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Sean White appointed new EDA Director for Industry, Synergies and Enablers

Mon, 06/03/2024 - 14:21

Sean White, a former Irish Defence Forces Brigadier General, with over 38 years of active military service, has been appointed EDA Director for Industry, Synergies and Enablers (ISE) as of June 2024. In his capacity as ISE Director, he will oversee the work of the ISE Directorate and its respective units: Industry Strategy and EU Policies; Critical Enablers; Single European Sky; and Operations, Training and Exercises.

“In the context of the European Defence Industrial Strategy and the ongoing work related to the implementation of the Strategic Compass, I am looking forward to leading and promoting the work of the ISE Directorate and its units. This work is especially important in contributing to the promotion and strengthening of the Union’s Defence Technological and Industrial Base as well as focusing on the 2023 EU Capability Development Priorities”, Mr White said upon taking up his duties.

Before joining EDA, Mr. White’s most recent appointment was as Director of Communications Information Systems and Cyber Defence at the rank of Brigadier General in the European Union Military Staff.  

During his wide-ranging military career Mr White held domestic and overseas appointments in a variety of military command, staff and senior leadership roles, as well as focusing on specific projects involving financial services design, information technology consultancy, information management design, CIS procurement, and medical operations delivery. In his most recent position as Director of CIS & Cyber Defence of the EUMS, he worked closely with colleagues in the EEAS to promote the military dimension of the new EU Policy on Cyber Defence particularly as it pertains to the proposed establishment of an EU Cyber Domain Coordination Centre.  

In addition, he has also worked with military and industrial stakeholders in the functional military analysis related to the proposed next-generation EU Command and Control System for the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC). His previous international military service included three tours of duty in Lebanon (UNIFIL), and one each in Somalia (UNOSOM), Kosovo (KFOR) and Chad (EUFOR TChad/RCA).

Mr White is originally from Drumcliffe, Co. Sligo, and was educated at Summerhill College. He holds a Master’s Degree in Information Management and Technology from the United Kingdom Defence Academy (Cranfield University), a Master’s Degree in Leadership, Management and Defence Studies and a Higher Diploma in Information Management and Technology from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the National University of Ireland Galway and Data Protection qualifications from the Irish Law Society and King’s Inns Dublin. 


EDA sees clear skies for tactical air transport collaboration in Europe

Fri, 05/31/2024 - 08:27

With the support of the Belgian Air Force, the European Defence Agency (EDA) hosted the 6th Fixed Wing Operations and Training Working Group (FW O&T WG) and the European Air symposium. This event took place on 15th Wing Melsbroek Airbase, Brussels, Belgium, from 28 to 30 May 2024. The first two days were dedicated to tactical air transport stakeholders, ranging from operational units of EU Member States and EU entities. The third day of the European Air Symposium occurred with the involvement of European industry representing air transport and unmanned aircraft systems.

During the first two days, the meeting gathered representatives of EU Member States and EU entities, such as the European Tactical Airlift Centre and the European Air Transport Command. One of the primary outcomes was agreeing on the processes and procedures which will help on information exchange amongst fixed wing users, as well as to stimulate cooperation at the operators’ level. 

Overall, the discussion aimed at supporting optimised access to existing air platforms and developing advanced flight training. The meeting also provided an opportunity for sharing best practices/experiences and lessons learned from operations, and to continue improving collaboration, synergies, and interoperability in the field of air transport among EU Member States.

The final day of the European Air Symposium was dedicated to the European Air Industry. This was a major opportunity for the industry to deliver briefings and update the attendees on the state of play related to tactical air transport capabilities and short-term development. EDA opened the symposium to the UAS industry (Tactical Cargo UAS) which reflects the agency's commitment to promoting awareness among operational units and exploring potential synergies, which will be further explored in future editions. 


Moving from strategy to action on circular defence, EDA’s IF CEED conference charts way ahead on collaborative projects

Thu, 05/30/2024 - 10:31

Ensuring operational efficiency while safeguarding the environment was the focus of EDA’s largest conference on circular defence. The Incubation Forum for Circular Economy in European Defence (IF CEED) Third General Conference gathered over 170 experts from 23 European countries to further develop transnational initiatives exploiting circularity principles for defence. Participants focused on designing collaborative project ideas and strategies for their implementation. 

The conference, organised under the auspices of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU2024BE) and in partnership with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), heard how moving forward with collaborative projects was now key to reduce the environmental impact of the armed forces while bringing operational benefits to military operations. 

In his speech, EDA Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý, said, “IF CEED plays a crucial role in advancing circularity in defence, striving to produce tangible collaborative outcomes. It has consistently aimed at win-win outcomes that would benefit both the EU’s operational defence needs and the green transition. EDA has been championing circular economy in defence due to its potential to enhance the operational effectiveness of Member States’ Armed Forces.”

Among others, the Belgian Minister of Defence, Ludivine Dedonder, the Director General of the DG ENV  Florika Fink-Hooijer, the Director General Material Resources and National Armaments Director (NAD) of the Belgian Ministry of Defence Frédéric Goetynck, the NAT Vice-Presidents at the EESC Maria Nikolopoulou and Cillian Lohan, and the Head of Defence Sector, Security and Defence Policy of the European External Action Services, Mariya Dellevska have addressed the audience with their high-level key messages, inter alia on climate change and defence, the implementation of circular economy in defence, environmental remediation in Ukraine, and strategic autonomy as a pillar of the Critical Raw Materials Act.

