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EDA brings together 18 countries for Common Procurement of Ammunition

Mon, 20/03/2023 - 16:22

Brussels, 20 March 2023. Eighteen states signed on Monday the European Defence Agency (EDA) project arrangement for the collaborative procurement of ammunition. The project opens the way for EU Member States and Norway to proceed along two paths: a two-year, fast-track procedure for 155mm artillery rounds and a seven-year project to acquire multiple ammunition types. Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden and Norway have signed. More Member States have already expressed their intent to join the initiative soon following national procedures. In full respect of sovereign national decisions and without prejudice to the specific character of the security and defence policy of any EU Member States, the project may be used to replenish Member States’ national stockpiles and/or aid Ukraine. 

The ‘Collaborative Procurement of Ammunition’ project was set up in record time by EDA to answer the call to procure ammunition collectively and more quickly by aggregating, coordinating, and agreeing contracts with the European defence industry. EDA’s project provides a solid framework for Member States’ intention to jointly procure urgently needed ammunition for Ukraine. This project sends a clear message to industry and strengthens the EU’s support for Ukraine following Russia’s war of aggression.

Common procurement is the best option to achieve cost reduction from economies of scale, while allowing Member States to purchase ammunition according to their national needs and supporting Ukraine. The arrangement, which is flexible and inclusive in nature, allows all remaining EDA Member States to join the initiative at a later stage.

Head of the Agency, HRVP, Josep Borrell said: “Today, we take a step forward. We are delivering on our promises to provide Ukraine with more artillery ammunition. With today’s signature, 18 countries have signed up to aggregate orders and place them together with the industry through the European Defence Agency. The Ukrainian authorities have been clear about their needs and this EDA project is part of the EU response. By procuring together through the EDA framework and mobilising financial support from the European Peace Facility, we will deliver to Ukraine more and faster. We are again breaking a taboo and unlocking the potential of EU cooperation in joint procurement.”


In the run-up to the informal meeting of the Ministers of Defence Council, which took place in Stockholm on 7 and 8 March, Head of Agency Borrell set out three complementary tracks to deliver more artillery ammunition and to deliver it more quickly: first to help Member States in sending such ammunition from national stockpiles or from pending orders; second to aggregate demand and quickly move to 155mm collaborative procurement; and third to ramp up the manufacturing capacity of the European defence industry.

EDA’s project sets out a path to meet the second track, providing a fast-track procedure, allowing for the tendering process to be simplified and contracts put into place at short notice. Member States can be reimbursed via the European Peace Facility (EPF), the EU’s off-budget instrument in support of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).


EDA has been working since November 2022 on three areas for common procurement: ammunition, soldier systems and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) equipment, based on the work of the Joint Defence Task Force with Member States to identify their most critical shortfalls.

The ‘Collaborative Procurement of Ammunition’ project provides a seven-year framework for Member States to commonly procure multiple types and calibres of ammunition (5.56 mm to 155 mm) to replenish national stocks.

EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý said: “This is a significant moment in the EU’s support for Ukraine, European defence cooperation and the EDA. The availability of ammunition, as well as the associated stockpiles, are a critical shortfall which affects the readiness of Member States' armed forces and their ability to fulfil their missions while, at the same time, supporting Ukraine. EDA has created a flexible and open project which allows all Member States to join should they choose and I expect additional countries to come on board within the week. Today we have a framework for delivery – it’s now up to Member States to make use of it and for industry to be able to respond”.  


EDA supports its 26 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 Space Strategy for Security and Defence to ensure a stronger and more resilient EU

Fri, 10/03/2023 - 15:17

Today, the Commission and the High Representative present for the first time a Joint Communication on a European Space Strategy for Security and Defence.

Space systems and services in the European Union are crucial for the functioning of our society and economy, as well as for security and defence. As such, the EU has identified space as a strategic domain. In the current geopolitical context of increasing power competition and intensification of threats, the EU is taking action to protect its space assets, defend its interests, deter hostile activities in space and strengthen its strategic posture and autonomy.

The Strategy is a direct implementation of the EU Strategic Compass adopted less than a year ago and which defined space, together with cyber and maritime, as contested strategic domains, the security of which must be ensured. It provides for a set of actions covering the following strands.

Shared understanding of space threats

The Strategy outlines the counterspace capabilities and main threats in space that put at risk space systems and their ground infrastructure, building on a common definition of the space domain. To increase the common understanding of threats across Member States, the High Representative will prepare a classified annual space threat landscape analysis at EU level, drawing on Member States´ intelligence.

Resilience and protection of space systems and services in the EU

The Strategy proposes actions to strengthen the resilience and protection of space systems and services in the EU. For this purpose, the Commission will:

  • Consider proposing an EU Space Law to provide a common framework for security, safety, and sustainability in Space, that would ensure a consistent and EU-wide approach.
  • Set up an Information Sharing and Analysis Centre (ISAC) to raise awareness and facilitate exchange of best practices among commercial and relevant public entities on resilience measures for space capabilities.
  • Launch preparatory work to ensure long-term EU autonomous access to space, addressing in particular the security and defence needs.
  • Enhance the technological sovereignty of the EU by reducing strategic dependencies and ensuring security of supply for space and defence, in close coordination with the European Defence Agency and the European Space Agency.
Responding to space threats

The strategy outlines concrete measures to mobilise relevant EU tools to respond to space threats, including to:

  • Expand the existing space threat response mechanism, which is currently used for the protection of Galileo to all space systems and services in the EU.
  • Better detect and identify space objects via access to space domain awareness information through relevant national space commands, to characterise inappropriate behaviours in orbit and protect EU assets.
  • Carry out space exercises, including with partners, to test and develop further the EU's response to space threats and explore solidarity mechanisms.
Use of space for security and defence

The Strategy proposes to maximise the use of space for security and defence purposes. The development of dual-use services requires to take into account defence requirements when preparing the evolution of the EU space programmes. The Strategy proposes to:

  • Launch two pilot projects one to test the delivery of initial space domain awareness services building upon capacities of Member States, and a second one to test a new earth observation governmental service as part of the evolution of Copernicus.
  • Better connect space, defence and security at EU level and ensure synergies and cross-fertilisation, notably in terms of research and development.
  • Propose concrete measures to foster collaborative work between space and defence start-ups
  • Enhance skills related to the development of space services for security and defence.
Partnering for responsible behaviours in space

The EU will strengthen its engagement in multilateral fora and promote norms, rules, and principles of responsible behaviours in outer space through concrete and pragmatic steps. The Strategy will deepen existing space security cooperation, in particular with the United States, and expand exchanges with other partners, including  NATO, as well as other like-minded countries.

Next Steps

The Commission and the High Representative will soon present to Member States initial steps for the way forward in implementing the strategy. The Commission and the High Representative will report to the Council on a yearly basis on the progress achieved and potential further actions.


