EnglishFrenchPortugueseSpanish

ALERTA EURODEFENSE PORTUGAL: O arranque do Fundo Europeu de Defesa

Informação sobre as calls 2021-2022

Finalidade

Este “Alerta EuroDefense Portugal” visa trazer à atenção dos Centros de Investigação e Empresas nacionais o lançamento, pela Comissão Europeia, de um conjunto de Pedidos de Projetos (calls) na área da Segurança e Defesa que atingem valores significativos.

Estas calls estão associadas ao lançamento do Fundo Europeu de Defesa que marca uma mudança profunda no esforço europeu para consolidar uma Base Tecnológica e Industrial Europeia de Defesa competitiva e útil.

O presente texto apresenta os traços fundamentais do Fundo Europeu de Defesa e divulga, em anexo, as Calls lançadas para os anos de 2021-2022 para que os Centros de Investigação e Empresas possam desde já fazer uma avaliação prévia.

Deve chamar-se a atenção para o facto de que a apresentação das calls será formalizada a 9 de Setembro do corrente ano e a deadline para entrega das respostas a 9 de Dezembro. O que se considera um período curto se o networking entre possíveis candidatos para a constituição de consórcios não for realizado em tempo.

Uma mudança concetual histórica

A entrada em vigor do Fundo Europeu de Defesa (FED) consubstancia uma mudança concetual histórica no processo de integração europeia.

Desde sempre as questões de defesa da União Europeia, e toda a estratégia genética a montante, foram ciosamente conservadas sob controlo de cada estado-membro. O que manteve no continente uma multitude das indústrias de produção[1] geralmente provindas do século passado, muitas delas sustentadas apenas pelas aquisições nacionais, o que, no cômputo geral europeu, gerou uma Base Tecnológica e Industrial de Defesa fracionada, pouco eficiente e sem articulação comum. Ainda hoje, cerca de 70% das aquisições de equipamentos de defesa são feitas nacionalmente o que, segundo se estima, leva à perda de 30 a 100 milhões de euros por ano, pela aquisição de material mais caro e menos capaz.

Mas o que torna esta questão de relevante interesse europeu, é que a multiplicação das indústrias e o consequente fracionamento e duplicação do investimento em investigação e desenvolvimento, conduziram não só à diversificação desnecessária de sistemas no mercado, mas também à produção de equipamento cada vez mais desfasado tecnologicamente, por exemplo em relação ao americano. Muito mais haveria a comentar, nomeadamente sobre a dificuldade de empregar operacionalmente uma “Força Europeia” com unidades de vários países, constituída por dezenas de diferentes sistemas terrestres, aéreos e navais, com múltiplas cadeias de manutenção e diversos meios de comunicação ou de sistemas de reconhecimento. Mas esta não é a finalidade da presente reflexão.

Ao contrário, o que pretendemos salientar é o esforço atual europeu para inverter esta tendência. O Fundo Europeu de Defesa foi exatamente concebido para auxiliar a corrigir a vulnerabilidade das indústrias europeias de defesa. Para isso procura fomentar a concertação e cooperação entre países e empresas, vias indispensáveis para produzir melhor e permitir satisfazer as necessidades e prioridades europeias.

Assim, para participar no financiamento do Fundo respondendo aos seus pedidos de projetos (calls) é necessário que sejam constituídos Consórcios no qual participem pelo menos 3 entidades de investigação ou empresariais, de 3 países diferentes.

A entrada em execução do Fundo

A implementação do FED foi anunciada pela Comissão Europeia (CE) em 2016, tendo o seu lançamento sido precedido, como é norma na UE, por dois projetos-piloto: a Ação Preparatória para a Investigação no Domínio da Defesa (APIDD) para os anos de 2017-2019; e o Programa Europeu de Desenvolvimento Industrial de Defesa (PEDID) para os anos de 2019-2020.

A EuroDefense Portugal deu oportunamente conta desses processos, alertou os possíveis interessados para a sua participação e acompanhou o desempenho das entidades nacionais que concorreram às calls.

Em 29 de abril de 2021 o Parlamento Europeu aprovou formalmente o Fundo, colocando em uníssono o Conselho Europeu e a Comissão – que fora a entidade proponente. A sua execução passa a ser integrada no Quadro Financeiro Plurianual e válido, neste caso, para os próximos 7 anos. A alteração essencial decorre, portanto, do facto de que este processo passa a ser contínuo. Pela primeira vez na União Europeia, o Quadro Financeiro Plurianual, passará a conter um setor dedicado ao desenvolvimento da Base Tecnológica e Industrial de Defesa da União Europeia.

Os valores previstos para o Fundo são significativos.  Com um orçamento de 7,9 mil milhões de euros para os próximos 7 anos, o FED irá cofinanciar projetos colaborativos de investigação e de desenvolvimento de capacidades, ampliando os investimentos nacionais.

Sem substituir os esforços dos Estados-Membros, o Fundo promoverá a cooperação entre empresas de todas as dimensões e intervenientes na investigação em toda a UE, na investigação e desenvolvimento de tecnologia e equipamento de defesa interoperáveis e de ponta.

O Fundo apoiará projetos colaborativos e competitivos de defesa ao longo de todo o ciclo de pesquisa e desenvolvimento, focando-se em projetos que tenham capacidade para se constituírem como game-changers para as forças armadas dos Estados membros. Os projetos serão definidos com base nas prioridades de capacidade de defesa acordadas pelos Estados-Membros no âmbito da Política Comum de Segurança e Defesa e, em particular, no contexto do Plano de Desenvolvimento de Capacidades.

Rubricas do FED, normas básicas e desafios

O orçamento total a preços correntes de € 7.953.000.000 será dividido em dois pilares:

  • € 2.651.000.000 serão atribuídos ao financiamento dos projetos de investigação colaborativa de defesa para lidar com ameaças de segurança emergentes e futuras
  • € 5.302.000.000 para cofinanciar projetos de desenvolvimento de capacidade colaborativa.

Os projetos de investigação colaborativa aprovados serão financiados a 100%. A fase de desenvolvimento dos projetos, incluindo a sua prototipagem, será financiada com cerca de 20% dos custos, desde que existam Estados-Membros que pretendam adquirir o produto final ou utilizar a tecnologia de forma coordenada.

Entre 4%-8% do orçamento do Fundo é dedicado ao desenvolvimento ou pesquisa de tecnologias disruptivas (ou seja, tecnologias consideradas com potencial para criar inovações que alterem de forma radical os processos atuais) que poderão impulsionar a liderança tecnológica da Europa a longo prazo e contribuir para produtos de defesa de ponta.

O Fundo incentivará a participação de PME, proporcionando taxas de financiamento mais elevadas e favorecendo projetos de consórcios que incluam PME.

Se aprovados como projetos no quadro do FED, as atividades desenvolvidas no contexto da Cooperação Estruturada Permanente (PESCO) podem receber uma taxa de financiamento da UE mais elevada, através de um possível bónus adicional de 10% dos custos elegíveis.

As empresas portuguesas têm mostrado estar atentas e com capacidade para aproveitar as oportunidades. Mas estamos no limiar de um processo sustentado e contínuo, financiado de forma substancialmente superior às experiências anteriores (da Ação Preparatórias ou do PEDID). O que exige vários esforços para que não fiquemos de fora.

Entre as ações possíveis para trazer a lógica win-win para a área da defesa europeia, abrindo perspetivas para todas as empresas, e simultaneamente melhorando as capacidades europeias, julgamos de destacar as seguintes:

  • Europeizar a produção dos grandes sistemas futuros e nomeadamente conceber a aquisição conjunta europeia de algumas dessas capacidades como (entre outras) as de reconhecimento estratégico ou de vigilância como o eurodrone, ou de reabastecimento ar-ar. Sem estes meios não há possibilidade de se conduzirem operações efetivas. Porém os custos envolvidos excedem a capacidade de aquisição individual dos países (o exemplo da NATO, vidé Awacs, é relevante);
  • Garantir que a produção dos grandes sistemas do futuro seja realmente abrangente, isto é aberta à participação cooperativa das empresas europeias com base nas suas capacidades e não à pertença a grupos regionais ou outros. No fundo erigir o conceito de pertença ao “cluster europeu” de defesa;
  • Promover uma avaliação de custos benefícios entre o processo de aquisição nacional estabelecido e a sua adaptação ao resultado das Revisões Anuais Coordenadas de Defesa (CARD), tendo em conta os benefícios do uso da capacidade produtiva nacional no desenvolvimento dos sistemas.     