While the EDA marks 20 years of promoting European Defence cooperation, this working event has gathered the largest defence community engaged in Circular Economy worldwide for both dedicated incubation sessions within the IF CEED “Project Circles” and wider cross-cutting panels among Ministries, industry, research-and-technology organisations, academia, and other private and public bodies/entities.

Using additive manufacturing to support in-mission repair, establishing secure exchange of data via digital passports, developing smart recycling routes for military textiles, streamlining procurement and maintenance processes: these are some of the themes addressed by IF CEED Programme Manager, Prof. Dr. Pierre Di Toro, and the numerous experts in their testimonies. Speakers have highlighted the achievements across IF CEED priority areas and provided key messages for the way forward.

About IF CEED 

EDA’s 3rd Annual General Conference of the Incubation Forum for Circular Economy in European Defence (IF CEED), the EU programme co-funded by the European Commission’s DG Environment (DG ENV) under the EU LIFE 2021-2027. The conference has benefited of the collaboration with the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP) - a joint initiative of the EESC and the DG ENV - and the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD).


EU Defence Ministers approve reinforced mandate for EDA

Tue, 05/28/2024 - 11:58

Today, at the Steering Board of the European Defence Agency (EDA), the 27 EU Ministers of Defence approved the Agency’s 2024 Long-Term Review (LTR). As strategic guidance given to EDA, the 2024 LTR outlines five core tasks for the Agency with a stronger focus on supporting Member States through the full development cycle of military capabilities. Ministers agreed to increase the number of EDA’s core tasks from three to five, with dedicated taskings on aggregating demand towards joint procurement and enabling collaborative defence research, technology, and innovation. Ministers were also briefed on preliminary opportunities stemming from the 2024 Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) and marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Agency.


Ministers of Defence endorsed an update of the Agency’s mandate to fully reflect the deteriorated security environment in Europe and the evolving role of the Agency within the EU defence landscape, marking 20 years since its establishment. Reflecting the dramatic geopolitical changes since 2017, when the last iteration of the LTR was approved, the 2024 LTR outlines how the Agency can support Ministries of Defence (MoDs) along all the capability development cycle, including limited off-the-shelf acquisitions, when Member States so decide.

The LTR also bolsters EDA role to voice MoDs’ joint positions at EU level and ensure the coherent alignment of current and future EU defence initiatives, policies, and legislation. The LTR also calls for the Agency to reinforce mutually beneficial cooperation with NATO through the conclusion of an Administrative Arrangement and fully leverage synergies with EU stakeholders to reflect defence needs.

Head of European Defence Agency and HR/VP, Josep Borrell said: “The European Defence Agency must have a more strategic role if we want to live up to the level of ambition that we have set for EU Defence in the Strategic Compass. The EU needs to develop defence capabilities to address the full range of threats we are facing. With a stronger and clearer vision, focused on capability development and the launch of concrete projects, the Agency can play a key role in building stronger and better equipped armed forces.”

EDA Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý said: “This renewed and strengthened mandate ensures that Ministries of Defence have an Agency that is fit for the future. Ministers of Defence have endorsed a review that enhances the Agency’s ambitions, visibility, and support for Member States. With expanded tasks and a stronger intergovernmental voice, Ministers signal the Agency's crucial role in bolstering EU defence capabilities.”


Ministers were also presented with a preliminary assessment on the possible actionable collaborative opportunities stemming from the third CARD cycle. This Steering Board was used as an opportunity to allow Ministers to provide early guidance to help sharpen and finalise the opportunities to be highlighted in the final CARD Report which will be presented in November. 

Before the Steering Board was formally opened, Head of Agency, Josep Borrell, and EDA Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý and Deputy Chief Executive, André Denk, marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Agency. Created in 2004, EDA has played a pivotal role in greater European defence cooperation, and made tangible contributions to EU defence planning, capabilities, training and innovations.

Further information 
  1. 2024 EDA Long Term Review Document
  2. Fact Sheet – EDA Long Term Review
  3. Timeline – EDA 20 Years Promoting European Defence Cooperation

Call to industry and economic operators: procurement cluster on enablers for safe integration of military UAS capabilities in the European sky

Mon, 05/27/2024 - 14:57

In the context of the cluster of UAS-related projects that aim at providing the sought “UAS Enablers for Safe Airspace Integration in European Sky”, the European Defence Agency (EDA) intends to launch a tender with four lots to support the progress of safe airspace integration of UAS, from low level to high altitude operations (HAO).

Lot 1: UAS Single European Sky Experimental Integration (max. estimated budget 1.5M Eur)

In a drive to elevate the capabilities of European-made low-cost small and tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for precision navigation, the new project focuses on two key objectives. Firstly, it seeks to enhance their operational resilience in challenging environments for safe airspace integration – specifically environments with limited or denied GNSS access and potential electronic jamming threats. Secondly, the project will leverage recent breakthroughs in EU space-based services alongside onboard sensor fusion powered by artificial intelligence. This integration aims to achieve unwavering navigation accuracy regardless of spectrum availability, demonstrably validating its effectiveness through real-world proof-of-concept and demonstration phases. The successful development of these advanced navigation capabilities for UAS aims to ensure their safe integration into the airspace.

Lot 2: Risk Assessment for UAS operations (max. estimated budget 400 k Eur)

The objective of this lot is to expand the current online tool supporting the MIL-UAS-SPECIFIC methodology (see EDA webpage to automatize most of the risk assessment process by leveraging the – regularly updated - MIL-UAS-SPECIFIC methodology or any other harmonised Risk assessment methodology accepted by the military (e.g., SORA). The current online tool will become a “networking/connecting” online tool, with selectable Risk assessment methodologies running back office, including a selectable accepted risk level for the UAS operations to cover operations in peace, crisis and war times.