Last year, EU leaders identified space as a strategic domain in the Strategic Compass and called for an EU Space Strategy for Security and Defence.

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Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EU updates Strategy to safeguard maritime domain against new threats

Fri, 10/03/2023 - 15:04

Today, the European Commission and the High Representative adopted a Joint Communication on an enhanced EU Maritime Security Strategy to ensure a peaceful use of the seas and safeguard the maritime domain against new threats. They have also adopted an updated Action Plan through which the Strategy will be implemented.

Maritime security is vital to the European Union and its Member States. Together, the EU's Member States form the largest combined exclusive economic zone in the world. The EU economy depends greatly on a safe and secure ocean. Over 80% of global trade is seaborne and about two-thirds of the world's oil and gas is either extracted at sea or transported by sea. Up to 99% of global data flows are transmitted through undersea cables. The global maritime domain must be secure to unlock the full potential of the oceans and the sustainable blue economy. The EU intends to reinforce the wide range of tools it has at its disposal to promote maritime security, both civilian and military.

Adapting to new threats

Security threats and challenges have multiplied since the adoption of the EU Maritime Security Strategy in 2014, requiring new and enhanced action. Long-standing illicit activities, such as piracy, armed robbery at sea, smuggling of migrants and trafficking of human beings, arms and narcotics, as well as terrorism remain critical challenges. But new and evolving threats must also be dealt with increasing geopolitical competition, climate change and degradation of the marine environment and hybrid and cyber-attacks.

This is an opportunity to drive forward sustainable solutions to the multiple maritime security issues the EU and the international community face. It is also an opportunity to enhance the EU's role and credibility in the international arena. Recent geopolitical developments, such as Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, are a forceful reminder that the EU needs to enhance its security and step up its capacity to act not only on its own territory and its own waters, but also in its neighbourhood and beyond.

An updated European Maritime Security Strategy (EUMSS)

The updated EUMSS is a framework for the EU to take action to protect its interests at sea, and to protect its citizens, values and economy.

The updated Maritime Security Strategy promotes international peace and security, as well as respect for international rules and principles, while ensuring the sustainability of the oceans and the protection of biodiversity. The Strategy will be implemented by the EU and its Member States, in line with their respective competences.

The Joint Communication and associated Action Plan specify several integrated actions that will deliver on the EU's interests. To do so, the EU will step up its action under six strategic objectives:

  • Step up activities at sea. Actions include organising naval exercises at EU level, developing further coastguard operations in European sea basins, designating new maritime areas of interests for the implementation of the Coordinated Maritime Presences concept (a tool to enhance coordination of Member States' naval and air assets present in specific maritime areas) and reinforcing security inspections in EU ports.
  • Cooperate with partners. Actions include deepening EU-NATO cooperation and stepping up cooperation with all relevant international partners to uphold the rules-based order at sea, notably the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • Lead on maritime domain awareness. Actions include reinforcing coastal and offshore patrol vessel surveillance and strengthening the Common information sharing environment (CISE). This is to make sure the national and EU authorities involved can exchange information in a secure way.
  • Manage risks and threats. Actions include conducting regular live maritime exercises involving civilian and military actors, monitoring and protecting critical maritime infrastructure and ships (including passenger ships) from physical and cyber threats, and tackling unexploded ordnance and mines at sea.
  • Boost capabilities. Actions include developing common requirements for defence technologies in the maritime domain, stepping up work on projects such as the European Patrol Corvette (new class of warship), and improving our anti-submarine capabilities.
  • Educate and train by boosting hybrid and cyber security qualifications notably on the civilian side and conducting training programmes open to non-EU partners.

The updated Strategy and its action plan will contribute to the implementation the EU Strategic Compass for Security and Defence.

Next steps

The Commission and the High Representative invite the Member States to endorse the Strategy and to implement it for their part. The Commission and the High Representative will issue a progress report within three years after the endorsement of the updated Strategy by the Council of the European Union.


The EU Maritime Security Strategy and its Action Plan are in place since 2014. The Action Plan was last updated in 2018. The proposed update follows up on the Council Conclusions on maritime security of June 2021, which called on the Commission and the High Representative to assess the need for such update.

Since 2014, the EUMSS and its Action Plan have provided a comprehensive framework to deter and respond to security challenges at sea. They have stimulated closer cooperation between civilian and military authorities, in particular through information exchange. The EUMSS has helped promote rules-based governance at sea and to develop international cooperation in the maritime domain. It has strengthened the EU's autonomy and capacity to respond to maritime security threats and challenges. The EU has become a recognised actor in maritime security, conducting its own naval operations, enhancing maritime domain awareness and cooperating with a wide range of external partners.

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Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA projects point to greater use of alternative power sources in military applications

Thu, 23/02/2023 - 15:41

The European Defence Agency (EDA) has successfully closed the first phase of two projects focused on harnessing the potential of lithium-ion technology and electrified powertrains in military platforms. The results of the two projects, ELUVAT and LITBAT I, sought to put alternative power sources to the unique tests demanded by operational requirements. They have respectively shown the feasibility of an advanced electrified powertrain to meet military demands and sought to broaden the use of lithium-ion battery systems in defence applications with a set of requirements their use in a military setting and in future procurements.

ELUVAT and LITBAT I are both prepared within EDA’s Capability and Technology Group "Ground Systems” and have been executed by a consortium composed of industrial and research entities from across Europe.


ELUVAT I (Innovative electric light utility all-terrain vehicle for defence purposes), involves the development of an all-terrain electrical light utility vehicle based on an existing legacy vehicle with a conventional driveline, to be modified by introducing an advanced electrified powertrain with in-wheel electric motors.

In the first phase, involving Slovenia (lead), Austria, Germany and The Netherlands as contributing Member States and Switzerland, the concept has been developed and validated through simulation, which covered space claim, weight, and performance issues, and has compared the new powertrain with the conventional powertrain. Different options for the power source of the electrified powertrain have been considered: a dedicated hybrid internal combustion engine, a battery pack, and a Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell to be operated by hydrogen.

The results of this first phase have made it possible to demonstrate the feasibility to meet operational requirements, highlighting critical issues and technological opportunities, and to choose the best architecture for the technology demonstrator that will be developed in a second phase.

The project also supports EU goals on energy efficiency and lowering the carbon footprint in the defence domain and is consistent with EU strategy on hydrogen, while also providing an opportunity for the development of dual use applications.


LITBAT I which focuses on safety concepts and safety features of lithium-ion batteries and standardisation of most common battery format for lithium-ion technology, involves Austria (lead) and Germany, as contributing Member States, and Switzerland.

The projects aim at providing Military End Users with a set of requirements as a basis for specifications to be used in future procurement procedures. As lithium-ion batteries have become a prevalent power source in military applications due to their superior energy density and long service life they can exhibit thermal runaway if subjected to misuse or accidents, resulting in the emission of flames.

