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Updated: 2 weeks 4 days ago

EDA-led project shapes standards for unmanned systems

Wed, 12/07/2023 - 14:26

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

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

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

Standardisation of systems, interfaces

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

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

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

Tabletop exercise

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

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


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

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

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

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

Tue, 11/07/2023 - 10:49

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

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

Adapt and Strengthen in Response to Aggression

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

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

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

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

PESCO Projects Showcase Progress in Key Defence Areas

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

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

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

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

Future capability needs moving forwards

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

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

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

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

Fri, 07/07/2023 - 14:36

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

Next Generation of Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems – Towards a prototype 

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

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

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

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

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

4E– Essential systems for the 2040s 

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

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

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

PESCO moving forward and supported by EDA 

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

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

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

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

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

NEW 2023 ISSUE ONLINE NOW - European Defence Matters

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


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

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

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

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


Lessons from Ukraine, joint procurement

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

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

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

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

Enjoy the read

Robin Emmott, Editor-in-Chief  


Categories: Defence`s Feeds

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

Fri, 30/06/2023 - 15:02

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

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

Beja Air Base: hot and dusty

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

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

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

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

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

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

New home, same spirit  

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

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

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

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA project to examine ammunition for potential ageing degradation

Fri, 30/06/2023 - 11:38

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

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

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

Round Robin and fire testing

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

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

Wed, 28/06/2023 - 15:16

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

Symbiosis conference: harnessing offshore energy for sustainable energy

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

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

Upscaling offshore

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

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

Symbiosis project - scope

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

Symbiosis project - activities

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


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

For more information

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

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

Thu, 22/06/2023 - 15:11

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

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

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

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

Ten partners from six Member States

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

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


Further information

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA managed TALOS project successfully closed

Mon, 19/06/2023 - 11:22

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

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

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

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

About TALOS  

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


Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA and Multinational Logistics Coordination Centre sign cooperation agreement

Fri, 16/06/2023 - 10:29

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

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

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

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

Enhancing cooperation in logistics

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

Areas for cooperation could include the following:

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

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


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

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

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


Categories: Defence`s Feeds

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

Thu, 08/06/2023 - 12:31

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

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

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

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

Defence must increase its resilience to climate change

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

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

Greenhouse gas emissions in defence have to be reduced

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

Climate-proofing EU defence

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Further Information 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA's final Hot Blade exercise lifts off in Portugal

Wed, 07/06/2023 - 13:49

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

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

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

Hot Blade 2023’s main objectives are:

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


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

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

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

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

Distinguished Visitors Day

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


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

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Radar, GNN and cross-domain ideas win EDA’s 2023 defence research papers prize

Thu, 01/06/2023 - 11:12

Better radar detection of hypersonic missiles, cyber cross-domain technology for defence systems and Graph Neural Networks (GNN) in tactical communications were areas of research worthy of  the European Defence Agency’s first ever EDA Research, Technology, and Innovation Papers Awards. EDA rewarded three original and valuable defence-related papers covering technologies, processes and applications for enhanced future defence. 

The winning entries have come up with ideas which, if implemented between now and 2035, could contribute to enhance specific EU defence capabilities.


EDA Deputy Chief Executive André Denk told the European Defence Innovation Days event, where the prizes were awarded: “EDA wants to attract young talent in the defence sector and retain unique specialised skills. We believe that this initiative will stimulate young innovators to widen their network.”

EDA received 20 submissions from many different institutions, mostly academia. 

The list of winners, in alphabetical order are:

Pepijn COX, from the Radar Technology Department at TNO in The Hague (Netherlands), main author of a paper titled "Enhanced Radar Detection of Hypersonic Threats through the Application of Irregular Waveforms and Advanced Processing". Cox told the award ceremony that the ability to detect hypersonic missiles earlier would win valuable time to defend against such weapons. The combination of novel technologies extends the detection range, giving more reaction time.

Vasiliki DEMERTZI, from the Computer Science Department, School of Science International Hellenic University (Greece), main author of a paper titled “Prescriptive Auto-Maintenance Architecture for Trustworthy Cross-Domain-Implementation in Tech-Defence”. Demertzi told the award ceremony that her work in real-time data analytics could allow military systems to operate at peak performance, also improving their reliability and potentially allowing faster and more effective repairs.