Lot 3: Higher Airspace Operations study (max. estimated budget 800 kEur)

Over the last years, Higher Airspace Operations (HAO) have been in the spotlight. The upcoming EASA regulatory work requires that the civil–military aspects are included. The objective is to clarify specific civil–military aspects in the domain of HAO in order to: a) analyse the security risks posed by HAO; b) Address potential challenges in order to avoid any adverse impact on national security and defence capabilities with an EU approach; c) Ensure military access to higher airspace. Take advantage of all opportunities, particularly those offered by the civil-military collaboration make the most of the identified synergies.

Lot 4: Consultancy services for needs assessment, market research and consultation, analysis of the state-of-the-art (max. estimated budget 200 kEur)

This project aims to bridge the gap by assessing the specific needs of military UAS users and leverage the dual-use of UAS technology towards the safe integration into European airspace. It has three key objectives: a) to understand end-user needs for safe airspace UAS integration. b) to evaluate technologies for enhanced UAS integration, including the market research and analysis of state-of-the-art of current conspicuity, ATM and positioning technologies within the EU market, that can enable safe UAS integration; c) proposal of way forward and consultation for future projects.

For more information, please consult the Public Information Notice.

Information Session: Where and When?

The information session will be held on 04 July 2024 from 10:00 am until 12:00 CET.

The event will be done remotely via Webex. Link to be provided after registration to the contacts provided in the register form.

How to register?

Participation is free of charge, but interested parties must register in advance, and no later than 28 of June 2024 EOB, using the following link:

Contact Information

Please use the registration form as primary mean to access information. Please refrain from email exchange, unless strictly necessary and no other option is possible.

Nathalie Guichard, new EDA Director for Research, Technology and Innovation

Thu, 05/02/2024 - 10:55

Nathalie Guichard joins the European Defence Agency (EDA) as Research, Technology and Innovation (RTI) Director. Ms Guichard is a Brigadier General and was previously the managing director of L’Atelier Industriel de l’Aéronautique de Clermont-Ferrand (AIA CF), a French state-owned military aircraft maintenance facility . 

I am delighted and honoured to be joining the European Defence Agency at this critical time. Innovation is indispensable for our armed forces, and it is at the European level that we can coordinate our efforts with the civilian sector to give us the technological superiority we need,” Ms Guichard said upon taking up her duties. 

Ms Guichard is a military engineer who graduated from France's L'École polytechnique and the Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace (ISAE-Supaéro). She also holds a master’s degree in public management. 

With her engineering background, Ms Guichard brings a wealth of experience to EDA. She started her career in 1990 as a project manager for flying test bench modification. Two years later, she became head of the equipment maintenance department. After transferring to the aeronautical programs office of Délégation générale pour l’armement (DGA), France’s procurement agency, in 1998, Ms Guichard then became the Rafale manufacturing and support manager at the French Ministry of Defence.  

In 2001, Ms Guichard left the ministry and became the information technology adviser of Auvergne regional prefect, to develop mobile phone and wide bandwidth networks, among other projects. She also liaised with the European Regional Development Fund. She joined Clermont Ferrand community of cities to develop start-ups as well as technology transfer from university research centres to local small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In 2016, she returned to the military sphere, first as deputy managing director and then chief operating officer of AIA CF, before becoming managing director in 2020. 

As Research, Technology and Innovation Director, Ms Guichard leads EDA’s directorate that fosters and supports defence research in the European Union. Most notably, her directorate runs the Hub for EU Defence Innovation, known as HEDI, which stimulates and facilitates cooperation on defence innovation among Member States while also working with the European Commission and ensuring coherence with NATO innovation initiatives. HEDI’s activities contribute to EU priorities for capability development and defence research, as well as on skills, technologies, and manufacturing capabilities.

Green fingers: EU defence energy community ends phase with new proposals

Thu, 04/25/2024 - 15:08

The Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS), has marked the end of its third phase, running from 2019 to 2024, playing its part in the European Union’s Green Deal to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

With initiatives to improve energy efficiency in the military, as well as pilot projects to optimise energy use in buildings and efforts to electrify transport within defence facilities, Phase III generated over 30 project ideas and 15 research studies. Initiatives also included integrating hydrogen fuel technology in military vehicles and  promote military behavioural change among military personnel.

The European Defence Agency (EDA) and the Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy (DG ENER) organised the CF SEDSS III Dissemination Conference on 25 April 2024 under the auspices of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and hosted by the Ministry of Defence of Belgium.

The CF SEDSS is a Commission-funded initiative managed by the EDA. It is Europe’s largest defence energy community, reinforcing the defence sector's involvement in the energy transition. It will now move to Phase IV, running until 2028. The forum focuses on four interrelated areas: energy efficiency and buildings performance; renewable energy sources; protection of defence-related critical energy infrastructure; and policy, research and technology, and funding for defence energy-related projects.

“It is more crucial than ever to fully embrace a spirit of sustainability in our defence policies. Climate change also highlights the need to diversify our energy sources,” Belgium’s Minister of Defence Ludivine Dedonder told the conference. “The Member States of the European Union, through the Green Deal, have committed to achieving climate neutrality by 2050. Defence can play a crucial role by integrating the fight against climate change into its operations and by developing skills to meet the new environmental challenges.”

EDA Deputy Chief Executive André Denk said that the next phase of the Consultation Forum would be crucial. “The EU’s goal to become climate neutral by 2050 cannot be achieved without the engagement of the defence sector – defence may be responsible for up to 5.5% of the world’s total CO2 emissions. More energy sustainability in defence means also less costs, less reliance on fossil fuels, and increased resilience.” 