Despite this potential drawback, the benefits of utilising lithium-ion batteries in military operations far outweigh the risks. During LITBAT I, military requirements have been systematically gathered, aligned, and analysed to derive design specifications for safer and more resistant lithium-ion battery systems. Based on the first phase’s results, a representative battery system for land platform applications will be developed and tested in a follow-on phase.

Pan-European Consortia

“ELUVAT I” has been executed by a consortium composed of eight industrial and research entities:  the Austrian AVL List as project leader, the German AVL Schrick, the Swiss GDELS-Mowag, HyMove and Saluqi Motors from The Netherland and AVL-AST, Elaphe Propulsion Technology and University of Ljubljana from Slovenia.

“LITBAT I” has  been executed by a consortium composed of six industrial and research entities:  the Austrian AVL List as project leader, AVL Schrick and ICT Fraunhofer from Germany and GDELS-MOWAG, Berner Fachhochschule and Armasuisse as Swiss partners.

European Defence Agency

EDA supports its 26 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 allowing it to 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 opens 2023 Defence Innovation Prize competition

Thu, 16/02/2023 - 14:37

The European Defence Agency (EDA) issued its call on February 15 for applications for the 2023 edition of the Defence Innovation Prize, which this year is dedicated to technologies for situational awareness and technologies for communication and information systems. A total of two prizes (one prize per category) will be awarded for the best innovative ideas. The prize-winners are expected to propose ideas which would, if implemented between now and 2030, contribute to improving and enhancing specific EU defence capabilities. 

The winning ideas or concepts will each be awarded €30,000. 

The EDA Defence Innovation Prize aims to stimulate defence technological innovation in Europe by supporting non-defence Research and Technology (R&T) communities and innovators who are set to play an ever-bigger role in developing and producing Europe’s future defence capabilities.

From 2023, the EDA Defence Innovation Prize is now under the umbrella of the Hub for EU Defence Innovation (HEDI), a  new platform for innovation lead by EDA that was established in March 2022 by the EU’s Strategic Compass for Defence and Security. The innovation prize complements other HEDI’s services such as the EDA Research, Technology and Innovation Papers Award 2023.

How to apply? 

The deadline for submitting applications is 15 June 2023. 

The contest rules and application criteria/details can be found here, (plus the annexes to the call for applications and more information here). 

The prize will be awarded during EDA's annual conference in Brussels in December. 

What is expected from applicants? 

Submitted innovations must be the applicants’ own intellectual property. However, submissions may include improvements of existing ideas, new combinations, or adaptations thereof and which are applicable in a different context. The applicants must demonstrate the innovative added-value of their ideas, compared to what already exists.  

Proposals must be innovative, implementable through a collaborative project and financially affordable in terms of future development and exploitation. 

The contest is especially, but not exclusively, aimed at non-traditional defence industries, including civil or dual-use producers, and researchers as they play a growing role in inventing and creating the disruptive capabilities that Member States’ armed forces will need tomorrow. 

The rules of the contest and the criteria for participation are available here

No specific defence background is required to be considered for the prize, and consideration is open to innovators from all types of industries and research institutions in EDA Member States, including defence and civil/commercial producers, large companies, start-ups / SMEs, and civil research communities. 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA-led network of cyber defence teams starts with 18 EU countries

Fri, 10/02/2023 - 09:54

Representatives from 18 European Union Member States held the first meeting of the new Military Computer Emergency Response Team Operational Network (MICNET) on 9 February, following agreement among Ministers of Defence last year.

The establishment of this network of national response teams, individually known as milCERTs, is a substantial step towards enhancing the level of cooperation in the cyber domain at EU level, at a time when computer networks are increasingly contested and the number of cyber-attacks against the EU continues to grow.

Cyberattacks have increased exponentially in the past few years, having serious political, financial, and economic consequences across Europe and beyond.   

The new programme, MICNET, will be managed by the European Defence Agency (EDA) and is the first outcome of the new Joint Communication on the EU Policy on Cyber Defence


Also on 9 February, EDA hosted in Brussels the launch of two other cyber initiatives: the milCERT Interoperability Conference 2023 (MIC2023) and the Cyber Defence Requirement Engineering project applied to the milCERT operational Network (CyDRE4MICNET).

Since 2020, EDA has been developing a framework known as Cyber Defence Requirements Engineering (CyDRE) to provide guidelines for cyber security information, and to establish a system-wide engineering method for all cyber defence projects and activities in EDA.

These can also be shared and used by Member States. It has already been used in maritime surveillance.

With the CyDRE4MICNET project, EDA proposes training Member States representatives on the system’s engineering methodology and using CyDRE along with the management of the new MICNET programme. 

EDA supports its 26 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 allowing it to 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

Council approves Administrative Arrangement between EDA and United States

Mon, 06/02/2023 - 17:08

The Council today approved the draft administrative arrangement between the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the United States Department of Defence (US DoD) with a view to its signature.

The purpose of this arrangement is to provide a framework to exchange information and explore opportunities for cooperation between EDA and the US DoD. An initial scope of such cooperation includes:

  • Forum of exchange and dialogue: the administrative arrangement will enable a substantial defence dialogue on all topics within EDA’s remit, and invitations for U.S. DoD to attend relevant meetings of EDA’s Steering Board and vice versa.
  • Specific activities such as: consultations on the registration of chemical substances (e.g., EU REACH regulation), military mobility, supply chain issues and the impact of climate change on defence. The cooperation also includes participation in the open sessions of the European Defence Standardisation Committee.

The scope of cooperation may, upon mutual consent, progressively develop in the future. Currently, activities falling under the areas of capability development, as well as research and technology remain outside the scope of cooperation.

The arrangement confirms the significance of the transatlantic partnership in security and defence and reflects the importance of a stronger and more capable European defence that contributes to global and transatlantic security and is complementary to NATO.

Background and next steps

In the EU-U.S. 2021 Summit Statement, leaders committed to work towards an administrative arrangement for the United States with the European Defence Agency.

On 16 November 2021, the EDA Steering Board gave the mandate to the Head of the Agency to negotiate the arrangement, and on 9 December 2022, a draft proposal for an administrative arrangement was submitted to the Defence Ministers in the EDA Steering Board.

The arrangement will enter into effect on the date of the signature by the parties.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

New EDA project seeks to enhance combat unmanned ground systems technology  

Fri, 03/02/2023 - 12:16

On 1 February, the European Defence Agency (EDA) has launched its largest Research and Technology project to develop highly autonomous combat unmanned ground systems. The project, Combat Unmanned Ground Systems (CUGS), brings together nine member states and 28 European industry partners.  With a € 35.5 million budget and running for 36 months, CUGS aims to define, design and develop a set of functional modules which will be mounted on to existing platforms. The final phase of the project will test full demonstrators for highly autonomous combat unmanned ground systems.