De momento, estamos no lançamento do FED e seguramente que o desafio mais crítico para os centros de Investigação e empresas nacionais é o de alargar a sua rede de parceiros e de possíveis consórcios para que possam explorar todas as capacidades de que dispõem.

Esta é, pois, a finalidade do presente texto que será continuado com um Anexo apresentando todas as Calls conhecidas à data de hoje para que os centros de investigação e empresas possam desde já efetuar uma avaliação prévia.  Deve chamar-se a atenção para o facto de que a apresentação das calls será formalizada a 9 de Setembro do corrente anos e a deadline para entrega das respostas a 9 de Dezembro.

Análise global dos pedidos de Projetos (Calls) 2021

A conceção dos projetos, teve em conta algumas críticas, nomeadamente do Parlamento Europeu, que consideravam que os principais sistemas futuros na área do combate terrestre, aéreo e naval não tinham sido substancialmente considerados nos projetos anteriores no quadro da Cooperação Estruturada Permanente e do EDIDP.

Assim, durante o primeiro ano, o FED cofinanciará projetos complexos e de grande escala num montante total de 1,2 mil milhões de euros. Para financiar esta implementação ambiciosa, o orçamento do FED para 2021 de 930 milhões de euros, foi complementado com 290 milhões de euros do orçamento do Fundo para 2022.

Cerca de € 700 milhões são destinados à preparação de plataformas e sistemas do futuro como os sistemas de caça de última geração, a frota de veículos terrestres futuros, navios digitais e modulares e defesa contra mísseis balísticos.

Mais de € 100 milhões serão dedicados a tecnologias críticas, que irão melhorar o desempenho e resiliência de equipamentos de defesa como a inteligência artificial e a “nuvem” para as operações militares, semicondutores na área do infravermelho e os componentes de radiofrequência.

O FED aumentará também as sinergias com outras políticas e programas civis da UE, nomeadamente no domínio do espaço (cerca de 50 milhões de euros), resposta médica (cerca de 70 milhões de euros) e as áreas digital e cibernética (cerca de 100 milhões de euros). O objetivo é promover a “fertilização cruzada”, possibilitar a entrada de novos players e reduzir as dependências tecnológicas.

O Fundo irá ainda procurar liderar a inovação através de mais de 120 milhões de euros atribuídos a tecnologias disruptivas e concursos públicos específicos para PME. Ele promoverá inovações revolucionárias, principalmente em tecnologias quânticas, manufatura aditiva e radar de longo alcance, além de explorar PMEs e start-ups promissoras.

Numa visão geral apresentada no quadro seguinte, os pedidos de projetos são agrupados em 23 Calls:


20 de junho de 2020

António L. Fontes Ramos
Tenente-General na Reforma, Professor Convidado no Instituto de Estudos Políticos da Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Vice-Presidente do Conselho Geral da EuroDefense-Portugal,


[1] Atualmente só 4 ultrapassam a barreira dos 10 Biliões de Euros de faturação: Airbus SE; BAE Systems PLC; Thales S.A.; Safran S.A.; Leonardo SpA; Rolls Royce Holdings PLC


Anexo A

Descrição dos dados essenciais das Calls

O texto deste anexo será mantido em inglês para não se introduzirem eventuais más interpretações do conteúdo. Serão apresentados apenas os elementos essenciais, nomeadamente a Área, Designação, “Objetivo” da call e as “Atividades Alvo” a que a resposta deve responder.

Military multi-domain operations cloud
Cloud technologies (EDF-2021-DIGIT-D)

Objective:

Military operations require higher flexibility and mobility to gain and maintain the initiative. The capability to securely, timely and robustly communicate over all battlespace domains is key for information superiority, mission management and decision support. Therefore, the development of a common shared Information Space with a “Cloud of Clouds” approach, leading to a Multi-Domain Operations Cloud (MDOC), is needed. The ambition is to combine existing and future systems into a federated network and collaborative services in order to enable and support Command and Control for multi-domain warfare. Furthermore, the data collected across domains will open up future opportunities to develop artificial intelligence (AI) enabled solutions for defence.

Targeted activities

The proposals must cover the following activities as referred in article 10.3 of the EDF Regulation, not excluding possible upstream and downstream activities eligible for development actions if deemed useful to reach the objectives:

– Studies, such as feasibility studies to explore the feasibility of new or improved technologies, products, processes, services and solutions;

– The design of a defence product, tangible or intangible component or technology as well as the definition of the technical specifications on which such design has been developed which may include partial tests for risk reduction in an industrial or representative environment;

Research on innovative and future-oriented defence solutions
Open call focused on SMEs for research on innovative and future-oriented defence solutions (EDF-2021-OPEN-R)

Specific challenge

This call encourages the driving role of SMEs in bringing forward innovation, agility and ability to progress technologies, possibly adapting them from civil to defence applications, in view of turning research results into products.

Targeted activities

The proposals must cover one or more activities eligible for a research action, as referred in article 10.3 of the EDF Regulation:

– Activities that aim to create, underpin and improve knowledge, products and technologies, including disruptive technologies for defence, which can achieve significant effects in the area of defence;

– Activities that aim to increase interoperability and resilience, including secured production and exchange of data, to master critical defence technologies, to strengthen the security of supply or to enable the effective exploitation of results for defence products and technologies;

– Studies, such as feasibility studies to explore the feasibility of new or upgraded products, technologies, processes, services and solutions;

– The design of a defence product, tangible or intangible component or technology as well as the definition of the technical specifications on which such a design has been developed, including any partial tests for risk reduction in an industrial or representative environment.

However, the proposals cannot cover studies only.

Advanced RF components
Advanced materials and structures, and critical electronics (EDF-2021-MATCOMP-R)

Objective:

Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology is a key enabler for high-performance RF electronic components, which are the cornerstone of critical military systems like radar and electronic warfare. GaN has replaced the former Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) technology, providing higher power, bandwidth and linearity to electronic RF amplifiers. GaN technology is deemed strategic for defence systems, and only a few non-European countries worldwide master the whole supply chain needed to provide GaN components for defence applications.

Reducing size, weight,power and -cost (SWaP-C) of RF transceiver modules for phased arrays with active electronically scanned arrays (AESA) is essential for radar, electronic warfare and communication systems.

Being aware of the strategic importance of non-restricted access to GaN technology, several European countries started, more than a decade ago, a roadmap for the development of GaN technology for defence applications in Europe. This roadmap was mainly implemented under the EDA framework. Several projects addressing GaN technology for civil applications received funding under the Horizon 2020 framework. Those activitiesenabled significant steps towards a European native capacity in GaN. Despite the achieved milestones, further efforts are still needed to develop and consolidate a robust and competitive European supply chain for GaN components.

GaN-based RF transceiver modules are key enablers for modern active electronically scanned array (AESA) antennas, which are one of the essential components of high-end, state-of-the-art military RF systems used for radar or electronic warfare applications. Manufacturing GaN components with shorter gate lengths will allow both for the operation in higher frequency ranges and for shrinking of the transmit/receive modules (TRM), providing adequate RF performance with a high module integration (typically within a lambda/2-spacing). In addition, heterogeneous integration in the same package (SiP, system in package concept) with other technologies (GaAs, BiCMOS, SiGe or CMOS) will extend the functionalities of these modules and meet their SWaP-C requirements.

Targeted activities

The proposals must cover the following activities as referred in article 10.3 of the EDF Regulation:

– Activities aiming to increase interoperability and resilience, including secured production and exchange of data, to master critical defence technologies, to strengthen the security of supply or to enable the effective exploitation of results for defence products and technologies;

– Studies, such as feasibility studies to explore the feasibility of new or improved technologies, products, processes, services and solutions;

– The design of a defence product, tangible or intangible component or technology as well as the definition of the technical specifications on which such design has been developed which may include partial tests for risk reduction in an industrial or representative environment.