Paloma Aba Garrote, Director, European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), said that: “Europe’s defence and security sector is crucial to achieving the EU Green Deal targets of energy efficiency, renewables deployment and decarbonisation of the economy.”

In total, seven plenary conferences were organised during Phase III, including two onsite exhibitions, as well as workshops and ad-hoc meetings. EDA organised the first CF SEDSS table-top exercise to assess and mitigate vulnerabilities in critical energy infrastructure related to defence in the face of hybrid threats.

These efforts have collectively supported EU goals in energy and climate, highlighted by the development of the Symbiosis project, which will identify and address barriers for offshore renewable energy developments in areas used or reserved for present and future military activities and purposes.

The Forum's contributions are acknowledged in high-level EU documents such as the Progress Report of the EU Climate Change and Defence Roadmap, the Action Plan on Military Mobility and the EU Joint Communication on Climate Change.

To read more about the CF SEDSS  


Filling gaps in EU defences – EDA publishes its 2023 Annual Report

Wed, 04/24/2024 - 09:52

High intensity, state-to-state war in Ukraine is forcing the European Union to reenergise its defence industrial base on a large scale to defend Western democratic values. At the same time, the EU is preparing for future challenges, developing the most innovative, high-end capabilities. The EU and the European Defence Agency (EDA) are accelerating efforts in support of Ukraine and for the defence of Europe.   


In the Agency’s annual report for 2023, we provide an overview of EDA’s milestones reached and achievements over the year. Our highlights include: 

  • Denmark joining as EDA’s 27th member 

  • Deepening ties with the United  States Department of Defense through an Administrative Arrangement 

  • Agreeing the 2023 Capability Development Priorities across the five military domains 

  • Stepping up in 2023 with EDA’s two-year fast-track procedure for the joint procurement of 155mm artillery rounds, with a project arrangement signed by all EU Member States and Norway 

  • Transferring EDA’s long-running helicopter programme to a new centre in Portugal 

  • Achieving Initial Operational Capability for the multinational fleet of Airbus A330 tanker and transport aircraft, a project established by EDA  

Overall, in 2023, the Agency managed around 94 cooperative ad-hoc projects and programmes in capability development, training, and joint procurement, as well as Research and Technology (R&T) and innovation, with a total estimated value in the range of €664 million. 

2024 marks the 20th anniversary of the European Defence Agency. Over two decades, we have helped our armed forces to cooperate and invest better together. We continue to anticipate tomorrow's defence needs. The EDA’s added value for EU defence is sharply increasing. 

Download the full 2023 Annual Report here

EDA and SESAR Deployment Manager renew strategic partnership

Tue, 04/09/2024 - 14:19

The European Defence Agency (EDA) and the SESAR Deployment Manager (SDM) have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to renew their strategic partnership. The MoU will further enhance the efficiency and collaboration between civil and military stakeholders in the European airspace, ensuring the necessary interoperability between civil and military actors. Today’s signing confirms the shared commitment of both organisations to coordinate efforts where civil and military interests converge. The MoU was signed by EDA’s Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý, and SDM’s Executive Director, Mariagrazia La Piscopia, at Belgian Air Force Airbase Melsbroek.

Enhancing civil-military collaboration in European airspace

The EDA-SDM MoU sets the framework to further enhance and streamline the joint work between military and civil stakeholders, enhancing their efficiency and collaboration in the European airspace. Addressing concerns and constraints of the military in the journey to modernise air traffic management (ATM) systems, stands as a key priority in the agreement. Supporting military understanding of common projects' regulations and supporting their access to the existing financial instruments for timely implementation is also of utmost importance.

The MoU allows SDM to coordinate with the military through EDA and calls for using the Agency as the Military facilitator for SESAR deployment, fostering efficient coordination at European level. Furthermore, encouraging complementarity among different EU financing programmes is emphasised to optimise resources and expertise while mitigating duplication. The MoU underscores the shared commitment of EDA and SDM to coordinate efforts where civil and military interests converge.

EDA’s Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý, said; “this year marks the 10th anniversary since the first cooperation between SDM and EDA. During this time, European armed forces have greatly benefitted from our joint work, also via EU funds that several national air forces have received. Civil-military collaboration is at the heart of the Memorandum of Understanding. The military have specific needs, requirements and constrains in their procurement cycles and within the current security and geopolitical context. In that respect, the MoU reflects the unique challenges, environment and airspace use required for European armed forces.”

SDM’s Executive Director, Mariagrazia La Piscopia, said, “Cooperation between civil and military entities is essential to continue building a more integrated, sustainable and efficient airspace in Europe. This will facilitate the growth of the civil aviation industry while also ensuring that European military operations can be accommodated optimally, taking into consideration their needs. The support of EDA is crucial to ensure the engagement of all relevant military authorities. After ten years of successful joint work, I am pleased to renew our partnership today and look forward to continuing our work on air traffic management modernisation as one cohesive team”.

Unique setting, unique partnership

The signing ceremony took place in the Belgian Air Force Airbase Melsbroek, which shares all civil airport infrastructures of the Brussels International Airport, representing European excellence and collaboration in the defence domain in pursuit of shared objectives. The signing ceremony was made possible by cooperation with the Belgian 15th Transport Wing and the Belgian presidency of the Council of the European Union.


About European Defence Agency

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.