Autonomous systems provide operational benefits across a very broad range of missions, from intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and logistics missions to combat missions. Deploying unmanned systems reduces the danger to human personnel and manned platforms, while increasing robustness, sustainability and resilience of ground systems. It is expected that these systems will play an increased role in future Armed Forces by bringing faster manoeuvrability and more efficient and precise lethal and non-lethal effects, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of land systems and ensure an advantage in respect to the adversary.

CUGS - Adapting European Platforms

The functional modules to be developed in the project will ensure autonomous navigation; command, control, communications, and cooperation; and use of weapon systems.  The modules will be integrated on several European autonomous ground systems; the mid-sized platforms Themis (Milrem, Estonia) and Wiesel (Rheinmetall, Germany), and large-sized platforms Type X (Milrem, Estonia), Lince 2 VTLM (Iveco, Italy) and Patria AMV (Patria, Finland).

The project will run across three phases; firstly, with the requirements and standard-based system architecture of the full CUGS demonstrator being developed for both the current autonomous platforms and future modules.

The adaptation of the five existing platforms will begin in parallel with the development of the combat functional modules. In the third phase of the project the solutions will be mounted on the platforms and will be tested and evaluated individually and in a cooperative way in relevant environments.

In the testing phase, the adapted unmanned ground systems should be able to autonomously move, navigate, communicate, detect, identify and lock targets, choose weapon systems and test firing sequences and safety aspects.

Human on the loop

Each type of weapon or type of engagement will require some specificity to reach the requested level of capability with a human in/on the loop. This project will contribute to identifying the adequate level of autonomy for autonomous weapon system with humans on the loop and to test relevant features in TRL (Technology readiness levels) demonstrators.

The decision to take lethal actions on the targets will remain a human decision. The execution of this project will be made following in respect to the European Parliament “Resolution on autonomous weapon systems (2018/2752(RSP))”.

Pan-European consortium

Due to the growing importance of unmanned ground systems for operations, nine contributing Member States (cMS) decided to launch the Combat Unmanned Ground Systems (CUGS) project. CUGS is a very ambitious and challenging project, led by Italy, that will also bring together the cMS of Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, the Netherlands and Poland, as well as Norway.

The project will be carried out by a consortium led by Italy’s Leonardo and involves other 28 consortium members, namely Iveco, Larimart and MBDA IT, also of Italy, John Cockerill Defence, FN Herstal and the Royal Military Academy of Belgium, Diehl Defence, KMW, MBDA DE and Rheinmetall of Germany, Milrem Robotics, Estonia and the Estonian Military Academy of Estonia, Patria and Bittium of Finland, Nexter, Safran, Thales, MBDA FR and Arquus of France, TNO, Demcon and NCIM of the Netherlands, Kongsberg and FFI of Norway, and WAT, PIAP, ZMT and ASW of Poland.

As a project managed by EDA, the initiative is co-funded by Member States and additional participants can opt in. 


More information 

The European Defence Agency (EDA) supports its 26 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 allowing it to the whole spectrum of defence capabilities. 

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

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA opens first competition for best defence research papers

Wed, 01/02/2023 - 15:54

The European Defence Agency (EDA) issued on 1 February 2023 its call for applications to its first ever EDA Research, Technology, and Innovation Papers Awards. This contest will reward a total of three original and valuable defence-related papers covering technologies, processes and applications for enhanced future defence.  

The winning entries will come up with ideas which, if implemented between now and 2035, would contribute to enhance specific EU defence capabilities. Entries will be judged on their quality and impact, with a special emphasis on technology and innovation to help cover the European Union’s defence needs and shortfalls.

The contest aims to promote and support the work of early career researchers by introducing their work to the defence community, stimulate engagement of innovators to widen their access to emerging and potentially disruptive research, and identify areas in which additional investment is needed to address future defence capability needs.  
Each prize winner will receive €4,000. 

How to apply?

The deadline for submitting applications is April 2, 2023. 

The contest rules and application criteria can be found here and here, (plus the annexes to the call for applications here). The prize will be formally awarded during the 2023 EDA Defence Innovation Days later this year. The contest is open to all citizens of EDA participating Member States.  


The prize is part of EDA’s growing role in fostering innovation. Following the EU’s Strategic Compass for EU Defence and Security and the creation of the Hub for EU Defence Innovation (HEDI), EDA is tasked with promoting pathways to cutting-edge military capabilities. 

The EDA awards are part of that task. HEDI serves to stimulate and facilitate cooperation on defence innovation while ensuring operational benefits with related European Commission activities, notably the EU defence innovation scheme, coherence of output with NATO innovation and other EU defence innovation organisations.   

EDA's wider role  

EDA supports its 26 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 allowing it to 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

General André Denk Takes Up Post as Deputy Chief Executive of EDA

Wed, 01/02/2023 - 05:53

Brussels, 1 February 2023 - General André Erich Denk takes up his duties at EDA on 1 February 2023. As deputy to Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý, General Denk will support EDA in its mission to improve European defence capabilities, stimulate research and technology, act as a military interface for EU policies and help develop European security and defence policy.

General Denk was most recently Director Logistics of the EU Military Staff and was previously commander of the Join School of Logistics in Germany, as well as the Joint Logistics Support Group Coordination and Training Centre, Germany’s core facility for training, exercises and certification of national and international joint logistics. During his long career, he also worked as desk officer and deputy branch head for planning issues at Germany’s Federal Ministry of Defence.  

General Denk has undertaken many international deployments under European Union, United Nations and NATO mandates, most recently as chief of staff of the EU Training Mission in Mali. His extensive international expertise means he brings logistics and operational knowledge with him, as well as capability planning and armaments development expertise. 

General Denk said: “I am delighted to join EDA at this decisive point in European defence collaboration. I am committed to supporting Member States develop their defence capabilities together, as well as building up the European Union’s defence capacity and strengthening the European pillar in NATO.”

Born in Rotthalmünster, Germany, in 1967, General Denk joined the German armed forces in 1986. He holds a diploma in mechanical engineering and in addition, graduated from the German Command and General Staff College as well as from the French General Staff College. In addition to German, he is a native speaker of Serbo-Croatian and speaks fluent English and French. He is married and has two children.  

  1. EDA website: European Defence Agency (
  2. German armed forces website: Homepage - Bundeswehr


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Categories: Defence`s Feeds

New EDA project seeks to enhance NGVA (NATO Generic Vehicle Architecture) safety

Tue, 31/01/2023 - 12:51

Today, the European Defence Agency (EDA) has launched a new project to establish a safe-communication extension for NATO Generic Vehicle Architecture (NGVA) in terms of functional safety. The project which will run over 24 months with a €3,5 million budget, is the first step in a series of Safe NGVA projects that eventually aim to develop and test physical demonstrators in relevant environments in the second and third phases.