BLOS collaborative close combat architecture
Fleet upgrade and close combat (EDF-2021-GROUND-D)

Objective

The availability of mobile precision systems able to provide the necessary high degree of accuracy and efficiency, avoiding widespread collateral damage, and reducing exposure of friendly forces is a priority for Member States’ armed forces. In this context, some requirements are becoming increasingly important, e.g. to provide the land and naval combat units with the ability to defeat at medium and long ranges, and with a very high degree of accuracy and reliability. In order to meet these requirements, research activities on a Beyond Line Of Sight (BLOS) collaborative close combat architecture are required.

Scope:

Development of a BLOS collaborative close combat architecture based on BLOS native missile systems (with full Lock-On After Launch (LOAL) and Man-In-The-Loop (MITL) capabilities through a seeker back-image):

– Multi-domains (land/air/sea);

– Multi-platforms integration (air/land/naval, manned/unmanned);

– Multi-sensors (alert, detection, target designation, engagement);

– Explore and define system architecture;

– Study and develop an enhanced BLOS concept according to defined system architecture;

– Define, study and develop interfaces for supporting systems, hardware and applications serving to enhance BLOS-capability;

– Extended range;

– Cooperative engagement;

– Enhanced performances and functional capability;

– Increased robustness to aggressions (cyber, jamming);

– Innovative technologies insertion;

– Mission planning and decision-making supported by AI;

– Design and develop concept for training and evaluation of BLOS capability involving interoperability among Member States.

Quantum technologies for defence
Research for disruptive technologies for defence applications (EDF-2021-DIS-RDIS)

Objective:

Quantum sciences have the potential to be a disruptive technology for a wide range of application domains including defence. At the core of this “second quantum revolution” is information: its acquisition (quantum sensors, quantum imaging), its transmission (quantum communications) or its processing (quantum computation).

In the long term, quantum communications or digital superiority by quantum computing are two examples of how quantum technologies can benefit defence applications.
In a shorter-term, quantum sensors are expected to play a major role in offering unprecedented advantages in a defence context. Thanks to quantum physics, new sensors are tested in laboratories with precision not achievable before.

Scope:

The ambition is to explore and demonstrate quantum technology solutions in mainly three applicative directions, namely:

Positioning, navigation and timing,

Quantum radio frequency sensing and

Quantum optronics sensing.

Developments concerning specific enabling technologies are intended to be included. Indeed, most of enabling technologies exist already in laboratories. They need now to reach the necessary maturity to meet military operation conditions. This may include: compact cryogenic systems for quantum technologies, fast electronic devices for quantum technologies, specific sources of light for quantum technologies, integration of photonic systems.

Quantum radar (based on entangled RF photons, i.e. quantum RF illumination) must not be considered in the proposals since preliminary system analysis have shown operational gains only in very specific and reduced domains of applications.

Some activities covered by the proposals could share multiple communalities, for example in terms of enabling technologies, with other quantum domains of applications (e.g. communication, encryption). Whilst not being the objective of this call topic, the proposals should elucidate potential benefits of current works for these other quantum domains of applications.

Next generation electrical energy storage for military forward operation bases
Energy efficiency and energy management (EDF-2021-ENERENV-D)

Objective:

Electrical power for Forward Operating Bases has been produced mainly by diesel gensets for decades. Gensets have been seen as a reliable, stable and easy to deploy power source for FOBs and other deployable infrastructure for decades. Nevertheless, a combined momentum for increase of energy consumption during operations, reduction of GHG emissions, concerns about logistical routes safety in long-term international operations and the increase of cost and difficulty of access to fossil fuels lead to a required change of future electrical power supply in FOBs. Considering the technological trends in the energy sector, future FOBs will probably require the use of smart grids combining diesel generators with renewables supported by storage systems.

Scope:

The proposal must address the development of an application-oriented analysis, including a draft guideline recommendation for novel energy storage technologies is safer and usable for military deployments in forward operation bases; and achieve validation in relevant environment.

Additionally, a set of military requirements (including but not limited to application specific duty-cycles, loading cycles, storage and tactical and environmental conditions) must be collected, aligned and analysed to derive design targets for future energy storage system(s). The proposal will comprehend both components and system integration analysis.

These requirements will then be transferred into a guideline recommendation for the energy storage systems and their integration to be used as a basis for the creation of standards and requirement specifications for procurement procedures. An evaluation of the availability of different energy storage alternatives within the industry and from reliable sources must be made. Additionally, tests of a representative application-specific energy storage system will be carried out for validation of these requirements with the aim to create a European platform for the implementation of these systems.

Robust defence multi-dimensional communications
ISR and advanced communications (EDF-2021-C4ISR-D)

Objective:

Information superiority is key to achieve operational advantage against the enemy. Today, EU Member States (MS) armed forces use a variety of specialised communication means to coordinate and share relevant information during operations. In the tactical domain, to comply with the very demanding environment in high-intensity combat, radio communications systems have been designed with advanced mechanisms for discrete and robust communications, which results in limited data rate capabilities.

Current tactical data links and communications systems have operational and coalition limitations including vulnerabilities that need to be addressed. Wideband and reliable communication for operational interoperability, mobility and security that is robust against detection, acquisition and jamming are key capabilities for defence operations and electronic warfare, including far from the battlefield. However, robust, resilient and performant communications and software defined based network architectures will be a key competence to build and deploy next generation military communication systems.

Scope:

The proposals must address the development of a LTE/5G integrated tactical bubble based on a robust defence multi-dimensional communication design, using commercial and military secure hardware, software and architecture, digital transceivers, considering multi-functional digital antenna systems, all with a SWaP-C (Size, Weight, Power and Cost) approach.

In particular, the proposals must lead to the identification and assessment of operational use cases where 5G will bring benefits, analyse the merits, the implementation guidelines, including eventual modifications, and prototype selected use cases, and the area of hardening, if necessary, will be identified and the militarisation/customization tasks will be further defined and assessed. The objective is to help optimising the 5G solutions for the intended military user taking care of the best combination of operational constraints and available 5G computing power.

The proposal must provide tested solutions covering all aspects from devices, infrastructure, security and orchestration of the overall system providing an optimized solution, in order to best integrate 5G solutions with other military network types that might be present in the use cases.

Advanced radar technologies
Optronics and radar technologies (EDF-2021-SENS-R)

Objective:

Nowadays, wide range of sensors, which are based on radar technologies, are applied during military operations. Radars are commonly used for supporting multi-domain operations: incl. air and air defence missions, as well as ground/maritime operations. Those technologies are crucial for space/airborne based, as well as ground/maritime based surveillance systems. Radar technologies are also used in various sub-systems of other purpose (e.g. engagement or logistics) military equipment.

Recent advances in digital signal processing and computing, radiofrequency (RF) and microelectronic technology have paved the way for the proliferation of active and passive radar technologies in a number of military applications. Management of the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum has also become more important year after year, and the usage of communications and internet of things (IoT) applications – which require more and more EM spectrum – generate increasing challenges during military operations. In addition, we must pay high attention to the strong technology push for the development of modular, smaller and state-of-the-art sensor applications, which are able to provide more functionality for the user in one device, are significantly less energy intensive, and can meet more operational needs.

Modern surveillance sensors have to comply with an unprecedented wide spread of operational requirements. A list follows hereby, which is not exhaustive:

– Provide steady and reliable surveillance (detection, tracking, classification, identification) everywhere, at every time, at various environmental conditions – for every domain, with guaranteed low level of false alarm probability;

Scope:

Proposals should address the development of new concepts, technological blocks, sub-systems and/or systems in in order to realize a new class of sensors with remarkable sustainable characteristics in all domains (sea, land and air). They should include active and passive radars or radar sub-systems, as well as new system architectures of hardware building blocks and software modules designed to enable build up mission specific complex radar sensors and multi-functional radar solutions – eligibly in compliance with European Defence Agency’s CapTech Radiofrequency Sensors Technologies’ Overarching Strategic Research Agenda and its results (including TBB in-depth analysis and their roadmaps), as well as previous EU funded activities.