More information at:  

About SESAR Deployment Manager

The Single European Sky’s ATM Research project, “SESAR”, is one of the most ambitious modernisation projects launched by the European Union, contributing to the implementation of the Digital Single European Sky. SESAR’s goal is to define, develop and deploy the technological solutions needed to increase the performance and digitalisation of Europe’s ATM system in the most cost-, flight-efficient and environmentally friendly conditions. 

The SESAR Deployment Manager is responsible for the Management Level of the SESAR deployment governance, in particular for the coordination of the implementation of the EU’s Common Projects, based on SESAR Solutions to be deployed in a synchronised and timely manner across Europe according to the SESAR Deployment Programme. 

Today, almost 10 years after the beginning of this deployment phase in 2014, the modernisation of the European ATM systems and infrastructure is an operational reality, with already 293 projects in operation and 55 ongoing (March 2024). More importantly, it is delivering its expected performance benefits to the aviation community, its stakeholders and in turn to European passengers, citizens, economy and environment benefitting the #EUGreenDeal. 

For more information visit our website at

Press contacts:


Supporting nations of Test and Evaluation hold plenary talks in Italy

Thu, 03/21/2024 - 17:52

From its inception in 2004, the European Defence Agency has helped connect Member States' Test and Evaluation Centres. The Defence Test and Evaluation Base (DTEB) has led to a European network of defence technology centres. Its database is a major part of the network.  

As EDA seeks to anticipate future defence trends, EDA’s DTEB meeting in Italy on 13-14 March 2024 focused on the role and interface of test centres with the Hub for EU Defence Innovation (HEDI), the challenge of testing and evaluating autonomous systems and how to further test and evaluate technology and capability development, as well as working with industry.  

A harmonised and strengthened network of European Test and Evaluation Centres is a prerequisite for European defence policy development and European projects.

The Italian Army Multifunctional Experimentation Centre (CEPOLISPE) in Montelibretti, Rome hosted the Agency’s Defence Test and Evaluation Base Plenary Group and the Test Centres Network of Excellence for the Land, Maritime, Air and Cyber and Information, over the two days. The meeting was organised by EDA, in coordination with the Italian Secretariat General of Defence and National Armaments Directorate.

Fifty-eight experts from nine EU Member States, and countries with which EDA has signed Administrative Arrangements, as well as EU Institutions, attended the meeting and visited CEPOLISPE testing facilities.

The Plenary Group and Test Centres Network of Excellence meet three times a year at the expert level. 

Testing and evaluation are an integral part of engineering to support the lifecycle of weapon systems, from development to production, joint procurement, introduction into service and in-service upgrades.

Reinforcing the Agency’s work on defence test and evaluation could improve coordination of testing activities aimed at ensuring cross-certification of similar equipment across platforms. That would support built-in interoperability and exchangeability. This approach will be addressed in the new ‘Defence Test and Evaluation Base Strategy 2025-2035' that will be submitted for the approval of the Member States in 2024. 

EDA's wider role   

EDA supports its 27 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

2024 EDA Defence Innovation Prize opens for applications

Fri, 03/15/2024 - 16:05

The European Defence Agency (EDA) has published its call on 15 March 2024 for applications for the 2024 edition of its Defence Innovation Prize, which this year is dedicated to technologies for maritime situational awareness in terms of critical infrastructure protection and technologies for smart sensing. The prize winners are expected to propose ideas which would, if implemented between now and 2030, contribute to improving and enhance specific EU defence capabilities. A total of two prizes (one prize per category) will be awarded for the best innovative ideas. The winning ideas or concepts will each be awarded €30,000 and presented during the EDA Annual Conference 2024.

Open for applications 

Proposals for this edition of the EDA Defence Innovation Prize must be in the scope of one of the following topics:

  • Topic 1: Innovative concepts, technologies, and solutions for critical maritime infrastructure protection.
  • Topic 2: Cognitive sensing for enhanced ISTAR systems performance in defence applications.

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.

How to apply? 

The deadline for submitting applications is 14 June 2024 at 17h00 (Brussels time). 

The prize will be awarded during EDA's Annual conference in Brussels in December 2024. 

The Contest is open on equal terms to all natural and legal persons established within the European Defence Agency participating Member States (+ Switzerland).

HEDI – fostering defence innovation

The EDA Defence Innovation Prize is organised under the umbrella of HEDI (Hub for EU Defence Innovation), the new platform for innovation led by EDA that was established in March 2022 derived from ‘’Strategic Compass for EU Defence and Security’’, as one of its main recommendations. HEDI’s objective is to foster innovative solutions following a systematic approach from an idea towards cutting-edge military capabilities.

The innovation prize complements other HEDI’s services such as the EDA Research, Technology and Innovation Papers Awards or proofs-of-concept, uptakes of innovation (short field experimental campaigns).

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.  

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 (+CH), including defence and civil/commercial producers, large companies, start-ups / SMEs, and military/civil research communities. 

EDA joins the Portuguese Navy Exercise REPMUS as co-organiser

Fri, 03/15/2024 - 10:00

The European Defence Agency (EDA) has formally become a co-organiser of the Robotic Experimentation and Prototyping Maritime Unmanned Systems (REPMUS) Exercise, organised by the Portuguese Navy, alongside with Oporto University (FEUP), NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) and NATO Joint Capability Group Maritime Unmanned Systems (JCGMUS). The 14th edition of the REPMUS exercise will take place from 9 to 27 September 2024, and it is expected to count with more international and multi-stakeholder participation than ever before. 

The exercise is designed to allow large-scale Operational Experimentation (OPEX), where the operational communities engage with industry and academia to integrate the latest best-in-class Commercial Off-The Shelf (COTS) systems during trials in the maritime and amphibious domain and validate Experimental Tactics (EXTACs), upgraded vehicles, updated software, integrated payloads, and C4 on MUS to address Key Operational Problems.

