s R&T planning process, the Overarching Strategic Research Agenda (OSRA) tool chain, and in support of the CapTechs.

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