Unmanned ground vehicle technologies
Fleet upgrade and close combat (EDF-2021-GROUND-D)

Objective:

There are significant cooperation opportunities in the Union regarding unmanned systems, which could be based on a shared operational concept and the resulting harmonisation of requirements. Moreover, the CDP analysis identifies the need to deploy unmanned systems to reduce the danger to human personnel and manned platforms, as well as to increase robustness, sustainability and resilience of ground systems. A comprehensive set of unmanned systems should contribute to the capability of land manoeuvre in the joint operational environment to gain positional advantage in respect to the adversary. Purely unmanned tracked vehicles as funded under EDIDP will be not considered under this topic.

Scope:

Proposals should address the development of hardware or software modules designed to enable manned-unmanned operation modes and taking into account teaming and swarming, and to be integrated or embedded into a set of digitalised ground Armoured Vehicles (fielded, still under development or future) and showing the following capabilities:

– To interconnect in real time and in a fully secured way an extended set of systems supported by an intelligent management solution and by operational aid modules;

– To be integrated in a manned digitised vehicle to make it temporary unmanned for specific parts of the mission;

– To propose real-time “reflex actions” to increase force protection and impacts of actions;

– To cooperate with the rest of the combined armed company while being able to enter, remain and exit the company network and to interact with unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV);

– To enable a versatile use in order to be deployed for a large spectrum of operational missions and provide operation capability in hostile, harsh environment;

– To be compliant with ethics and regulations regardless of the operational context.

European interoperability standard for collaborative air combat
Avionics and advanced air combat (EDF-2021-AIR-D)

Objective:

European air forces share the aim to have highly integrated multiplatform mission management capabilities:

– To enable the variety of different assets, manned and unmanned, to operate during an air operation together jointly and synchronized (including interoperability with NATO, and potentially other coalition situations);

– To share efficiently sensors and effectors resources of manned and unmanned assets;

– To share data and information (e.g. situational awareness), leading to informational and ultimately decisional superiority.

These capabilities objectives imply the deployment of connected collaborative combat which endorses the fact that the systems ensure several properties: to ensure the interoperability of heterogeneous systems (different types of aircraft for example), to enable secure and standardised exchanges of data and resources, to easily incorporate changes in mission system software to take into account operational needs (modification of existing functions, tactical needs, evolutions of rules of engagement, add on of new functions….).

Scope:

The scope of this topic is to propose solutions supported by demonstrations when relevant on the major axis presented above, thus providing air collaborative combat standardised solutions, mission systems evolutivity, standardised effectors interfaces and European sovereignty over AI technologies (tools, methods and libraries).

The targets are twofold: first, medium-term outputs to be implemented as standardised collaborative mission management enhancements for existing or upcoming European operated platforms, on the basis of commonly agreed standards and requirements of the participating Nations to favourably influence the construction of future European air combat capabilities. Potential implementations on existing platforms are not part of this project but are likely to be specified based on developed standards for an implementation in the respective national perimeter.

Research on disruptive technologies for defence
Open call addressing disruptive technologies for defence (EDF-2021-OPEN-RDIS)

Specific challenge

The specific challenge is to lay the foundations for radically new future technologies of any kind with unexpected impact that aims to bring radical technological superiority over potential adversaries. This topic also encourages the driving role of new actors in defence research and innovation, including excellent researchers, ambitious high-tech SMEs and visionary research centres of big companies, universities or research and technology organisations

Scope:

Proposals are sought for cutting-edge, high-risk/high-impact research leading to game-changing impact in a defence context. They must have the following essential characteristics:

– A disruptive impact in a defence context: Proposals need to clearly address how the proposed solutions would create a disruptive effect when integrated in a realistic military operation.

– Radical vision: Proposals must address a clear and radical vision, enabled by a new technology concept that challenges current paradigms. In particular, research to advance on the roadmap of a well-established technological paradigm, even if high-risk, will not be funded.

– Breakthrough technological target: Proposals must target novel and ambitious scientific or technological breakthroughs that can be experimentally assessed, and the suitability of the concept for new defence applications must be duly demonstrated. Basic research without a clear technological objective targeting defence applications will not be funded.

The inherently high risks of the research proposed must be mitigated by a flexible methodology to deal with the considerable science-and-technology uncertainties and for choosing alternative directions and options.

Development of innovative and future-oriented defence solutions.
Open call dedicated to SMEs for development of innovative and future-oriented defence solutions (EDF-2021-OPEN-D)

Specific challenge

This call encourages the driving role of SMEs in bringing forward innovation, agility and ability to adapt technologies from civil to defence applications and to turn technology and research results into products in a fast and cost-efficient way.

Scope:

The proposals must address innovative defence products, solutions and technologies, including those that can improve readiness, deployability and sustainability of EU forces in all spectrum of tasks and missions, for example in terms of operations, equipment, basing, energy solutions, new surveillance systems.
The proposals could address any subject of interest for defence.

Space and ground-based NAVWAR surveillance
Resilient space-based PNT and SATCOM (EDF-2021-SPACE-D)

Objective:

Navigation Warfare (NAVWAR) concept appeared in PNT landscape more than twenty years ago. During those past decades, the PNT defence community mainly focused on acquisition and toughening GNSS (Global Satellite Navigation Satellite System) user segment, improving inertial sensors, and exploring alternate PNT capabilities (e.g. vision-based navigation).

Further work is nevertheless required to achieve PNT superiority in joint operations/missions. Indeed, NAVWAR entails more than resilient GNSS-based equipment or GNSS-free sensors. It also consists in knowing and dealing with the threat (e.g. on performing a spectrum and spatial surveillance). Some R&T initiatives allowed identifying some promising tools and technologies, but PNT sensors in use today mainly supports resiliency aspects of NAVWAR, and so do not fully provide a full-spectrum capability.

Scope:

The proposals must aim at developing a comprehensive EU NAVWAR capability, relying on space-based and ground-based surveillance, and complementing current European efforts to strengthen the future Galileo PRS service resilience for military applications and the development of the user segment used by the forces of the EU Member States. To this end, the proposals must address the NAVWAR overall system, including a modular NAVWAR information-management system, networked with NAVWAR subsystems and NAVWAR PRS sensors. The objective is to achieve overall global capability dealing simultaneously with resilience, surveillance, and offensive measures. Different NAVWAR PRS sensors, along with common interfaces, must be determined and combined in various use cases as NAVWAR subsystems (integration environments) to create a NAVWAR network. They must include Galileo as PNT source and Galileo PRS as a PNT service. The interfaces with other communities and stakeholders must be specified as part of the proof of concept.

Detection, identification and monitoring (DIM) of CBRN threats
Capabilities for CBRN risk assessment, detection, early warning and surveillance (EDF-2021-MCBRN-R)

Objective:

Rapid detection of hazardous agents, detailed identification and monitoring over time and geographical area are an essential part of the CBRN response chain, and the demands vary depending on the specific task. Based on the situational awareness that DIM provides, military commanders can decide how to best proceed throughout their mission (whether the context is a military conflict or support to civilian society in a crisis situation). It is therefore crucial that the DIM system covers a broad range of CBRN-agents with an output of high reliability.

Scope:

Proposals must cover the generation of knowledge, methods and technologies leading to improved capacities for sampling, detection, identification, characterisation, and monitoring of CBRN threats and data management. Proposals may also cover the dynamic mapping of threats, vulnerabilities and capacities to respond at geographical levels as well as mapping of strategic CBRN detection technologies and related production capacities in the Union. Considering maturity and current capabilities, the priority order is: prio 1: B-DIM; prio 2: C-DIM and prio 3 R-DIM. Proposals must cover one or several of the scopes described below.