EDA’s Added Value

Joining the exercise as a co-organiser offers EDA a platform to engage alongside with relevant stakeholders in the largest MUS exercise worldwide and support its planning by developing scenarios that will directly address key activities set down in the new maritime specific EU Capability Development Priorities, facilitating their implementation in a collaborative manner.

This initiative is also in line with EDA's commitment to Research and Technology (R&T) advancement playing a crucial role in identifying technology gaps and common areas of interest for cooperation. In this context, the exercise will serve as a strategic platform to promote and showcase initiatives aimed at leading the development of technologically superior military capabilities and can also be used as a venue for the Hub for EU Defence Innovation (HEDI) services related to experimentation.

Moreover, the maritime community and its various stakeholders, supported by EDA to address unmanned maritime systems from a regulatory and safety perspective, will find here an annual opportunity to create tailored experimentations and strengthen links between manufacturers, researchers, and end users. The REPMUS exercise is an ideal venue for the experimentation of concepts, tactics, and procedures in line with the Concept Development and Experimentation approach.

Enhancing maritime surveillance: EDA and SatCen begin new phase of cooperation

Thu, 03/14/2024 - 16:15

The European Defence Agency (EDA) and the European Union Satellite Centre (SatCen) signed a bilateral agreement on 14 March 2024 to initiate a new phase of cooperation within MARSUR, the maritime surveillance information exchange system crafted by EDA. 

Launched in 2005 as a network for sharing open-source maritime information, MARSUR has since matured into a multi-faceted information exchange platform. The multinational initiative resulting from this effort now encompasses 22 European navies. Out of this pool, under the EDA framework, 16 EU navies are developing a capability for the automatic exchange of maritime surveillance information and decision-making support. 

MARSUR’s wide scope of services allow for information exchange, coordination and support to decision-making, aiming to improve the common ‘Recognised Maritime Picture’. The network plays an important role as a defence layer of the EU framework for exchanging information and maritime situation awareness, known as the Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE). 

Now in its third stage of development, which is known as MARSUR III, the project is upgrading its technology and capabilities. That will soon include the exchange of classified information.  The bilateral agreement will provide the operational basis for the exchange of relevant data between SatCen and the MARSUR community through a secure network. 

This bilateral agreement is a unique mechanism introduced under the MARSUR III project to involve SatCen in EDA ad hoc activities under the control and funding of the contributing Member States,” said EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý. “I am pleased to sign it today on behalf of the MARSUR III contributing members,” he said. 

SatCen has aligned its efforts with EDA to define requirements and support maritime situational awareness with satellite data and analysis. SatCen joined the initiative in 2017 and in May 2021 signed the MARSUR III project arrangement for 2021-2026 and the way ahead. 

SatCen Director, Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, said: “I look forward to intensifying the excellent inter-agency collaboration by concluding this agreement, which will solidify the SatCen collaboration within MARSUR over the long term, and I would like to thank all actors involved, in particular the Member States as well as the teams of SatCen and EDA.”  

MARSUR III will now benefit from SatCen’s expertise, particularly in terms of governance, as it takes a role as permanent chair of the Technical Advisory Board, in training of operators and technicians, exchanging information and products, and connecting to CISE with its bridging node. 

SatCen will in turn connect its resources to the information held by European navies. SatCen will also welcome two MARSUR maritime surveillance experts, funded by the MARSUR community.

During the signing ceremony, Commander Joachim Weidmann, Chairperson of the MARSUR Management Group and representing the participating nations, said: “The bilateral agreement between EDA and SatCen is a milestone, and it is important that both organisations show the willingness to succeed in ensuring that relevant operational maritime information is shared in the required time.” 

EDA's wider role   

EDA supports its 27 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.                             

European satellite constellation for very low earth orbit to launch in two years

Wed, 03/06/2024 - 10:53

The European Defence Agency (EDA) has brought together two EU Member States to develop a satellite demonstrator that can manoeuvre from Low Earth Orbit  (LEO) to Very Low Earth Orbit (VLEO)  – and back again. 

The €10 million project – called LEO2VLEO: Military Crisis-Response Satellite Constellation – with the Netherlands and Austria, will design, develop, launch and operate a constellation of between two and four satellites. It aims for a space launch in two years time. In this innovative approach to space, the project will, once operational, have the capability to support military operations. 

The project was signed on 19 January 2024 between the Netherlands, Austria, and EDA. It was signed in EDA’s Capability Technology Area (CapTech) Space, which helped bring the two countries together for this collaborative project. EDA will support the project throughout.

Very Low Earth Orbit (VLEO) is most commonly situated at an altitude of between 250-350 kilometres. It has the advantage of being closer to the earth than the traditional orbit of satellites, allowing for higher resolution images from optical sensors, improved communications and agility.

As a demonstrator for initial space capabilities, the LEO2VLEO project aims to show the cost benefits of such an approach in a short timeframe. While VLEO is safer from collisions with space debris because objects eventually burn up, dragged into the Earth’s atmosphere, such altitudes require satellites to deal with surface erosion from atomic oxygen and so need more resistant materials. 

Developing a satellite able to manoeuvre back into the traditional Low Earth Orbit (LEO) would extend its lifespan by spending time in VLEO only when necessary, as well as presenting lower costs and additional launch opportunities.

EDA Hub for EU Defence Innovation, known as HEDI, has funded a preliminary study for this problem; HEDI was established within EDA in 2022 to foster innovative solutions for military capabilities. If successful, the LEO2VLEO demonstrator could pave the way for a fully operational system to support military missions in the future.