Johannes LOEVENICH, from Secure Communication & Information at Thales (Germany), main author of a paper titled GNN-based Deep Reinforcement Learning with Adversarial Training for Robust Optimization of Modern Tactical Communication Systems”. Loevenich told the award ceremony that his research sought to create a game-like environment and handle massive amounts of data from tactical systems to solve complex problems, for example in routing and cyber security.


Categories: Defence`s Feeds

European Defence Innovation Days: on a civilian-military technology trajectory

Wed, 31/05/2023 - 11:59

Turning commercial technology into military capabilities, supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises and harnessing European unity in the face of Russia’s war in Ukraine are essential for EU defence innovation,  High Representative Josep Borrell, who is head of the European Defence Agency (EDA), told participants of European Defence Innovation Days 2023. 

“Innovation in defence is critical for Europe’s security,” Borrell said in a video message. He added that technology was changing the parameters of warfare, as it has always done. Innovation has also become a factor shaping the international security environment and the global balance of power, Borrell said.  

China, Russia and the United States are all investing in all areas of defence. The European Union is also seeking to develop more cooperative defence projects among its Member States after years of neglect of armed forces and a focus on only national priorities.  

Recalling the demand by EU Member States for more innovation from EDA, Borrell said that “the European Defence Agency is delivering”, noting that 500 participants with more than 50 stands and innovation pitches made up the European Defence Innovation Days this year.  

EDA, which offers the platform for collaborative defence research and capability development, has a central role to play as technology, in areas from satellites to cyber security, bridges both the civilian and military worlds. 

Echoing Borrell’s urgency, EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý said that “to retain our strategic advantage, it is crucial that we prioritise innovation driven by capabilities.”  

As EU Member states and NATO allies increase defence commitments and forecast greater spending increases, Šedivý also noted that it was important to match the demands for new capabilities from defence planners with what small start-ups, academia and other innovators are developing.  

“That is a must to complement long term developments with short cycles of innovation,” Šedivý said. He also said that European Defence Innovation Days were a good forum to try to identify the best strategies for bridging the gap between technology and capabilities, and at the earliest stage possible. 

The European Defence Innovation Days event has been organised for the second year running by the European Defence Agency, this year under the auspices of the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU, bringing together start-ups, defence industry and the wider defence community as part of EDA’s Hub for EU Defence Innovation (HEDI).  

'Talk is cheap' 

Pål Jonson, Sweden’s Minister for Defence, warned against too much talk of strategy and planning, instead urging EU Member States to learn from each other and work closely with industry.  

“It's not enough, of course, to say that defence innovation is important. Talk is cheap,” Jonson said. He cited an expression used in management consultancy that ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’, meaning that no matter how great a strategy is, a constructive, encouraging culture is more important. 

In that vein, he called for an innovative culture of collaboration. “We in the defence sector are never going to be able to do this alone, without close cooperation with the civilian research and the industry. This is all about partnership,” he told participants.  

He also said it should be a priority for lower the barriers for smaller companies into the defence market. 

About HEDI 

HEDI acts as a platform to stimulate, facilitate and support cooperation on defence innovation among Member States while ensuring operational benefits with the European Commission’s EU defence innovation scheme, and NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA). 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA-managed project develops demonstrator for intelligent swarm of robots

Wed, 31/05/2023 - 10:21

A European Defence Agency-managed project to develop a fleet of unmanned ground vehicles has been successfully completed with a final demonstration of a system.  

The project ARTUS (Autonomous Rough-terrain Transport Unmanned Ground Vehicles Swarm) developed a demonstrator for a small swarm of intelligent and autonomously operating vehicles to support infantry platoons during their missions. Whether for transport or observation missions, a swarm can increase troops’ ability to act by supporting them in hostile environments, including in mountainous or forested terrain, increasing their protection level and allowing the greater mobility of a unit. 