Generic architectures are open systems to other entities and give access to data that are usually hidden in proprietary systems. As these systems are becoming more common and widely used in military vehicles, safety is one part of the NGVA that is not defined to an implementable depth.

The Safe NATO Generic Vehicle Architecture (SafeNGVA) project proposes to solve the issue by providing separate safe, but closed, sub-systems or infrastructure that is accessible by other participants in the architecture by one-way-gateways.

Led by Germany, the first phase of SafeNGVA also includes France. It will be carried out by a consortium led by Germany’s Rheinmetall and involves MBDA DE, also of Germany, and Safran, Thales and Nexter of France.  


SafeNGVA in its first phase will seek to define the requirements and design a system architecture for safe communication using the NGVA. The architecture will be validated by different techniques such as performance to robustness tests, to ensure the architecture is conceptually capable of covering all necessary needs for function safety in military vehicles, and a demonstrator and simulation environment for some elements of the NGVA, to provide an implementation close to a real use case. As one of the main goals of the NGVA is to improve interoperability, a demonstration for interoperability between the member states will be performed.

In the second and third phases, the results of SafeNGVA will be used to improve the architecture and validate it further by developing demonstrators for steering a tactical vehicle and by creating a weapon system demonstrator using safety critical hardware and software solutions.

As a project managed by EDA, the initiative can be co-funded by Member States and additional participants can opt in. 

The European Defence Agency 

The European Defence Agency (EDA) supports its 26 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 allowing it to the whole spectrum of defence capabilities. Member States use EDA as an intergovernmental expert platform where their collaborative projects are supported, facilitated, and implemented. What we do (

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EDA supporting two PESCO projects on future European airlift capabilities

Fri, 27/01/2023 - 11:25

The European Defence Agency (EDA) will support two Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) projects focused on shaping future European airlift capabilities, for both mid-sized and out-sized cargo, following a request from their project coordinators. EDA is tasked to assist with harmonisation of the requirements for two platforms; the Future Medium-Size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) and the Strategic Air Transport For Outsized Cargo (SATOC). Both projects were launched in the fourth wave of PESCO projects and are coordinated by France and Germany, respectively; with the FMTC also gathering Germany, Spain and Sweden as project members and Czechia, France and Netherlands in the four-nation SATOC project.

Medium & Outsized Cargo: Requirements for 2035+

Tactical cargo aircraft are the workhorses of the air forces in terms of logistics, medical evacuations, and special missions. Currently, EU Member States operate a wide range of tactical cargo aircraft (e.g. C130, C-295, C-27J). Apart from the A400M, a modern strategic-tactical cross-over platform,  many of them will be approaching the end of their life cycle in the upcoming decade. The main objective of the FMTC project is to develop next generation tactical air mobility capability of the armed forces of EU Member States. It aims at providing the participating Member States and industry with robust elements to decide what the 2035+ future of EU military tactical medium size transport fleets will be by defining common requirements for a new Future Mid-size Tactical Cargo.

SATOC aims to fill the critical shortfall for strategic transport for outsized and heavy cargo, a crucial enabler for military missions and operations. SATOC involves a 3-step approach, firstly by identifying a sufficient number of project members, harmonising requirements and finally identifying and agreeing on a common European solution for the transport of outsized cargo. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has also underscored the importance of outsized and heavy cargo transport. The destruction of several Antonov aircrafts, including AN-225 Mriya (the world’s largest cargo aircraft) has further reduced European Armed Forces access to strategic airlift.

EDA’s support to FMTC and SATOC, which will run for an initial 24 months, will be dedicated to harmonising the requirements of the project members and drafting a joint document of precise common guidance for research and development for the envisioned platform.

Common requirements for a common vision

Defining common requirements is an essential step in order to allow project members to align towards a joint vision for the future medium-sized and outsized cargo aircraft. In other words, common requirement articulation can be seen as the basis that all subsequent decisions in the ensuing programme will reference. They prescribe the fundamental performance criteria and innovation level of the platform that is destined to be a crucial element in future military campaigns of Member States. Furthermore, it will serve as basis for the work of European defence industry, starting with a feasibility study and proceeding with the design and prototyping of the new generation aircraft.

Harmonised requirements lower the life-cycle cost by avoiding late design changes and excessive versioning, and  prevent a fragmentation of future air mobility fleets at large by allowing for a platform development that serves an array of Member States. EDA will provide its expertise and input for the elaboration of the requirements, building on its experience in harmonisation of project partners.

EDA engages in the document drafting process by highlighting areas that connect to ongoing efforts in related fields, such as defence aviation R&T, providing its experience in interoperability matters of tactical airlift, and supports the discussion with best practices in achieving a programme that maximises Member States participation.

EDA supporting 10 PESCO projects

FMTC and SATOC are the ninth and tenth PESCO project to be supported by the Agency. PESCO, which recently marked five years since its launch, has also be able to benefit from the expertise of the EDA. EDA’s support has grown from initial modest administrative support to a couple of PESCO’s smaller-scale projects, but has since grown to include major weapons platforms, such as the FMTC and European Patrol Corvette.

EDA offers three forms of support to PESCO projects, first is administrative support by helping a PESCO project to organise meetings and providing facilities for project-related work. The second form of PESCO support is consultancy and expertise as in the case of the FMTC. Here the Agency and the PESCO project 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 ConOps (concept of operations) by a certain deadline or defining specifications for its technical study.

The final form of EDA support is when participating members of a PESCO project choose to establish their project at the Agency, 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, three PESCO projects are being taken forward within the Agency; CBRN Surveillance as a Service (CBRN SaaS); Deployable Modular Underwater Intervention Capability Package (DIVEPACK); and European Patrol Corvette.

EDA's role 

The European Defence Agency (EDA) supports its 26 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 allowing it to 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.

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New EDA project seeks to enhance automatic targeting technology

Fri, 13/01/2023 - 12:52

The European Defence Agency (EDA) launched a new project on 13 January to improve the technology behind automatic targeting, as well as in threat recognition and identification, as European militaries seek to make soldiers and weapons systems more effective in battle.

Automatic target/threat recognition, identification and targeting for land systems (ATRIT) can help militaries in detecting, tracking, prioritising and selecting targets, whether off the top of a combat vehicle or from individual weapons. The technology cannot engage, however, without human command. 

Led by Germany, the first phase of ATRIT will also bring together the contributing Member States of France, Greece, the Netherlands and Poland, as well as Norway. It will be carried out by a consortium led by Germany’s Rheinmetall and involves IABG, also of Germany, Safran and Thales of France, ISD SA of Greece, TNO and Thales of the Netherlands, Rheinmetall in Norway and PCO of Poland.  


With a €2 million budget over 18 months, the EDA launch marks the first step in a series of ATRIT projects that eventually aim to develop and test physical demonstrators in relevant environments in a second phase.