EDA's wider role  

EDA supports its 27 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.

Greece joins two EDA projects in the air domain, boosting Agency training

Mon, 03/04/2024 - 11:14

Greece has become an official member of the EDA programme arrangement - C-27J Spartan Cooperation. From March, Greece will be part of efforts to enhance the operational and logistical capabilities of participating Member States' fleets of C-27J tactical military airlifters. The Hellenic Airforce will participate for the first time with an aircraft in the upcoming European Spartan Exercise 2024. Greece is also now part of EDA’s Multilateral Air Transport Training and Exercises Initiative as its 19th participating member.  

Sixth member of the C-27J Spartan cooperation programme 

The C-27J programme, which entered into force in 2020, focuses on areas such as equipment improvement, training, operational harmonisation, and increased fleet availability through optimised logistics solutions. Bringing together Bulgaria, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and now also Greece, the programme encourages the exchange of data and collaboration among Member States using the same platform, to achieve common objectives while avoiding duplication of efforts.

The admission of Greece was formalised through a ‘Statement of Accession’ signed by the Minister of National Defence, marking the country's commitment to the cooperative endeavour. The European Spartan Exercise 2024, which mark the first participation of a Hellenic Air Force aircraft, will take place in Romania from 30 September to 11 October 2024.  It will build upon the track record of the 2023 and 2022 editions, held in Romania and Bulgaria respectively.

Greece joins the Multilateral Air Transport Training and Exercises Initiative

Continuing the trend of collaborative European efforts in the air domain, Greece has taken a significant step by joining the Technical Arrangement (TA) regarding Multilateral Air Transport Training and Exercises. This initiative, launched in May 2018, aims to streamline and enhance training and exercise opportunities among EDA’s Member States. 

The decision to establish a common TA stemmed from the recognition of the cumbersome process involved in drafting individual agreements for each training and exercise event. Since its inception, the common TA has garnered significant support, with 18 Member States already on board. They are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

Greece's accession to the common TA as its 19th member, was signed by the Minister of National Defence of Greece, confirming the country's active participation. This initiative represents a milestone in fostering training, exercises, and interoperability across Europe.

EDA's wider role

EDA supports its 27 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

CROWN project delivers a step towards a European Multifunction AESA System

Wed, 02/28/2024 - 17:00

An active electronically scanned array (AESA) is a sophisticated antenna system known as a phased array. It utilises computer control to adjust the direction of its radio wave beam without physically repositioning the antenna and is commonly used in aerial platforms. Launched in July 2021, with funding from the European Commission under the Preparatory Action for Defence Research (PADR), the project European active electronically scanned array with Combined Radar, Electronic Warfare and Communications functions for military applications (CROWN) focuses on the innovative concept of a multifunctional radio frequency (RF) system, which aims at substantially enhancing future defence capabilities, with specific focus on AESA for manned and unmanned aerial platforms.

On 26-27 February, the eleven consortium members concluded 32-months of work on the CROWN project during the final meeting hosted by Indra. The final meeting focused on the main topics developed within the CROWN project and the results achieved: particularly CROWN demonstrated the different Building Blocks designed during the project and the performance of the demonstrator in a controlled anechoic chamber environment.


CROWN successfully reached its the objective to design, develop and test a compact, lightweight multi-function radiofrequency system prototype, by integrating radar, electronic warfare and communication in one single system, without any end-user restrictions. In addition, the project created a technological demonstrator showcasing the feasibility of the system and its potential to introduce a new enabling capability.

The CROWN project has yielded promising results, establishing a crucial foundation for presenting the CROWN concept. This project also determined necessary investments and outlined research activities essential for further developing a Technology Readiness Level 7 (TRL7) prototype demonstration in an operational environment. The project included, in particular, two connected activities focusing on R&D assessment on critical technologies for the development of future European multifunction radio frequency systems and R&T activities on system and component level. Follow-on activities aiming at producing an EU prototype by the end of 2027 are recommended, also exploiting the EDF framework.


CROWN brought together a consortium of eleven beneficiaries from seven EU countries, led by Indra (Spain): Thales (France), ONERA (France), Hensoldt (Germany), Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniquesv (Germany), SAAB AB (Sweden), FOI (Sweden), TNO (the Netherlands), Leonardo S.p.A (Italy), Elettronica S.p.A (Italy), and Baltic Institute of Advanced Technology (Lithuania). The project had a budget of approximately €10 million.



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

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

Call for contributions: Market Research on Innovative Unmanned Solutions for Military Logistics

Mon, 02/26/2024 - 16:43

The European Defence Agency (EDA) has launched a call for contributions for market research on innovative unmanned solutions for military logistics. EDA actively engages in market research to discover innovative unmanned technologies for military logistics applications, collecting inputs from commercial entities about their innovative products and services.

The survey aims to identify and understand the market readiness regarding capabilities of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Unmanned Ground Systems (UGS) that can support military logistics. The platforms should be able to transport a payload of at least 5kg.

EDA intends to create a representative overview of available solutions, including general technical specifications and operational capabilities.

Participate in the survey by 15 March 2024 and contribute to shaping the future landscape of military logistics.

EDA holds fifth Defence in Space forum as EU prepares to act in space

Thu, 02/15/2024 - 15:52

The European Defence Agency (EDA) brought together 19 European Union Member States and NATO, the European Commission and the EU Satellite Centre for a two-day meeting from 14 February to coordinate and streamline efforts, as the EU develops its space strategy for security and defence. The EU Military Staff and the European External Action Service were also present at EDA's headquarters in Brussels. 