Completion of ARTUS comes as Europe’s defence community meets in Brussels for the 30 May to 1 June 2023 European Defence Innovation Days. The ARTUS project is an example of the collaborative role of both industry and EDA in developing new technology for the benefit of EU armed forces.  

The implementation of ARTUS, a project selected under the 2019 call for proposals for the EU Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR), was launched in February 2021 and ended in January 2023. It had a budget of €1.5 million. 

Using two autonomous ground robots embedded with a computer, the system works by allowing interaction between an geolocalised operator and the swarm, using a Battle Management System and a fleet navigation algorithm. 

The guidance algorithm ensures certain constraints in both the autonomous and supervised motion of a swarm of navigation, following either a predefined path, or managed by a geolocalized operator or tele-operated robot.  

With the ability to avoid obstacles, as welll as collisions with robots, a single operator can manage the entire swarm by defining the desired path or collective motion behavior,  for example in transportation or observation missions. The swarm can continue the mission even if one robot loses its communication or mobility capabilities.  

The ARTUS consortium was led by Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung E.V. (Germany) and also encompassed ONERA (France), Diehl Defence (Germany), and charismaTec (Austria), a highly innovative SME. The project had a duration of 24 months. 

About the PADR  

The ARTUS project was 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 the European Defence Fund (EDF), under the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027).  

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

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Tabletop exercise and new study focus on protecting critical energy infrastructure

Fri, 26/05/2023 - 12:20

What should the European Union and its Member States do if its energy production and transport infrastructure were attacked by hostile groups in a region where like-minded, democratic countries coexisted with unfriendly authoritarian regimes?  What if vulnerable critical energy infrastructure was essential for defence? 

As the European Defence Agency contributes to EU security, EDA organised on May 25-26 its hybrid threats tabletop exercise in Bulgaria, bringing together more than 80 experts from different European countries, institutions and organisations.  

Conducted under the third phase of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS III), EDA and the European Commission Directorate-General Joint Research Centre (DG JRC) also presented a new study on enhancing the resilience of defence-related critical energy infrastructure (CEI) against hybrid threats


The study found that armed forces must consider a new set of combined and blurred threats that can impair their operational effectiveness in war and peace. 

That scenario was also tested in the tabletop exercise, hosted by the Bulgarian Defence Institute (BDI), under the auspices of the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence. In a fictitious scenario where an imaginary country threatens stability around a critical waterway with both non-renewable and renewable energy resources, EU countries and their partners needed to protect their energy supplies and advance their interests.  

The tabletop exercise is part of efforts to develop the EU’s longer-term resilience, imagining a situation of a synchronised and deliberate attack on democratic states and their institutions. The exercise relied on a simulation involving fictional hostile states as well as criminal and para-military organisations who sought to undermining or damage targets through direct attacks and covert means. 

Different European ministries, EU institutions, the Helsinki Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (HCoE) and experts from industry and academia aimed to better understand hybrid threats, including new tactics and targets and strengthen the resilience of defence-related critical energy infrastructure. They also plan to provide the ministries of defence recommendations and develop awareness about the role individuals, civil society and companies can play in building resilience to hybrid threats. 


“This tabletop exercise hosted in Sofia is a rare opportunity to encourage collaboration between European stakeholders in defence and civilian sectors. It helps deepen our shared understanding of how hybrid threats can impact critical energy infrastructure and subsequently compromise our armed forces' operational effectiveness", said Radostin Iliev, Director of the Defence Policy Directorate at the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence. 

Jiří Šedivý, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency, said: “The exercise allows us to take advantage of diverse perspectives in developing comprehensive solutions to bolster defence energy resilience.” 

Georgios Giannopoulos, Deputy Director Space, Security and Migration Directorate at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, said: “It is one of these moments where science, strategic thinking and operational capabilities are beautifully bundled together”. 


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 to create a defence energy-related community to share information, knowledge and best practices on improving energy management, increasing energy efficiency and building performance, utilising renewable energy sources in the defence sector and enhancing the resilience of defence-related critical energy infrastructure. 

More information:

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Meeting of European Defence Agency Steering Board

Tue, 23/05/2023 - 17:23

On 23 May, EU Ministers of Defence met in the European Defence Agency (EDA) Steering Board under the chairmanship of High Representative Borrell in his capacity as Head of the Agency.