Improved warheads
Precision Strike Capabilities (EDF-2021-GROUND-R)

Objective:

Defeating improved protection systems of main combat platforms, hardened targets and reinforced (critical) infrastructures remains a focal challenge for military operations. Enhanced effects on targets, like blast, perforation, penetration, shock, bubble effects or electromagnetic pulse, are required to defeat such advanced protection systems. In this way, the development of new types of warheads with higher performance is required. Activities should cover the research on an enhanced penetration performance.

Scope:

The scope of the research action should be:

– Research on technology of explosives – development of a technology of production of explosives charges with high homogeneity (uniform density distribution in the entire volume of the charge), geometric accuracy and high detonation parameters;

– Research on technology of liners of shaped charges and explosively formed projectiles (EFPs);

– Development of a technology of production of precise liners made of conventional materials (copper, Armco iron) with high structural homogeneity, chemical purity, etc.;

– Development of a technology of production of precise liners made of new materials, e.g. manufactured with the use of additive techniques; with a programmed texture affecting the projectile formation process in such a way that the final shape of the projectile improves its stabilization on the flight path; slow stretching shaped charges allowing to keep its integrity as long as possible;

– Optimization of the shapes of the liners;

– Development of a technology of manufacturing of the warhead shells providing high strength, accuracy and repeatability of assembly, maximizing the penetration capability of the warheads and minimizing the weight of the entire system; e.g. by using a steel-composite shells with circumferential reinforcements made of carbon or glass fibres in a polymer matrix;

– Development of new methods of explosive initiation, ensuring additional acceleration and appropriate shape of the detonation wave, axisymmetric deformation of the liner and, as a result, maximization of its penetration capability;

– Development of multi-liner warheads (one explosive charge form and accelerate several projectiles). Such solutions will enable defeating armoured vehicles, but also can be used to destroy various types of infrastructure during military operations in urban areas (small calibre/low mass of explosive limit the negative side effects of detonation of the EFP, e.g. damage of buildings);

– Development of initial concepts of new warhead carriers as well as selection of existing ones and definition of new warhead applications related to their structures (grenades, mines, drones, etc.);

– Definition of numerical models of the warhead/target systems and performing computer simulations in order to initially evaluate the penetration capability of newly developed warheads;

– Performing experimental tests determining the functioning of the developed warhead systems.

Furthermore, the proposal must address penetrator warheads that can be effectively employed against infrastructure. Moreover, the proposal can address other technologies that offer added value in the context of next generation battlefield targets.

Development of full-size demonstrators for soldier systems
Soldier & logistic systems (EDF-2021-PROTMOB-D)

Objective:

Soldier Systems support force protection, increase operational effectiveness, reliability and endurance of individual soldiers and formations. They comprise the gender-neutral equipment of individual military personnel to be able to operate with a sufficient level of protection in any operational environment. Soldier Systems are a primary force multiplier. The development and integration of cutting-edge technology is key for forces.

Scope:

The proposals must address:

– The development of an individual advanced standardized and open architecture soldier core system able to integrate devices, capability suites and applications meeting this standard able to guarantee an agile process for a rapid evolution of the dismounted soldier’s operational capability facing an evolving operational environment;

– Innovative technologies for new devices and capability suites development able to be implemented / integrated with the soldier core system addressing the domains of the close combat, i.e.: survivability (multi-threats protection, threat detection), sustainability (enhancement of energy source capacity and power management), mobility (localization, navigation & physical augmentation), observation (environment perception & situational awareness by day & night conditions), lethality (smart engagement), along with path-agnostic communications. These innovative technologies will rely on advanced technologies such as data sciences;

– New networking capability developing mixed interactions between soldiers, armoured vehicles and UxVs in an augmented tactical unit format relying on standard interface and protocols consistent with existing or coming next tactical communication (i.e.: shared situational awareness and localization when dismounted & while dismounted from vehicles carriers, combat id, coordinated navigation, collaborative observation and protection, coordinated fire support with available weapon systems at tactical unit level);

– The above topics must show a clear vision for a harmonization process of requirements, specifications and standards able to demonstrate economical, technical and operational advantages to promote future European acquisition plans.

Digital ship and ship digital architecture
Smart ships (EDF-2021-NAVAL-R)

Objective:

Digital technologies evolve at a very high pace, with civilian markets as key driver for innovation. The mastery of the data cycle, from capture to management and exploitation, is now considered as a key element for ship superiority at sea (combat capabilities, improved maintenance, enhanced crew training…). To ensure the adequate integration of innovative digital capabilities and the development of advanced data-based services, it is necessary to define a data-centric IT infrastructure, based on principles that offer resilience, high level of native security, availability and performance as well as computing and storage scalability – while considering the specific requirements of European navies (duration of the mission at sea, low connectivity, sea conditions and environment, interoperability…). This topic is a structuring one. It aims to help the development of fundamentals for digital ship: digital architecture and data/interface standards and ask for the studies of a concrete demonstration on ship and ship systems health monitoring.

Scope:

The proposals must aim at obtaining higher degrees of automation in ship and combat systems using big data analysis, data fusion, Artificial Intelligence (AI), including machine learning and multi-agent technology and other technologies to obtain higher speed in the OODA loop, including digital twinning. This objective will be achieved through the definition of a data-centric digital architecture and shared data/interface standards, allowing for new services.

The proposals must address some of the following elements:

– Identification of the specifications for warships’ digital architecture such as European navy needs and specific constraints (operational, environmental, energy-related, connectivity-related…);

– Definition of a ship digital architecture and of smart processes in order to optimise sharing, pushing, pulling, selection, collect, enrichment, exploitation of data, whether for optimising the functioning of systems or for constituting data bases of knowledge or data bases for machine learning or both;

– Development of a limited set of interface and implementation standards in order to ensure interoperability and the integration of future data-based solutions and services in various ships.

– A modelling and simulation environment based on Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) principles;

– The combination of IoT technologies, sensors, data lake infrastructures to improve data collection and management, and AI based analysis capabilities to be able to provide services as to assess a platform’s health status and develop predictive and corrective maintenance strategies;

– The capability to introduce novel technology or functionality on an existing design and demonstrate impact on Requirements, Functional, Logical and physical domains;

– The definition of the best application of digital twinning aiming both at product development and lifecycle management.

Infrared detectors
Optronics and radar technologies (EDF-2021-SENS-R)

Objective:

The domain of Infrared (IR) detectors encompasses a variety of technologies that detect in different spectral bands for a variety of applications (land, air, naval, space, missile guidance, drones…). IR detectors are key drivers to increase DRI [1] ranges and thus improve the global efficiency of the system (situation awareness and targeting).

Europe has a strong position in advanced military IR components & systems. Yet the risks are high that the Union becomes severely dependant on suppliers established in third country for this critical defence technology in the medium/long term. This not only limits the strategic autonomy of the Member States but also generates security of supply risks.

It is key for Europe sovereignty to have a full “EU autonomous” supply chain of IR detectors.

Scope:

The proposals must address the development of the next generation of ROICs for Infrared detectors, including the EU supply chain. That next generation of ROIC will be based on an advanced Silicon technology (compatible with a 3D architecture) that can be used in various future cooled & uncooled IR detector architectures.

Energy independent and efficient systems for military camps
Energy efficiency and energy management (EDF-2021-ENERENV-D)

Objective:

Despite a constant improvement of their energy efficiency, a growing energy consumption of weapon systems and of their logistic footprint has been observed. This is mainly due to the number of the vehicles, the huge requirements in mobility of force, the on-board electronic system, the soldier connected devices and equipment and more globally, the digitalisation of the battlefield. This increase in energy consumption should be achieved by means of new production such as renewable energies, hybrid powertrains or energy production, batteries and fuel cells. However, these new forms of consumption pose a challenge for their integration in weapon systems, for their technological development and for their logistics operational management. These multiple changes will lead to structural evolution regarding operational energy.

Scope:

The proposal must address:

– Benchmarking of the current industrial existing solutions and identifying the possible needs and constraints for adapting civilian products to the military operational conditions.

– Benchmarking of the past and ongoing defence studies, research, and multinational military working groups’ results, which represents a substantial work base.

– Identification of the needs of the European Armies especially in an interoperable context for all types of energies including electrical network.