The Defence in Space forum was the fifth and largest gathering since its inception in 2022. It discussed the new 2023 EU Capability Development Priorities in space and the tasks assigned to EDA in implementing the EU space strategy.

The  space strategy was proposed by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and the European Commission in March 2023. EDA will focus on providing military requirements to the Commission, as well as developing space education and training for security and defence.

Some EU Member States already have strategies governing the way they work in space. For others an EU Space Strategy for Security and Defence might serve as an inspiration for stronger involvement in the domain. 

Observation, navigation, communication

In the search for collaborative opportunities in space for defence, EDA’s expertise plays a unique role as a bridge between space projects run by different initiatives, such as Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), the European Defence Fund (EDF) and the EU Space Programme.  

At the February forum, space planners discussed not just the implementation of tasks stemming from the proposed EU Space Strategy but also how to implement the 2023 Capability Development Priorities. They include space situational awareness, access to space, protection of space systems, space-based earth observation capabilities, positioning, navigation and timing, and satellite communication.  

The Defence in Space forum was launched within EDA in October 2022. It was an outcome of the EU’s defence review, CARD, which identified defence in space as a focus area in which collaboration was assessed to be most pressing, most needed, and most promising.   

EDA's wider role  

EDA supports its 27 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

EDA opens contest for best defence research papers

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 14:51

European Defence Agency (EDA) has published on 9 February 2024 its call for applications to its EDA Research, Technology, and Innovation Papers Award 2024. The competition, now in its second year, focuses on innovative technologies, processes, and applications for enhanced future defence capabilities. EDA is looking to hear from early career researchers before the deadline for applications on 29 March 2024. The awards will be presented at Eurosatory in Paris in June with each prize winner receiving €4,000.

Innovators of tomorrow

This year, papers shall be related to the topic of “Innovative technologies, processes, and applications for enhanced future defence capabilities.” 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. 

More than a prize

EDA’s award seeks to increase the visibility and impact of tomorrows innovators, with the contest conceived to offer more than just the financial prize. The winners will have the opportunity to expose their ideas during the dedicated session at EUROSATORY 2024 exhibition and conference in Paris on 19 June, 2024. An official EDA Booklet of papers to be edited and published in a scientific review by EDA, including ISBN (International Standard Book Number) reference. The Best Papers Award and names of the winners will also receive coverage on the EDA website and social media channels.

How to apply?

The deadline for submitting applications is 29 March 2024, with the following documents.

The contest is open to all citizens of EDA’s 27 participating Member States. For the first time in 2024 the contest is open also to citizens from Switzerland.


The EDA Research, Technology, and Innovation Papers Award is done under the ‘’umbrella’’ of HEDI (Hub for EU Defence Innovation), which is the new platform for innovation, led by EDA, that was established in March 2022 as an action derived from "Strategic Compass for EU Defence and Security’’.

HEDI has the objective of fostering innovative technological solutions following a systemic approach towards cutting-edge military capabilities. Furthermore, HEDI serves as a platform to stimulate and facilitate cooperation on defence innovation while ensuring synergies with related European Commission activities, notably the EU defence innovation scheme, coherence of output with NATO innovation and other EU Defence Innovation organizations.

This Call for Papers complements other HEDI’s services, such as e.g., the EDA Defence Innovation Prizes, or Proofs-of-Concept.

EDA's wider role  

EDA supports its 27 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


Circularity of military equipment: EDA launches project focused on body armour

Fri, 02/02/2024 - 11:58

The European Defence Agency (EDA), under the umbrella of its Incubation Forum for Circular Economy in European Defence (IF CEED), has taken a step further towards delivering greater circularity in European defence with the launch of a new project called “IOTA 2", targeting the circular management of body armour vests. IOTA 2 will be taken forward by an industrial consortium from four Member States, namely Luxembourg, Germany, Spain and France, and will run for the next 12 months. It represents a milestone for circularity in defence, being the first project implemented under IF CEED.

Data for circularity - The Digital Product Passport

Within the EDA’s IF CEED programme, the key role of data as an enabler for circularity has been identified, as the sharing of information on capabilities - among actors in circular value chains - allows for the extension of lifetime, repair and ultimately efficient recycling.

A preliminary study (IOTA) on data sharing schemes analysed the feasibility of the concept of the “Digital Product Passport” (DPP) in defence; technical, organisational and legal aspects were addressed, with a focus on the protection of sensitive information. On this basis, the IF CEED Project Circle “Circular Data” concluded that the DPP had a strong potential for circularity of military equipment but also for improved interoperability across functions (procurement, maintenance, logistics) and countries.

Circularity of body armour

To confirm this potential and test the application of a DPP, experts from Member States and industry have defined a project idea focused on an actual military product: body armour components. In January 2024, EDA and the selected consortium held the kick-off meeting of IOTA 2 project. Entities (+ImpaKT Luxembourg, FECSA, Rheinmetall Business Unit Protection Systems, ELMICRON Dr. Harald Oehlmann GmbH, Sopra Steria Group) from four countries will work toward a proof of concept, defining the requirements and bricks for a DPP of body armour inserts, from the data model to product identification and IT set-up.

As part of the effort of moving armed forces towards more sustainable practices, circular management of body armour vests will contribute to better efficiency in the use of resources, especially the extension of lifetime and reduction of waste. The implementation of the DPP concept also aims to bring operational benefits by improving traceability, product authentication and stock management.

IOTA 2 is a strong example of IF CEED’s role in supporting the development and dissemination of circularity in defence. This first project will be complemented by the implementation of actions in the other priority areas of the Forum.

Further information


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