The HRVP updated ministers about the signature of the Administrative Arrangement between the European Defence Agency and the US Department of Defense (DoD), as well as the second edition of the European Defence Innovation Days (31 May - 1 June 2023, Brussels) which will focus on the challenges and opportunities in connecting technological innovation and capability development.

Ministers then exchanged views on capability implications of the war in Ukraine, based a comprehensive analysis conducted by EDA experts, in view of the upcoming revision of the EU Capability Development Priorities foreseen in November.

For the first time since the creation of EDA and since Denmark joined EDA in March 2023, the EDA Steering Board gathered all 27 EU Member States.


Further information 
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

11 new PESCO projects focus on critical defence capabilities and interoperability

Tue, 23/05/2023 - 12:30

The Council has adopted a fifth wave of collaborative projects within the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) framework, with 11 new projects and a total of 15 Member States participating. The projects cover six military domains and include critical capabilities such as munitions, counter artillery and medium-size helicopter. The updated list of projects under PESCO now stands at 68.


The new projects adopted in the fifth wave will help increase the coherence of the European capability landscape and deliver operational benefits for European Armed Forces. Projects range from the development of new military capabilities and the identification of future needs in areas such as future military rotorcrafts and air-launched missiles, to communication infrastructure and joint training for defence airlift. The 11 new projects cover six military domains: training (1) land (2), maritime (3), air (2), cyber/C4ISR (2) and joint, enabling (1) and will be led by seven different Member States as project coordinators.

High Representative/Head of the Agency, Josep Borrell, said: “Against the backdrop of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and its military implications, including the requirements for high-intensity warfare, these new PESCO projects aim at delivering critical capabilities with a more operational focus. We cannot build a stronger European defence without ensuring European armed forces are ready and well-equipped for future challenges. Today PESCO is moving forward and by 2025 over 50 projects will reach their delivery phase, enhancing the EU’s defence cooperation and the EU’s ability to act.”

  • Critical Seabed Infrastructure Protection – The Critical Seabed Infrastructure Protection (CSIP) project aims at increasing the EU’s operational efficiency in the protection of critical maritime infrastructure by making best use of current, and the development of future, underwater assets.

    The six participating Member States are: Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, and Sweden. An initial project timeline for the collection and harmonisation of requirements will run until 2024 with a possible agreement on a common procurement foreseen in 2028.

  • Next Generation Medium Helicopter – The Next Generation Medium Helicopter (NGMH) project aims to create a dedicated forum that will address operational needs both on the upgrade of existing fleets and on the European Next Generation Rotorcraft, harmonising the needs and timelines of EU countries on the future capabilities of rotorcrafts.

    The NGMH will ensure the availability and suitability of EU helicopter fleets until 2040 and the preparation of the European Next Generation Rotorcraft, including the ability to face high intensity conflicts. The project launch and execution year is planned for 2023, with four participating Member States: France, Spain, Italy and Finland.

  • Counter Battery Sensors – The Counter Battery Sensors (CoBaS) project aims at developing a common concept for a next generation counter-battery capability for EU armed forces and facilitating future common procurement of means for counter-artillery. Current warfare trends have reasserted the primary importance and massive use of artillery capabilities on the battlefield. In this context, the project will increase participating Member States’ ability to respond more efficiently to future trends in high intensity conflicts.

    France and Netherlands are the two participating Member States. CoBaS will deliver the newest set of capabilities, benefitting from the emerging technologies and adapted to new threats that are linked to the performance of effective artillery systems developed by 2030-2035.

  • Further projects include air-to-air and anti-torpedo munitions – Eight further projects include European Defence Airlift Training Academy (EDA-TA); Anti-Torpedo Torpedo (ATT); Future Short-Range Air to Air Missile (FSRM); Integrated Unmanned Ground Systems 2 (iUGS2); Integrated Multi-Layer Air and Missile Defence system (IMLAMD); Arctic Command & Control Effector and Sensor System (ACCESS); Robust Communication Infrastructure and Networks (ROCOMIN); and ROLE 2F. Further details on the projects and participating Member States can be found here.