– Study and implementation of technological solutions in order to allow the forces to reduce fossil fuel dependency in military deployable camps by integrating the logistics and financial aspect, and collateral benefits (for example, hydrogen fuel cells will produce water that could be used by human in extreme condition and in sensitive environments).

– Study of the capacity to produce, transport, store, distribute and use hydrogen or hydrogen based synthetic fuels in military context and to power supply in fields operations.


– Study on risk assessment (vulnerability, detections of such systems, how easy are to be replaced, possible collateral damage in case of destruction).

– Study Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the camp’s energy management system that hinder cyberattacks.

High-altitude platform systems
ISR and advanced communications (EDF-2021-C4ISR-D)

Objective:

Information superiority is a critical capability to be developed and improved with the aim to address future challenges to be faced by European Defence Forces and NATO stakeholders, and more specifically to support reactive and efficient decision-making processes. In order to improve systems dealing with command, control and communications (C3) capabilities, as well as Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, emergent technologies should be considered to enhance ISR and CIS operational availabilities, through persistence, acquisition of high quality data, automatic airborne processing and dissemination of information to relevant stakeholders.

Scope:

The proposals must aim to validate HAPS solutions, developing at least two different flight demonstrators of different kinds to test properly the operational and technical challenges of the different HAPS platform types, and as such making a substantial contribution to European Defence and Security applications.

The proposals must include in particular:

– Definition of the Concept of Operations of HAPS solutions in their various missions, taking into account their specific operational capacities. Such CONOPS will be used to design the prototypes or the new HAPS solutions (platform and payloads, including data processing);

– Demonstration of the various HAPS demonstrators (platforms and payloads) to de-risk the key technologies and highlight the operational performances that can be expected from each demonstrator type;

– Study of current and foreseen technology status and identification of road maps for each demonstrator involved.

Future modular ground vehicles and enabling technologies, including green technologies
Fleet upgrade and close combat (EDF-2021-GROUND-D)

Objective:

The evolving operational environment requires the development of next generation and the modernisation of current armoured platforms with improved robustness, agility, versatility and interoperability. Moreover, future land vehicles will require the ability to operate in adverse conditions, in digitised battlefield and network centric environments, and to obtain scalable effects, while ensuring efficient maintainability and support, high level of operational readiness and optimized life cycle cost. This topic addresses mainly technologies enhancing the mobility performance of ground platforms, making them more capable, modular and energy-efficient.

Scope:

Proposals must address the development of next generation or upgrade of current armoured platforms, in particular addressing Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) and Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) or developing and integrating modern and upgraded systems, subsystems like hybrid drivetrains and energy storage systems or sensors and a flexible network infrastructure into existing platforms and/or payloads improving significantly their performance. The proposals will thus possibly address other existing or future vehicles of various types and sizes such as Main Battle Tanks (MBT), Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV), support vehicles or Combat Engineering Vehicles (CEV).

New materials and technologies for additive manufactured defence applications
Research for disruptive technologies for defence applications (EDF-2021-DIS-RDIS)

Objective:

Additive manufacturing (AM) allows producing multi-functional parts and has been introduced into various industry segments over the last decade. For future military applications employing materials that are even more advanced, the AM process still requires significant technology development in order to establish robust and high yield processes to tap its full potential. The complexity of the necessary processes of additive manufacturing requires a profound understanding of material chemistry, metallurgical structures on microstructural level as well as defect detection on the macroscopic level. Research activities could include but are not limited to identification and analysis of material properties, such as (super)alloys or concrete composites, full functional 3D printed electrified structures, new technologies to further improve military propulsion, AM parts or structures for an improved protection of soldiers and equipment, specialized AM-materials for function and structure in next-gen ammunition and missiles or AM technologies for ballistic functional structures as well as new approaches to lightweight applications.

Scope:

Proposals should consider the current state-of-the-art including additive manufacturing systems, materials and material properties. Additionally, the entire additive manufacturing process should be taken into acount in order to evaluate and classify the planned activities within a project.
Proposals are generally intended:

– To improve the understanding of the investigated AM-processes

– To further develop the manufacturing technology

– To evaluate the potential compared to other solutions

– To improve the performance of the products, processes or operations addressed by the proposal

Next generation rotorcraft technologies
Next generation vertical take-off and landing systems (EDF-2021-AIR-R)

Objective:

The importance of rotorcrafts, as principal vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) assets/systems, in military operations is widely recognized. Military rotorcraft are the workhorses of battlefields, fulfilling missions like armed reconnaissance, strike, combat search-and-rescue (CSAR), MEDical EVACuation (MEDEVAC), utility, air assault and close aerial support (CAS), which are critical for the success of military operations.

Beyond their pure military role, military helicopters are also key assets for a better civilian security and protection and EU-internal resilience, with critical contribution to disaster relief, civilian search-and-rescue, and sanitary crises.

Scope:

The scope of this topic concerns research on future technologies and the future operating environment (FOE) and future operating concepts (FOC) of military VTOL-systems.

In particular the proposals must address:

– The ends to draw the outlines of the future operating concepts. These outlines are based on the future operating environment (FOE) as well as the role and purpose of VTOL-systems.

– Once the outlines are set, the research activities can be focused on the future operating concept (FOC). This conceptual approach concerns all levels of warfare: strategic, operational, tactical and technical. But also logistic and maintenance concepts such as predictive and/or condition-based maintenance, logistical footprint, supply-chain management, acceptable life cycle costs and a flexible/affordable airworthiness certification process with common European (military) certification specifications.

Modular and multirole patrol corvette
Multirole and modular offshore patrol vessel (EDF-2021-NAVAL-D)

Objective:

The ambition of the EU navies is to drastically increase the flexibility of second line vessels in order to conduct a wider range of operations and to make the vessels more suitable to face 21st century challenges and newest constraints and operational requirements to expand the capacities to interoperate and significantly elevate their level of availability and sustainability.

Moreover, the new class of ships needs to be based on a shared baseline, which can be tailored to different national individual requirements.

These goals can be reached at most optimized cost by a new generation of ships defined with a high level of commonality and modularity and taking advantage of a common engineering knowledge base and the large experiences at EU level.

Scope:

The proposals must aim to:

– define a shared and common set of rules, standards and interfaces applicable to naval architecture and associated systems to improve the industrial cooperation and integration of the European naval companies and Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) and promote common European supply chains;

– create standardized industrial processes and methodologies and increase Member State’s joint capability to develop future warships in a reduced amount of time and at most optimized cost, and so contribute to the competitiveness of the European defence industry;

– increase availability through integration of modularity and flexibility in the design of military vessels, and ultimately to generate a new 2500t-3500t class modular vessel able to increase current capabilities of the navies mainly in terms of MSA, Surface Superiority and Power Projection and also carry out a large spectrum of maritime operations ranging from peacetime governmental activities to wartime operations.

Improving cyber defence and incident management with artificial intelligence
Cyber threat intelligence and improved cyber operational capabilities (EDF-2021-CYBER-R)

Objective:

The ability to detect and respond to security incidents suffers from several challenges, including: the ever increasing amount of data that needs to be analysed in order to detect and fully understand security incidents; the number of false alarms generated resulting in, for instance, erroneous prioritisation and alarm fatigue amongst operators and analysts; lack of (human) resources to sufficiently analyse all potentially malicious activity; the decreasing effectiveness of traditional defence measures based on known set of rules (e.g. a priori known signatures and/or network traffic profiles) due to the increase of encrypted network traffic and their inadequacy against advanced persistent threats and zero-day attacks (including malware that exploits unknown vulnerabilities, targeted phishing attacks, low-rate data exfiltration, abnormal user behaviour, etc.); choosing appropriate measures in response to attacks in a timely manner, when the scope is uncertain and the situation develops faster than a human being may follow without advanced decision-making support, and while the compromise potentially have or will extend over weeks, months or years.

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) seems promising in order to address many of these challenges – and AI has recently shown great results in areas such as playing strategic games and analysing text.