ATRIT in its first phase will seek to define the requirements and design the system architecture for an overarching, cross-platform capacity to allocate military targets and enhance detection and to identify threats, including on the basis of behaviour. The new, improved software will not only have the capacity to better identify and enable automatic targeting, but also fuse different sensor data and make it easy for soldiers to use.

As a Category B project managed by EDA, the initiative is co-funded by Member States and additional participants can opt in.

ATRIT analysis in the first phase will be based on the following modules: human behaviour; 360-degree situation awareness; integration of fused sensor information; target allocation; presentation of fused data, including real-time sensor data, C4I and historical data.

For more details, please see here.


The European Defence Agency (EDA) supports its 26 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 allowing it to 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.

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EDA begins research into automatic air-to-air refuelling for hose and drogue system

Wed, 21/12/2022 - 14:01

The European Defence Agency (EDA) has kicked-off a new research project, led by Spain and in collaboration with Germany, to develop an automatic air-to-air refuelling (A3R) operation with the hose and drogue system. The two-year EDA project which has a budget of €4 million, will involve an industry consortium of Airbus Defence and Space (Spain and Germany), GMV, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and AES Technology (Germany). A limited number of flight tests will be carried out in 2024 with an Airbus A330 MRTT tanker and Tornado aircraft provided by the two participating countries.

Innovation in the air

Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) is one of the main pillars of air mobility and a key force multiplier. AAR is an operation that demands tanker and receiver pilots operate in close formation, flying in variable flight conditions, during the day or at night and performing high precision manoeuvres to achieve the contact. While the hose and drogue system of AAR operations has evolved in terms of new systems that provide better information to the Tanker Operator and better operational awareness, the way in which the refuelling is performed has been the same for the last 70 years. For instance, there have not been substantial improvements in providing greater assistance to the aircraft involved, in the different phases of the AAR operation.

Although nowadays the success rate of the hose and drogue contacts is high, the impact of unsuccessful contact is significant, often resulting in mission cancellations, damage to assets and hindering operational effectiveness. In view of maximising its operation effectiveness, introducing innovative automation features to the AAR systems will provide new ways to better assist the aircraft during this operation and will increase the success rate of AAR missions.

The feasibility of greater AAR automation has already been shown by Airbus when achieving a fully automatic contact with the boom system in 2020, and recent certification in 2022 of a fully automatic boom. Launching research into the hose and drogue system will prepare air-to-air refuelling tankers, such as A330 MRTT, A400M or C295, to cope with more demanding operations and be ready for the next generation of unmanned platforms.

A3R: Trade-offs, Technology and new Concepts of Operation

The first phase of the project is focused on the technology trade-off, which will be needed to perform the future automation of the operation, such as the levels of automation or assistance to be implemented for manned and/or unmanned platforms.

The technologies will be evaluated, prototyped and tested in real scenarios such as flight test. This will allow the proper identification and tracking of the hose and drogue system and the receiver aircraft. The technical gaps to be addressed will include sensors, computing capability and suitability in all weather conditions.

A simulation environment will also be developed to evaluate the optimum trajectory of the receiver aircraft towards the drogue, analysing the interaction between them. Technology gaps have already been identified around the data/communication link needed between the tanker and the receiver aircraft and how factors such as latency, integrity or accuracy of the data could affect it.

Within the current project plan, a concept to increase the drogue’s stabilisation will be developed, also evaluated in a representative environment such as in a wind tunnel.

Lastly, the project will also align this technological development with operational needs, and explore new ways of performing the AAR operation to increase its efficiency and within new scenarios to be considered in the future.


The project started in December 2022 and is executed under the CapTech Aerial Systems of the European Defence Agency. More information here


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EDA’s Tactical Personnel Recovery Mission Simulator fully operational

Wed, 21/12/2022 - 11:33

EDA’s Tactical Personnel Recovery Mission Simulator (TPRMS) has achieved Full Operational Capability (FOC) on 7 December. The TPRMS is used for rehearsing Personnel Recovery missions, tactics, techniques and procedures usually considered too risky to be practiced in live training events. 

TPRMS consists of twenty posts that replicates the elements of the Personnel Recovery (PR) Forces package (rotary and fixed air-wings crew, land soldier and crew of land combat vehicles, PR planners) employed when conducting military operations. Located at the Italian Air Force Base Poggio Renatico, the achievement of FOC completes the TPRMS project that begun in April 2019 with its initial set-up and subsequent declaration of Initial Operational Capability in November 2021.

EDA Chief Executive, Jiri SEDIVY, said; “TPRMS is a major achievement for European defence cooperation and the personnel recovery community. The simulator is a unique and powerful training capability to enhance European expertise in Personnel Recovery through the innovative use of training simulations, an expertise that has clear operational value in most difficult threat environments.” 
FOC Ceremony 

 The FOC ceremony, held on 7 December, was attended by representatives from eight Member States (AT, CY, DE, HU, IT, PO, RO and SE) and five international organisations with proven expertise on PR (EPRC/ European Personnel Recovery Centre, US JPRA/Joint Personnel Recovery Agency and NATO JAPCC/Joint Air Power Competence Centre, CASPOA/Air Operations Centre of Excellence and CAOC/Centre of Combat Air Operations UEDEM). 

On this occasion, an ITAF team presented a live-demo training session within the TPRMS by using a special designed Virtual Reality (VR) scenario, showcasing TPRMS performances and familiarisation with the VR technology. 

Pilot Course

On the same day, and as a direct follow up to the TPRMS FOC, a new EDA project, TPRMS Pilot Course, kicked off. Coupled together, they mark a major step towards to the creation of a European common approach in how PR forces gear up for an upcoming deployment or conduct PR mission rehearsals. 

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Ambitious cyberspace situational awareness project enters next phase

Tue, 20/12/2022 - 15:03

Under the European Cyberspace Situational Awareness Platform (ECYSAP) project, the European Defence Agency (EDA) has recently signed a new implementing contract with a nine-member industrial consortium, led by Indra. To increase European cyberspace situational awareness, EDA is supporting four contributing Member States as the project manager of the ECYSAP project. The contract is an important step forward for the project, as it implements contributing Member States’ co-financing of the ECYSAP action launched under the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP).

Enabling real-time Cyber Situational Awareness

Armed forces increasingly rely on the ability to operate in cyberspace across the entire spectrum of cyber operations. Today, cyber awareness is a crucial aspect of modern operations, given the rise in cyber threats and the potential significant impact of a cyber-attack. The main objective of the ECYSAP project is to develop and implement a European operational platform for enabling real-time cyber situational awareness for both national and European Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operations.

It will provide military end-users with rapid response defensive capabilities and decision-making support. Indeed, an integrated and modular Cyber Situational Awareness (CSA) picture for national and European CSDP operations will be developed, which shall become a real-time defensive system capable of providing an automated cyber response and deployable in the same area of operations interconnected between envisaged and identified intelligent nodes.

ECYSAP is co-financed by the European Commission (under EDIDP) and four contributing Member States: Estonia, France, Italy, and Spain. It is developed in parallel with the ESC2 project which aims at the creation of a European Strategic Command and Control system from strategic to tactical level.


The signature of the ECYSAP Project Arrangement was completed in December 2021. The most recent step came with the signature of the relevant implementing contract with the nine-member industrial consortium comprising Indra, Leonardo, Airbus Cybersecurity, Cybernetica, Innotec System, S2 Grupo, the Polytechnic University of Madrid, the Polytechnic University of Valencia and University “Carlos III” of Madrid.

The signature is conducted under the EDA’s “ad-hoc legal framework” to accommodate the project’s complex co-funding structure in compliance with applicable project- and security- management rules, and conducted in compliance with of Regulation 2018/1092 establishing the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP), the European Defence Fund (EDF) precursor for development of defence products and technologies.

The successful signature of the implementing contract highlights the unique role and expertise of EDA in the management of strategic European projects that rely on co-funding between EU institutions and Member States and paves the way for a similar construct under development actions co-funded  by the EDF.

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EU Commission, EDA and OCCAR sign European Defence Fund agreements

Wed, 14/12/2022 - 10:49

Today, the European Commission, the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR) signed Contribution Agreements to delegate the implementation, under indirect management, of four strategic defence projects under the European Defence Fund. 

For EDA, the agreements involve two research projects:

ARTURO - The project ARTURO will provide a solution to fulfil future operational needs for advanced radar technologies in Europe.

ECOBALLIFE - The project ECOBALLIFE will research eco-designed ballistic systems for durable lightweight protection against current and new threats in platform and personal applications.

For OCCAR, the agreements involve two development projects:

European Patrol Corvette (EPC) - The EPC will focus on the initial phase of a European innovative, modular, flexible, interoperable, green, multirole vessel, enabling European navies to face the 21st century challenges. 

European Hypersonic Defence Interceptor (EU-HYDEF) - The project EU HYDEF will define the concept for a European Interceptor to achieve the highest maneuverability and capability to respond to high velocity threats.

Selected under the €1.2 billion European Defence Fund 2021 calls for proposals, these projects are highly important for the development of key EU defence and technological capabilities. The EU funding contribution to these four projects amounts to €190 million (almost 17% of the total EDF 2021 budget).

The signing ceremony was attended by Timo Pesonen, Director-General of DG DEFIS; Jiří Šedivý, EDA Chief Executive; and Matteo Bisceglia, OCCAR EA Director.

During the ceremony, they stated:

“This Contribution Agreement is an excellent opportunity for the European Commission and EDA to join forces and expertise, unlock synergies and build mutual trust again after the Pilot Project and the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR). This agreement can also pave the way for a continuous long-term cooperation, based on the governance framework and taking advantage of expertise and resources of the two organisations.” - Jiří Šedivý, EDA Chief Executive.

 “The collaboration with the EDA and OCCAR under the EDF's precursor programmes EDIDP and PADR has already proven to be fruitful. The high-level expertise of both the EDA and OCCAR is crucial to implement projects of a very strategic nature and help to make the implementation of the European Defence Fund a resounding success. That is why the Commission is very happy to continue to work together to show the EU Defence community that cooperation among European/International Institutions is active in delivering tangible capabilities through EDF.” - Timo Pesonen, Director-General of DG DEFIS, European Commission.

“I strongly share the objective that cooperation between OCCAR and the Commission should grow more and more in order to strengthen the European Defence Industry and to assist Europe in making its defence environment more independent from our strategic partner across the Atlantic.” - Matteo Bisceglia, OCCAR EA Director.

Background and More Information

With the adoption, on 2 December 2022, of the first award of 61 projects supported by the European Defence Fund (EDF), the Commission has approved an investment of around €1.2 billion in collaborative defence research and development projects. Read the individual project factsheets and general information on the EDF 2021 calls for proposals results here.

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Safer satellites: Share My Space wins EDA's 2022 Innovation Prize

Mon, 12/12/2022 - 16:57

Share My Space, a ‘NewSpace’ company founded in 2017 and part of the emerging commercial space industry, wins this year's European Defence Agency (EDA) Defence Innovation Prize. This year’s €30,000 prize focused on space-based surveillance and reconnaissance defence technologies. It was awarded to Share My Space at EDA's annual conference in Brussels on 8 December, 2022.

Most space debris is tracked from earth and relies  on  NASA  and  the  U.S.  Department  of  Defence’s  Space  Surveillance  Network,  as  well  as  the  U.S.  Air  Force’s  space-tracking  system  that  uses  ground-based  sensors.  In  Europe,  Toulouse-based  company  Share  My Space is among a small group of private companies   offering   the   service,   tracking   artificial  satellites  and  space  debris,  using  its ground-based telescopes.

But  it  wants  to  go  one  step  further.  With  the  help  of  EDA,  it  could  develop  a  project  to   put   12   microsatellites   into  space   to   monitor   space   junk   with much   greater   accuracy.  If  successful,  every  90  minutes, the  satellites  would  be  able  to  send  back  a  full  scan  of  a  region  in  space  and  allow  companies  to  make  trajectory  decisions.  “No  sensor  at  ground  level  can  give  that  kind  of  precision,”  says  Norbert  Pouzin,  a  Spaceflight Dynamics Engineer at Share My Space.  “To  have  precise  and  accurate  data  on  all  orbits,  at  a  high  time-frequency,  you  need  the  combination  of  a  ground-based  and  space-based  observation  system.  A  surveillance  constellation  will  only  be  high-performance  with  a  full  network  of  ground-based sensors linked to it,” Pouzin says.

Collisions are not  theoretical     either.   According  to  the  European  Space  Agency,  the   first-ever   accidental   in-orbit   collision   between two satellites occurred in February 2009   above   Siberia,   when   a   privately-owned      U.S.      communication satellite, Iridium-33,  and  a  Russian  military  satellite,  Kosmos2251, collided. Both were destroyed.

The   microsatellites   form   the   essence   of   Share   My   Space’s   winning  proposal for   the  EDA’s  2022  Innovation  Prize.  While  the  €30,000  prize  money  can  only  be  seed  money    considering    the    potential    €720    million  cost  of  the  project,  it  does  bring  the    company    publicity    and    credibility,    Pouzin  says.  “It  shows  we  have  the  know-how  and  will  help  us  put  this  proposal  at  the  ministerial  level  in  France,  and  at  the  European level.”

Competitive field

Share  My  Space’s  proposal  involves  sending  up  the  microsatellites  with  three  crucial pieces of technology: a narrow field of view photo sensor telescope, a ‘fish-eye’ wide  angle  camera,  and  a  laser  to  track  objects. If Share My Space could secure an EDA-led  project  with  funding  from  Member  States,  it  would  likely  create  a  consortium  to build the satellites – a so-called Category B  project  that  would  allow  Member  States  to  opt-in  to  the  project  and  in  which  only  participating   states would   pay   towards   the  costs  of  the  project.  Share  My  Space  is   working   on the   basis   of   a   30-month   development cycle, with a five-year mission.

As in previous years, EDA’s Innovation Prize competition was very high, not just in terms of  the  number  of  proposals  –  15  in  all  –  but  also in terms of quality. “This year, we added an  incentive  to  promote  the  participation  of   small   and   medium-sized enterprises, including   start-ups,   and   give   them   the   opportunity     to     bring  their     innovative     proposals to the defence sector,” says Jean-François Ripoche, EDA Director for Research, Technology and Innovation (RTI).

Ripoche  says  that  Share  My  Space  was  selected   because   “it   proved   to   be  very   innovative,  proposing  a  solution  based  on  a  dedicated  satellites’  constellation  which  would  provide  more  continuous  coverage  and high accuracy position of the detected objects. By combining this architecture and the  latest  optical  sensors  technology,  this  proposal will put EU defence at the forefront in  space  surveillance.  ”As  the  amount  of  space junk is set to steadily increase, Share My  Space’s  proposal  could  not  have  come  sooner. 

A full version of this article is available in EDA's magazine European Defence Matters, Edition 24.

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From peacetime production to new capabilities: be smart and strategic, EDA told

Thu, 08/12/2022 - 16:17

Act fast. Face up to war in Ukraine. Prepare for 2040. Those were the messages from industry panelists and experts gathered on Thursday to discuss strategic autonomy and defence industrial gaps at the European Defence Agency (EDA) annual conference.

As years of underspending take their toll on Europe’s defence capacities, Member States face the challenge not only of building back their armed forces but ensuring a certain level of strategic autonomy - relying less on the United States. That burden also falls on the European defence industry that has long been geared to peacetime production, the panel heard.

“The war in Ukraine has highlighted our capability shortfalls,” said Jean-Pierre Maulny, Deputy Director, French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS). “The United States has larger stocks of anti-tank missiles and air defence systems. Sometimes we in Europe don’t do more because we cannot do more,” he told the panel.

In the search for more self-reliance, Tuija Karanko, Secretary General, Association of Finnish Defence and Aerospace Industries, reminded the 300 participants in Brussels and the 1,000 registered online viewers that: “all the military people in this room have known about their gaps for many years … We need more of that transparency.”

For industry, strategic autonomy needs to exist at different levels, but that is difficult because the EU cannot control everything at every level. “We are not fully autonomous because we have key companies depending on third parties,” said Pablo Gonzalez, Director NATO and EU Defence & Space, Indra. There is a need for younger, skilled engineers, the panel heard.

So what to do? More European collaboration will lower costs, as well as joint research and joint development. Joint procurement for strategic assets made in Europe could help. But having a “Buy European” law, as in the United States, brings risks of isolation for the European continent, Karanko said.

For Laurynas Šatas, Chief Executive at Aktyvus Photonics, Europe has the potential to improve, but there is a need for more emphasis on the defence sector. As a Lithuanian laser company, Aktyvus Photonics is an example of a small- and medium-sized company that would benefit from a better environment with less European bureaucracy to bridge ambition and reality as it seeks to pass innovation up to bigger companies. “We have the intellectual capacity. Tomorrow is in our hands,” he said.

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'We must prepare for future warfare,' Czech defence chief tells EDA conference

Thu, 08/12/2022 - 14:22

European armed forces are not fully prepared for a large-scale conflict with Russia, Major General Karel Řehka, Chief of Defence, Czech Republic, told the European Defence Agency (EDA) annual conference on Thursday. “We must primarily prepare for the most difficult and most dangerous scenario: that is the large-scale war against an advanced adversary,” General Řehka told the conference. Despite EU support to Ukraine, the Union must also do more for Kyiv, he said. “If Ukraine does not succeed, our security will be at risk for decades.”

Joint procurement to replenish weapons' stocks is central to that. “The area of joint procurement has already proved its added-value. And EDA has expertise for this,” he said.

"When it comes to military capabilities I need the following: I need timely delivery of military equipment, I need interoperability of systems on the battlefield. And I also need the possibility of gradual upgrades throughout the whole lifecycle, especially with the speed of changing technologies," General Řehka said. 

In his keynote speech to 300 participants at EDA’s annual gathering in Brussels, as well as some 1,000 registered online, General Řehka also urged the European defence community to consider the future. EU Member States must focus on advanced weapons’ systems for a horizon of three decades' time. “We have faced strategic shocks every 10 to 15 years. So it would be very naïve to think that would not happen again,” General Řehka warned.



Shining a spotlight on transatlantic ties, EDA's Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý discussed security and defence cooperation with Ambassador Julianne Smith, the United States' Permanent Representative to NATO, who stressed the need for resilience and adaptation to hybrid threats, particularly from Russia and China. "I think the priority for us is really looking at ways in which we can come together to address some of these hybrid tactics that nations around the world are increasingly relying on," Ambassador Smith said. 

In a later panel debate moderated by EDA’s Deputy Chief Executive Olli Ruutu, senior officials also discussed how to develop, procure and operate together. Stacy A Cummings, General Manager at NATO’s Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), cautioned that, despite the war in Ukraine, governments were still not coming together as one to coordinate and agree a single contract for the defence industry.

She said that in the area of ammunition, countries are “coming to us individually to give a demand signal for a specific type of ammunition. The nations are coming one at a time. What we need is a convening mechanism.” Cummings said she hoped to see that change in the next five years across the defence spectrum as processes and policy adapt from peacetime to the more demanding security environment. “We can’t afford to invest in individual solutions.”

Kim Jorgensen, Director-General and Permanent Representative to the EU at the European Investment Bank, made a pledge for an end to duplication.  But he said that there were constraints on where the bank can invest when it comes to defence. “In the area of military mobility, we can see a big role for us,” he said, referring to EDA-led work on standardising cross-border military transport procedures.

Vice Admiral Arie Jan de Waard, National Armaments Director and Director of the Defence Materiel Organisation, the Netherlands, was also clear at the conference on the need for collaboration, saying: “Don’t duplicate. Do it (develop weapons) with EDA, do it with NSPA. Strive for interoperability. Use the same systems.”

Timo Pesonen, Director General, DG DEFIS, European Commission, said he welcomed the political guidance at the highest political level on defence. He urged for the EU to press forward on innovation, highlighting EDA’s innovation hub. “We need to have a common programme with Member States and EDA to attract young engineers and change the image of the defence industry.”


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