EDA Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý, said: “These new 11 projects reflect Member States’ interaction during the last CARD process as well as their intention to better coordinate defence planning and capability development practices. They also stimulate the PESCO process by delivering next generation capabilities in different domains that require a joint effort at the EU level. EDA supports fifteen PESCO projects and stands ready to support its Member States going forward.”


On 23 May 2023, the Council confirmed that the participation of Denmark in PESCO, several weeks after Denmark joined the EDA.

Furthermore, three PESCO projects have closed earlier in 2023: Indirect Fire Support (EuroArtillery), EU Test and Evaluation Centres (EUTEC) and Co-basing, and three other projects are in the closing phase. As of today, 68 PESCO projects are on-going, 47 of the projects will reach the execution phase up to 2025. Out of them, 21 projects have already reached that phase and it can be expected that 26 more projects will follow until 2025.

  1. Council Press Release
  2. PESCO Project Spokespersons
  3. PESCO Fact Sheet
  4. PESCO Website
  5. On 11 December 2017, the Council adopted a decision establishing Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). PESCO enables participating member states to work more closely together in the area of security and defence. This permanent framework for defence cooperation allows willing and able member states to develop jointly defence capabilities, invest in shared projects, and enhance the operational readiness and contribution of their armed forces.
  6. PESCO projects have been adopted by the Council and launched across five different waves;
    • 6 March 2018 – 17 projects
    • 19 November 2018 – 17 projects
    • 12 November 2019 – 13 projects
    • 16 November 2021– 14 projects
    • 23 May 2023 – 11 projects
  7. Each of the projects is carried forward by varying groups of PESCO participating Member States (project members) and is coordinated by one or more of them (project coordinators). The project members may agree among themselves to allow other participating Member States to join as project members or to become observers to the project.
  8. The key difference between PESCO and other forms of cooperation is the legally binding nature of its 20 binding commitments undertaken by participating Member States to one another. These include increasing defence spending, planning and developing defence capabilities together and improving the interoperability of forces and joint use of existing and future capabilities.
  9. 26 states participate in PESCO, the EU 27 with the exemption of Malta. There are 22 common members in the EU and NATO, and all of them are also participating in PESCO.


Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA Chief Executive visits Latvia

Mon, 22/05/2023 - 17:43

EDA Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý, continued his visits to EU Member States with a series of high-level meetings and industry engagements in Latvia on 17 and 18 May.

In Riga, Jiří Šedivý participated in the National Armed Forces’ Industry Day, where he took part in a panel discussion focusing on the role of the industry in securing military logistics and reserves. In his intervention where he explained the EU’s three-track initiative on ammunition, he stressed that “the actual orders are key if we want to speed up the production and delivery of ammunition, only contracts will create binding legal commitments triggering investments”.

He met with Ms. Ināra Mūrniece, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Latvia, Lt.Gen. Leonīds Kalniņš, Commander of the National Armed Forces,  Mr. Jānis Garisons, State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, to discuss EU initiatives in support to Ukraine, as well as planned measures to strengthen the European defense industry and Latvia’s participation in European Defence Agency’s activities and projects.

“There is no doubt that Europe faces significant gaps in its military industrial capacities. In order to create a stable technical-industrial base in Europe, it is crucial to build on the already existing tools and platforms. We need to allocate targeted investment, in order to deliver a more regionally balanced and dispersed distribution of European industrial production capacities, to ramp-up supply chains and storage facilities, as well as to address existing slack in production capacity. We in Latvia are ready to step up our industrial capacities,” said Ināra Mūrniece, Minister of Defence of Latvia.

EDA’s Chief Executive also visited two innovative defense SMEs and discussed about their cooperation experiences, including participation in the EU defence initiatives: Brasa, a manufacturer of tactical clothing, equipment and military personnel support systems; and Exonicus, a developer of virtual reality trauma and CBRN Simulator. Exonicus will have a stand at the European Defence Innovation Days in Brussels on 31 May – 1 June.      

The visit in Latvia was an excellent opportunity to present and exchange views on EDA’s ongoing activities and main milestones in 2023, including the upcoming revision of the Capability Development Plan, the organization of the second European Defence Innovation Days in Brussels, and the joint procurement of ammunition for Ukraine or/and the replenishment of national stocks.

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EDA’s IF CEED unveils collaborative and transnational project ideas

Wed, 17/05/2023 - 15:08

The European Defence Agency (EDA) managed Incubation Forum for Circular Economy in European Defence (IF CEED) has unveiled a series of project ideas that have so far been incubated within the forum, namely; circularity of titanium for armour via additive manufacturing, prototype of defence digital product passport, implementation of a SCIP (Substances of Concern In complex Products) database for defence exemptions, and green knowledge platform for defence are among the key examples.

Circular economy is one of the building blocks of the European Green Deal, Europe’s agenda for sustainable growth. By acknowledging the need for armed forces to mitigate their carbon footprint, IF CEED aims at implementing circularity principles in European Defence via concrete transnational projects that, beyond environmental benefits, also bring further operational efficiency to the military.

EDA’s IF CEED 2nd General Conference (15-17 May 2023, Madrid, Spain), brought together 135 representatives from 20 European countries. Opening the event, EDA Director for Industry, Synergies and Enablers Emilio Fajardo, stressed both IF CEED’s contribution to the EU green transition and how circularity is an enabler for “our primary focus: the effectiveness and the operational efficiency of European defence capabilities”.

Transnational project incubation

Since October 2021, a network of several hundred experts has been working within nine thematic project incubators, called “Project Circles”, covering domains such as critical raw materials, additive manufacturing, green procurement, spare parts management and eco-design of defence capabilities.

Developed over the past 19 months, the collaborative and transnational project ideas incubated within IF CEED were presented to the audience. Their concepts address all nine areas and cover both technological and organisational aspects. Their ambition is to improve visibly the level of circularity in defence by e.g.: closing the loop of materials for green products, adopting new approaches for ecodesign, disseminating best practices for EMAS and green procurement, testing digital passports for circular management of products, elaborating on defence-specific GPP criteria, recycling/re-using/recovering high value fibers from soldier equipment.

Additionally, overarching cases have been identified, such as methodologies and tools for environmental evaluation in defence or the contribution of circularity to the European strategic autonomy: a transversal and cross-fertilising approach among the nine IF CEED Project Circles, liaising their respective experts and igniting synergies.

Way ahead: From incubation to implementation

Reflecting on the outcome of this IF CEED “Phase I”, the presentations during the conference illustrate the ongoing work translating the designed projects into actual products and initiatives.

Funding supporting the actual implementation of the project ideas so far incubated have been addressed by the European Commission’s Directorate-Generals for Environment (as to the European Union’s LIFE programme) and for Defence Industry and Space (as to the European Defence Fund).


With the intervention of the Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of Spain and the collaboration of FEINDEF (International Defence and Security Exhibition), IF CEED Conference welcomed representatives from Ministries of Defence, industry, research-and-technology organisations, universities, together with key European players, as the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) with the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP), the European External Action Service (EEAS), the Aerospace, Security and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) with its Task Force Green Defence.

The concluding plenaries of the IF CEED 2nd Conference have been integrated into the official programme of the opening day of the FEINDEF Foundation’s International Defence and Security Exhibition 2023, attended by over 450 exhibitors from 20 countries and 100 foreign delegations.

FEINDEF is a reference event that encompasses the defence and security sector, to innovate, cooperate internationally and share knowledge among companies and institutions. The hosting by FEINDEF of the final stock-taking sessions of the IF CEED Conference has represented a reciprocal acknowledgement of the respective relevance of the two endeavors and highly increased the visibility of Circular Economy in European Defence.

What is IF CEED?

The Incubation Forum for Circular Economy in European Defence (IF CEED) gathers experts from 29 countries in Europe to exploit circularity principles for the defence sector by incubating concrete and transnational project ideas. Co-funded by the EU LIFE programme and the Directorate of Defence of Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, IF CEED is a programme managed by the European Defence Agency (EDA).

EDA’s activities in “Green Defence”


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