Scope:

Addressing the identified challenges will require inter- and multidisciplinary approaches, where teams conduct work of both a technical and a non-technical nature. Analysis of technical, tactical, operational, strategic and political considerations are required. On a technical level, proposals should provide proof-of-concept solutions for AI-based incident management and cyber defence, including detection, mitigation and response. Capable intrusion detection systems (IDS) could form a starting point for proposals. However, proposals must not seek to further the analysis capabilities of IDS alone, but in the context of an automated or semi-automated system for handling incidents.

In additional to purely technical solutions, processes and actors of selected enterprises may need to be mapped, modelled and understood to ensure fit-for-purpose solutions and answer questions of a more conceptual nature. Proposals are further expected to consider the interaction between human operators, analysts and decision makers and the automated or semi-automated incident management and response system.

A suitable methodology for building contextual understanding is expected through case studies of selected processes, incidents and cyber-attacks of selected enterprises, and case studies of successful detection approaches and resilience oriented success stories where technical and non-technical challenges can be studied and addressed at different levels. For the development of technical proof-of-concept prototypes, an appropriate development approach, which includes user and stakeholder involvement, should be leveraged.

Frugal learning for rapid adaptation of AI systems
Artificial intelligence (EDF-2021-DIGIT-R)

Objective:

In times of real-time information availability and exchange, and increasing complexity of situations, artificial intelligence (AI) has become an essential driver for new competitive system solutions. Future military capabilities will include a significant share of systems that will make massive use of AI techniques.

Modern AI systems based on Machine Learning and especially Deep Learning techniques usually require many labelled data points to reach acceptable performance. Furthermore, they can suffer from inconsistent behaviours, such as high-confidence failures, or failures in trivial cases. More generally, improving AI systems to take into account new data requires extensive testing by expert developers to avoid regression. These issues severely impact their availability for defence systems, which are characterised by the lack of data, for instance when dealing with enemy intelligence, and by the need for trustable results and rapid adaptation, including from data that cannot be shared with system developers for confidentiality reasons or because of poor connectivity. This is especially important when the information to manage is highly variable or unpredictable and high adaptability is needed.

Scope:

The aim is to tackle the problem of robustness and frugality in military AI software components to facilitate the development of new systems and their adaptation to the evolution of their environment, including from user supervision, for a reasonable cost, with minimal intervention from expert developers, and without regression. State-of-the-art research on transfer learning, zero- or few-shot learning, active learning, domain adaptation, hybrid AI and other relevant topics should be leveraged to propose new methods to improve AI-based methods, while preserving high performance.

Non-line-of-sight optical sensors applications
Research for disruptive technologies for defence applications (EDF-2021-DIS-RDIS)

Objective:

Optical technologies are facing a paradigm shift by an evolutionary revolution from digital imaging to computational and quantum imaging. These disruptive novel optical sensing approaches could bring game-changing sensing capabilities to many military operations. As a lighthouse technology in computational and quantum imaging indeed, non-line-of-sight imaging (NLOS) could overcome limitations of classical optical sensing which are tied to the direct line-of-sight, as it can extend the perception range of an optical sensor to areas hidden from direct view, while insuring high spatial optical resolution. In the future, this emerging technology might therefore enhance soldier’s observation and detection capabilities dramatically by bringing imaging and ranging capabilities, in many operational scenarios where current technologies such as line-of-sight optical sensing or RADAR fail to deliver relevant data with appropriate resolution. Possible operation scenarios include enhanced situational awareness, mission planning for hostage rescue (localization of persons in building) and threat analysis like detection of ambush.

Scope:

Expertise from different fields is to be combined to build a demonstrator to be validated in a relevant environment. In this context, the topic calls for research in fields of computer science, for the development of novel reconstruction algorithms, semiconductor electronics, for the development of highly sensitive and precise single photon counting devices, and photonics for the development of laser illumination and optical receiver. All research activities may be led to a laboratory scale demonstration system which may be tested in relevant scenarios.

European protected waveform and accompanying technologies for resilient satellite communications against jamming
Resilient space-based PNT and SATCOM (EDF-2021-SPACE-D)

Objective:

Space is one of the global commons and an emerging operational domain at the same time. It provides unique options to deploy capabilities, which deliver services increasingly indispensable for military purposes and operations. This situation is going to produce specific new threats and challenges. The access to space has to be duly monitored and eventually protected as well as the capabilities already deployed and operating in orbit.

Scope:

The proposals should address the development of an EPW for satellite communications as well as the complementary ancillary technologies addressing security and resilience that can be used by different EU Member States individually or together in a joint operational context (EU, NATO, multi-nation missions).

The EPW must be able to operate in the complex military operational environment described in the specific challenge and bring a solution to the corresponding challenges. The proposals must not be limited to the work towards the development of a waveform but must also include complementary ancillary technologies to provide an integrated multi-layered security and resilient approach to military satellite communications.

Ship Structural Health Monitoring
Smart ships (EDF-2021-NAVAL-R)

Objective:

Researching on structural health monitoring techniques and their integration in an expert system specific for naval vessels.

Scope:

The proposals must aim to obtain improved naval vessels’ operational capability through research on advancing the utilization of data from the state of the art, and/or innovatively improve the hull ship structural health monitoring systems, using modern data science tools, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), digital twin models or other. This will address key topics, such as safe operational envelopes both in peacetime operations and crisis/war situations, weapon systems accuracy improvement, sensors’ optimal placement and networking, ship hull structural computational modelling and lifetime extension, damage detection/diagnosis and prognosis, vibration contribution to the hydro-acoustic signature – or more general the vessel’s signatures and condition – and their integration in a decision-making system for naval vessels.

Development of a digital system for the secure and quick exchange of information related to military mobility
Soldier & logistic systems (EDF-2021-PROTMOB-D)

Objective:

Timely and accurate logistic information and sharing is required for the efficient management and coordination of multinational logistic networks and hubs. Information management for multinational logistics, including for Military Mobility related information, contributes to enhanced efficiency and effectiveness, notably to the reduction of overall costs and environmental footprint, flexibility of forces, improved interoperability and fair burden sharing between Member States or conservation of scarce local resources.

Scope:

Digitalisation is a key enabler for efficient and speedy military mobility. Digitalisation would also allow for increased standardisation and harmonisation between the Member States. The scope of the action focuses on cross-border movement permissions. Currently, there are several different forms in use across the EU and NATO countries, whereas the authorisations that are needed differ at state, regional and local levels. Diverging rules, in turn, make the permitting procedures cumbersome and time-consuming. A joint ICT system should be used to develop uniform cross-border movement permission documents, which will be tailored to the needs of the participating Member States. Furthermore, there is ongoing work by the Member States and the EDA, which could be used as a point of departure.

Development of defence medical countermeasures
Defence medical countermeasures (EDF-2021-MCBRN-D)

Objective:

Defence medical countermeasures (MCMs) must be kept up-to-date, available and able to respond to the continuously changing and novel health threats posed by CBRN. MCMs may include any medicines or medical devices aimed to combat CBRN threats. This extends to countermeasures that prevent or treat the threat, but also to countermeasures that combat novel modes of delivery of such threats. Proposals should focus on innovation and development of MCMs or an additional integration into military intelligence and information systems and corresponding civil capacities.

Proposals are encouraged to provide for an analysis into novel MCMs and related technology, analysis of gaps and recommendations to ensure baseline preparedness standards and indicators, mapping of CBRN MCM capacities across EU, as well as options for ensuring EU’s access and availability of MCMs.

Scope:

Proposals should focus on innovation and development of MCMs against CBRN threats as well as their integration into armed forces. Proposals may also provide for analysis of the relevance and feasibility of novel MCMs and related technology, mapping of CBRN MCM capacities across EU, as well as options for ensuring EU’s access and availability of MCMs.

MCMs may include any medicines or medical devices that are aimed at combating CBRN threats. This extends both to countermeasures that prevent or treat the threat.

For MCMs to be updated, available and able to respond, this entails a large scope covering innovation, development and analysis.

Materials and structures for enhanced protection in hostile environments
Advanced materials and structures, and critical electronics (EDF-2021-MATCOMP-R)

Objective:

Military platforms and military personal protective equipment have to ensure a high level of protection against a large scope of threats and reduce risks of injuries for mounted and dismounted soldiers. This topic is motivated by three long-term challenges:

– New protective systems with the required ballistic protection levels call for substantive investment but after a few years of deployment, the level of protection is most of the time unknown and decisions to discard, redeploy or upgrade, are often taken on uncertain basis or not taken at all. Therefore, the first challenge is to improve proving and certification of durability of current and new materials and protective systems in order to increase the confidence for procurement agencies and industries.

– Soldiers are not sufficiently protected against certain threats and new solutions must be developed to reduce the risk of injuries. The second challenge is to find materials, which could protect against new threats.

– The third challenge is to find new concepts of materials, which will be more environmentally friendly, and could reduce EU dependence on certain industries, for instance oil industries. This will ensure Europe’s capability and independence regarding export control constraints from non-European entities on such critical and strategic materials.

Adequate testing facilities are of utmost importance in all phases of the material and processes development, especially for screening candidate solutions, to generate experimental data (mechanical, thermal, physical, chemical properties, etc.). Hence, the design of new test facilities is to be encouraged.

Scope:

The topic encompasses research activities on existing materials or new materials or concepts of protection taking into account the specificities listed in the following sections. All types of materials can be considered, for instance: ceramics, polymers, thermoplastics, metals, textiles, hybrid polymer composites, damping materials, nanoparticles and nanocomposites, metamaterials (where the properties of the armour will depend not only on the properties of the material, but also from its structure)

Considered technologies also include protective systems, non-destructive testing, design methods and tools, numerical modelling and characterization and testing methods. The scope of the topic includes consideration of cost/performances and lifetime/recyclability compromises and the fact that materials and raw materials should as much as possible come from European sources to secure the European supply chain.

The establishment of this European industry will require working in parallel on all materials manufacturing stages: raw materials (powder, UHTC, etc.), materials manufacturing processes, characterisation of the materials obtained, non-destructive control technology for advanced materials manufacturing. Proposals must also identify elements of a platform to test the outcome of current and future projects in terms of performance and functionality relevant to the activities performed during the project.

Improved efficiency of cyber trainings and exercises
Improved capacity for cyber training and exercises (EDF-2021-CYBER-D)

Objective:

Personnel development is one of the key requirements for effective cyber defence. Extensive trainings and exercises constitute the best means to enhance and validate the skills of the cyber defence workforce. For this, Member States have invested in establishing cyber ranges that provide controlled artificial environments where, among others, malicious activities can be simulated without negative impact on live systems in an organization. However, the existing cyber ranges can be developed further to achieve their full personnel development potential. In turn, it supports cyber operators improving their skillset and benefits military commanders in understanding cyber as a cross-domain challenge. This includes addressing threats and opportunities driven from the emerging disruptive technologies.

Scope:

The objective of this topic is to create a toolset that allows significantly increased efficiency in the cyber trainings and exercises process while also enhancing cyber ranges interoperability and costefficiency, taking into account challenges described.

To develop a technological demonstrator modules that can be easily configured and interfaced to existing system used to conduct cyber trainings and exercises. Integration of the technologies must be demonstrated within TRL 4-8, but specific TRL may wary depending on the work package.

Endo-atmospheric interceptor – concept phase
Protection against high velocity aerial threats (EDF-2021-AIRDEF-D)

Objective:

Air Superiority is one of the eleven EU capability development priorities identified as part of the revised 2018 capability development plan. This priority includes specifically A2AD type (anti-access area denial) and BMD (ballistic missile defence) capability shortfalls. The emergence of new threats such as manoeuvring ballistic missiles and hypersonic cruise missiles (including air launched ones) or hypersonic glide vehicles represents an additional challenge for European and NATO ground and naval-based air defence systems. Existing knowledge and technologies in the field of weapon systems and missiles design inside the EU represent however an opportunity to explore the feasibility of an endo-atmospheric air defence effector able to intercept current and emerging post-2030 ballistic and cruise missile threats.

Scope:

The proposals must address surface-to-air interceptor solutions including interceptor concepts studies, and associated early maturation activities, until an interceptor mission definition review (MDR) and a preliminary requirements review (PRR) approved by the cooperating Member States. The proposals must aim to provide two main results:

(1) The selection of an interceptor solution to counter the post-2030 theatre air and ballistic threat;

(2) The initial maturation of the most critical related technologies.

Over-the-horizon radars applications
Research for disruptive technologies for defence applications (EDF-2021-DIS-RDIS)

Objective:

The EU requirements for surveillance, as depicted in the 2018 capability development plan, describe the necessity for increased situational awareness through means such as long-range radar systems. In that sense HF (High Frequency) Over the Horizon radars can be a viable solution that offers target detection over very long-range by exploiting propagation characteristics of HF waves. This can be distances in the order of thousands of kilometres by using the sky waves, which are reflected down from the ionosphere, or some hundreds of kilometres by using surface waves, which follow the earth curvature. However, sky wave radars have an extensive blind area (the skip distance) because the sky waves reflect down to earth at distances beyond 1,000km and thus leave areas at shorter ranges without illumination.

Scope:

To enhance situational awareness and operation superiority, there is an EU requirement to improve detection, tracking and identification capabilities over wide areas and with minimum latency. High frequency over-the-horizon systems need therefore to be improved whilst an EU concept for cognitive and scalable network, both active and passive, of HF OTH sensors could be investigated.

This topic addresses the technologies for EU OTH radar concept offering deep collaborative strategic surveillance and data sharing. In this regard, both HF Surface- and Sky- Wave radar technologies should be explored regarding their respective advantages in terms of covered area in long ranges and as a gap filler.

Enhanced pilot environment for air combat
Avionics and advanced air combat (EDF-2021-AIR-D)

Objective:

The future warfare is largely characterised by weapon system automation and networking. While being implemented in all military domains, the concept of swarming and autonomy is in particular evolving in the air domain. Such evolutions have the potential to increase next generation air combat assets effectiveness because connectivity would allow accessing an increased amount of information thus contributing to build a more comprehensive operational picture and UAS assets contributing to the execution of specific mission tasks would multiply the operational impact.

As a result, a large number of actors, effectors, and sensors will be connected, generating an amazing collection of information and data. This induces a great challenge to put the pilots at the centre of missions.

Scope:

Preliminary analyses show that in order to pursue those challenges, the future European aerial combat systems will need to be equipped with an innovative cockpit offering the pilot breakthrough display and interaction capabilities. In this context, it seems clear that new products (head-down, eyes-out, interface modalities, virtual assistant…) have to be developed.

Hence, this topic addresses the rise in maturity, with the objective to reach TRL 4, supported by demonstrations, of technological and technical solutions necessary for future enhanced products.

The proposals may consider existing manned and unmanned air platforms and future ones under development, including training aircraft in a long term perspective or as quick-win.

Alternative propulsion and energy systems for next generation air combat systems
Energy efficiency and energy management (EDF-2021-ENERENV-D)

Objective:

High value equipment integration in military air platforms contribute drastically to aerial system improvement and innovation. They are key for the European technological sovereignty and strategic autonomy.

Among them sub and supersonic propulsion combined with on-board energy management, within an optimized thrust and power integrated system, will significantly contribute to improve European Air power and to guarantee European aerial superiority.

Scope:

To guarantee a full European technological sovereignty of military air platforms, new technology building blocks of next generation of propulsion and energy integrated systems will be evaluated on a dedicated European Propulsion and Energy ground test platform.

Some of these technologies could also be jointly developed and evaluated on the test platform developed within the frame of this project. Depending on the new technology to be developed and evaluated, one or several demonstrators could be used. Such demonstrators could be for instance engines from several types of aerial platforms: from helicopter engines for new materials evaluation, to fighters’ engines for new equipment evaluation.

This platform, open to joint technology development activities, would also be an opportunity for Europe to enhance cross border collaboration between large industrial groups, SME and academics.

Partilhar conteúdo:
LinkedIn
Share

Formulário Contato

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin