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Updated: 2 weeks 2 days ago

Cyber defence organisations met at EDA

Mon, 08/07/2019 - 17:03

Senior officials of the four organisations signatories of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), the European Defence Agency (EDA), the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) and the Computer Emergency Response Team for the EU Institutions, Bodies and Agencies (CERT-EU) met today at the EDA premises.

The purpose of the meeting was to update each other on relevant developments and to assess the progress made so far in the implementation of the MoU. The Memorandum, signed in May 2018, provides a framework for cooperation through which the four organisations can leverage synergies  in order to achieve a safe and open cyberspace and to promote civil & military synergies. 

Significant progress has been achieved since the MoU entered into effect in June 2018, notably a continuous exchange of views on top cybersecurity aspects (including policy, technical, operational items), reciprocal participation to events and a better understanding by respective staff of how the four organisations can work together..

The collaboration roadmap prepared by the MoU working group, which contains concrete activities and deliverables scheduled throughout 2019, has been reflected in the signatories' respective work programmes, ensuring improved coherence. The main focus of the roadmap is on training and cyber exercises, building on the cooperation capacity and the improved exchange of information on respective projects and events. The aim is to complement the respective work of the four partners and avoid duplication of efforts, also taking into account broader EU initiatives in the cyber domain. 
 
As part of the cooperation, the four partners are planning to organise another major event in the second part of 2020. They also want to pay additional attention to improving incident response mechanisms and processes as well as increased joint participations at high visibility events in the Cybersecurity and Cyber Defence area.
 

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Categories: Defence`s Feeds

New ‘Round Robin Test’ launched to enhance ammunition safety standards

Fri, 05/07/2019 - 08:59

Picture: vibration test on a munitions lot

Last June, EDA’s 2019 ‘Round Robin Test’ was launched with the participation of nine laboratories from seven EDA Member States (Poland, the Netherlands, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, Cyprus) as well as from Norway (which has signed an Administrative Agreement with the Agency). The initiative is designed to compare test results obtained in different Member States laboratories working on ammunition safety.

These multinational tests, organised on a yearly basis under the auspices of EDA, are a central tool established by the European Network of National Safety authorities on Ammunition (ENNSA) whose objective is to enhance cooperation and interoperability between national authorities in charge of ammunition safety. 

In a Round Robin Test (RTT), the results of different laboratories are all considered to be at the same level of quality: the intent is thus not to verify the accuracy of the results obtained from each and every laboratory by comparing them with the reference exact result, but rather to verify the dispersion of the data and the possibility of using a certain standard to obtain reliable results (within a certain range of errors considered tolerable), under different conditions. Therefore, what is evaluated in an RRT is the standard itself, not the performance of the laboratories. A successful RRT provides the assurance that the standard used is suitable to generate ‘reproducible’ results. A failed test, on the other hand, can help to highlight the need to amend and/or supplement the standard.
Focus on Energetic Materials

This year’s RRT is focused on the characterization of Energetic Materials, which are key components of any kind of ammunition, and more specifically on propellants (single-base nitrocellulose) and high explosives (HMX). All nine participating laboratories will soon receive samples from the same explosive batch and will be required to perform identical tests, all referring to explosive sensitivity and thermal stability, in particular: impact sensitivity, friction sensitivity, Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA),

Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Heat Flow Calorimetry (HFC), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA). The test is led by one of the most experienced European laboratories in this field, the Polish Laboratory of Combat Assets Testing of the Military Institute of Armament Technology (MIAT), located in Zielonka, near Warsaw. Coordinator of this test is Agata Kamieńska-Duda, Head of MIAT’S Ammunition Test Laboratory.
 

Room for improvement

Bogdan Krysiński, the current chairman of ENNSA, is responsible in MIAT for testing ammunition after long-term storage. He insists on the substantial added value provided by the annual Round Robin Tests initiative but also believes it could be further improved.  “The RRT initiative is very valuable in many aspects. First of all, it allows everybody to compare research capabilities among the institutes and exchange experience among the researchers. However, it would be wrong to claim this is enough. Science never stops. Better methods of ammunition performance should be continuously sought for in order to provide a more precise assessment of its safety and operational reliability”, he commented. 

“For many types of ammunition and their components it will be probably necessary to introduce a broader scope of testing than that used within the current RRT. Another issue is the need to develop unambiguous templates of documents for the preparation of the tests, as well as for the recording and reporting of the test results. Recent experiences confirm the importance of this. Continuous improvement of the Round Robin Test programme is thus something we should keep in mind for the benefit of all”, he stated.
 

Background

In 2010 the EDA Steering Board approved the establishment of the European Network of National Safety authorities on Ammunition (ENNSA) with the primary task to facilitate communication among the national bodies which are in charge of ammunition safety. The focus of ENNSA, as agreed by its members, was to explore the harmonisation of ammunition qualification to improve interoperability and increase cooperation among Member States, in parallel with achieving savings across the ammunition production/procurement cycle. One of the basic tools designed for this purpose is the Round Robin Test (RRT) programme.  It serves to compare and validate test results obtained in different laboratories of the Member States working within the area of ammunition safety.
 

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

ESMAB meeting focussed on civil & military collaboration in Single European Sky

Tue, 02/07/2019 - 18:36

The EDA SES Military Aviation Board (ESMAB) today held its 7th meeting at policy level. The meeting, which took place at the EUROCONTROL premises, was chaired by EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq.

The meeting was attended by the European Commission’s Director General for Mobility and Transport, Henrik Hololei, the Chairman of the EU Military Committee (EUMC), General Claudio Graziano, the Director General of Eurocontrol, Eamonn Brennon, the Commission Director for Aviation, Filip Cornelis, as well as representatives from a wide range of key aviation stakeholders, notably the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU), the SESAR Deployment Manager (SDM), NATO, the European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE), the Performance Review Body (PRB) and the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD). Also present were representatives from the four countries EDA has concluded Administrative Agreements with (Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, Ukraine). The ESMAB policy level is comprising Member States’ military aviation authorities or equivalent.

The meeting allowed participants to have an informal high-level exchange of views between the main civil and military actors involved in this domain, with a particular focus on the challenges and opportunities for civil and military collaboration in on Single European Sky. 

One of the operational conclusions of the meeting was that the ESMAB agreed to support the document “U-Space, Drones and Military Low-Level Flights” including its annex “Operations for traffic below 500ft AGL: a Military view” and to use this document at national and EU level, as a basis to increase awareness of and support for the interests of military aviation in the framework of U-Space developments. This document will be updated as a living document on a regular basis considering other aspects enlarging the scope of the analysis. The Board also welcomed the EDA-EASA guidelines for the accommodation of military instruments flight rules (IFR) for MALE RPAS under GAT (airspace classes A-C) outside segregated airspace and agreed to use the guidelines as a reference for the accommodation of MALE-type RPAS within the European airspace..

Regarding Higher Airspace Operations, the ESMAB agreed to Support the European Defence Agency activities to monitor the work led by EASA as regard the regulatory framework and the work led by SESAR Joint Undertaking and EUROCONTROL as regards the concept of operations for Higher Airspace.

The ESMAB management was also tasked, with the support of EDA, to further investigate the need to establish of a working group involving Member States representatives, as well as representatives of relevant civil and military organisations (NATO, ECTL, EASA, ICAO, etc.) with the objective to together address the cyber security challenges for the air domain, and to revert to the ESMAB (policy level) with a proposal.

The next policy level meeting of the ESMAB is scheduled for end of January 2020.
 

Background

An EDA SES Military Aviation Board (ESMAB) was created by the European Defence Agency Steering Board on 30 September 2015. Ever since, ESMAB meets at two level : - management/expert level and executive/policy level.

Rules and regulations of the civilian world can have an important impact on the military. Consequently, EDA is now recognised as the interface between Member States, EU institutions and agencies. A prominent example is the impact the Single European Sky and its related regulations have on the military. EDA, in its role of interface and facilitator of the coordination of military views is making the military voices heard in this important modernisation process through its successful cooperation with the European Commission, Eurocontrol, and other key EU bodies and agencies involved in SES. This is also achieved thanks to EDA participating Member States’ commitment to the ESMAB which held its first meeting in May 2016.
 

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Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Strategic Context Cases approved for implementation of EU Capability Development Priorities

Thu, 27/06/2019 - 16:23

EDA’s Steering Board in Capability Directors composition today endorsed the first edition of the Strategic Context Cases (SCC) which will guide the practical implementation of the 11 EU Capability Development Priorities approved by EDA Member States in June 2018. The SCC should ensure the priorities are implemented in a way that improves the coherence of the European capability landscape and leads to cooperative projects which contribute to close identified capability shortfalls.

The 11 SCC – one for every priority agreed last year (*) – describe in concrete terms what the current capability situation is, including the activities planned or already ongoing at national and/or multinational level in order to address the shortfalls. The outcomes of the NATO Defence Planning Process and the activities undertaken in the context of the Framework Nations Concept (FNC) are also taken into account in order to ensure coherence of output and avoid unnecessary duplication.

The SCC highlight in particular the major challenges to the coherence of the European capability landscape in each of these areas in the short, medium and long term. “We all know that there are pressing capability challenges across the whole spectrum. For example, there is a growing threat from the use of mini-drones to our military forces”, EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq commented. “The SCC will provide concrete and tangible gains across the Member States in addressing this issue in the short, medium and long term”. They also provide guidance to address these challenges by offering ‘avenues of approach’ for potential cooperation between participating Member States that could help achieve the priorities and improve the coherence of the European capability landscape.

The SCC are integrating documents: each of them also reflects the R&T priorities identified in the Overarching Strategic Research Agenda (OSRA) and related R&T activities linked to each capability priority. Cross references of the SCC to the Key Strategic Activities (KSA) which are considered important for the implementation of the priority such as technologies, skills and industrial manufacturing capacities will be added once the KSA reports are approved by the Steering Board.

To prepare the SCC, EDA worked closely with Member States, the EU Military Committee (EUMC), the EU Military Staff (EUMS) and European industry which was consulted to collect their views on technological solutions to close identified capability gaps and face the new security challenges. The Agency also ran staff to staff meetings with NATO to ensure activities developed by participating Member States within NATO are correctly reflected.

The next step in the elaboration of the first edition of the SCC will happen in February 2020 when EDA will present to the Steering Board part two of the SCC containing roadmaps of ongoing capability development activities and possible new ones which, subject to the necessary ad-hoc decisions by Member States, could be taken forward in the Agency framework. The SCC are living documents and will be updated by EDA over time, also on the basis of Member States’ feedback, to make sure they always reflect the latest developments in the implementation of each and every priority.
 

Background

In June 2018, the EDA Steering Board in Capability Directors formation endorsed the 2018 Capability Development Plan (CDP) and approved the 2018 EU Capability Development Priorities. In their Council conclusions adopted on 25 June 2018, Member States agreed that “these priorities, as a key reference for Member States' and EU's capability development, will inform CARD, PESCO and the European Defence Fund, which bring a step-change in defence cooperation, thus contributing to coherence among these three distinct but mutually reinforcing initiatives”. The June 2018 Steering Board also tasked the Agency to start the preparatory work for the implementation of the 2018 EU Capability Development Priorities, including with a view to the elaboration of SCC. In November 2018, the Steering Board tasked the Agency to proceed with the development of the SCC and to come up with a first edition by June 2019. Endorsed by the Steering Board, the SCC will now be forwarded to the Council as agreed by the Member States in the Council conclusions of 17 June 2019.
 

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(*) The 11 EU Capability Development Priorities approved by Member States in 2018 relate to the following domains:

  • Ground Combat Capabilities
  • Enhanced Logistic and Medical Supporting Capabilities
  • Naval Manoeuvrability
  • Underwater Control contributing to resilience at Sea
  • Air Superiority
  • Air Mobility
  • Integration of Military Air Capabilities in a changing Aviation Sector
  • Enabling capabilities for cyber responsive operation
  • Space-based information and communication services
  • Information Superiority
  • Cross-Domain Capabilities contributing to achieve EU’s Level of Ambition. 

 

 
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Stakeholders and partners gather for EDA’s 15th Anniversary

Tue, 25/06/2019 - 15:16

EDA today celebrated its 15th Anniversary with a ceremony in its premises attended by the Head of the Agency, Federica Mogherini, high representatives (Ministers, Deputy Ministers, State Secretaries, Chiefs of Defence, Ambassadors) from its 27 Member States and the four associated countries, the Chairman of the EU Military Committee, Deputy Secretary-Generals of the EEAS, the Director General of the EU Military Staff, several European Commissioners and Commission Director-Generals, Executive Directors and senior officials of all EU institutions and agencies, NATO senior representatives as well representatives from the European defence industry and the media.  

In her commemoration speech, Federica Mogherini, the Head of the Agency, recalled the tremendous progress made in European defence cooperation over recent years - especially since the publication of the EU Global Strategy in 2016 - and stressed the role played by EDA in this endeavour. “Five years ago, no-one imagined how far we would come. European defence cooperation has expanded like never before. We have created the instruments to make European defence cooperation become the norm. And the Agency has been at the core of all our work and of all the progress that we have achieved together”, she stated. “All this work wasn't just long overdue. It was urgent and necessary. All of our Member States, today, need European cooperation to guarantee the security of our citizens. European defence is first and foremost about the security of European citizens”.

With CARD, PESCO and the European Defence Fund (EDF), the EU has put in place the tools it needs to enhance defence cooperation and make it work for the benefit of a stronger and more efficient, coherent and interoperable European defence. “The European Defence Agency has made essential contributions to crafting these initiatives all along the way, and it is now central in their implementation. The Agency is the secretariat for both the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence and on PESCO, together with the European External Action Service and the EU Military Staff. And you are working with Member States so that their defence budgets incorporate our common Capability Development Plan", Ms Mogherini said. "In these years, I have seen this Agency grow and adapt to new tasks and challenges – and let me thank everyone who works here for your professionalism and flexibility. Your role is now more important than ever, and it will be essential to ensure that EDA always has the means to fulfil its new tasks", she added. 

The Head of the Agency concluded by saying: "It was a privilege for me to be Head of the Defence Agency in this extraordinary moment for European defence. It has been an honour to lead the Agency in these five years, and up until its fifteenth birthday. And whatever will happen next, I know that there are some great professionals here, working every day to make our cooperation more effective, our industry stronger, and our continent more secure.So let me thank you for these years together, and happy birthday to everyone at EDA".  
 

“EDA is and will remain a central institution of European defence”

Previously, in his opening address as the representative of the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU, Romanian Defence Minister Gabriel-Beniamin Leș commended the Agency “for its substantial contribution and support to European Defence efforts” throughout the past 15 years. EDA is nowadays recognised as a “key player” in advancing the EU’s role in security and defence, he said. The Agency’s Long-Term Review was “natural” and necessary to keep it fit for purpose. The enhancement of the Agency proved relevant, especially when looking at the crucial role EDA plays nowadays as part of the CARD and PESCO secretariats and in the implementation of the EU defence initiatives in general, the Minister stated.  “We encourage the Agency to continue to support the development of a common understanding regarding the new EU defence initiatives, including the possibilities of simplifying the processes and rules, to continue pursuing coherence of these initiatives and to further contribute to the coherence of output and timelines between relevant EU and NATO processes”, Mr Leș stated. Member States, too, have to change and adapt the way they do defence planning, he said. “PESCO, CARD, EDF are not just political initiative, but they need to become national defence planning instruments. We count on EDA support in this regard”. The Minister, who thanked for the “excellent cooperation” during the Romanian EU Presidency, concluded by saying: “EDA is and will remain a central institution of European defence. As an intergovernmental organisation, it will continue to be closely attached to the needs of the Member States, and this is the main feature that we need to preserve. Romania will remain a strong supporter of EDA as it has always been. You can count on us”
 

Working for more coherent European capability landscape

In his welcome words to the 200 external guests and EDA staff, Chief Executive Jorge Domecq stressed that since its creation in July 2004, the Agency and the 700 colleagues who worked for it over the past 15 years were always (and still are) driven by one central commitment: to help Member States improve their defence capabilities through cooperation, by working together. “Our mission is very clear: to support Member States in the development of their defence capabilities. All our work is geared towards making this mission a reality”, he said. The Agency can be proud of what it has achieved so far in circumstances that were difficult at times, he said. Not only has it established itself as the “main architect of EU defence capability priorities” thanks to the roles it plays in steering the Capability Development Plan process, the Overarching Strategic Research Agenda and the identification of Europe’s Key Strategic Activities, but it is also recognised as Europe’s central hub for multinational capability development and manager of collaborative defence research, as Europe’s common training ground for common enhanced interoperability as well as the military’s voice and interface in other EU policies. Most importantly, EDA is increasingly seen as the guardian of coherence among the new EU defence initiatives (CARD, PESCO, EDF). “I am proud of the impact this house makes, in the interest of a more coherent European capability landscape owned and used by our Member States”, Mr Domecq said, calling Member States to make “full use of EDA’s potential”.
 

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Categories: Defence`s Feeds

A special edition for a special occasion: the new EDA magazine is out!

Tue, 25/06/2019 - 10:33

The latest European Defence Matters magazine (N°17) is now available. This special edition is entirely focused on the European Defence Agency’s 15th Anniversary which is being celebrated this summer. Together with previous and current stakeholders, decision-makers and partners, we look back at how the Agency has evolved over the past 15 years, what it has achieved so far and what its future prospects are.  This special 15th Anniversary edition is already available in PDF and will soon also be accessible via online version.

After a foreword by Federica Mogherini, the Head of the Agency, the magazine reviews the events and developments in 2002/2003 (European Convention, Thessaloniki European Council, etc.) which led to the creation of the Agency in 2004. Javier Solana, the first EU High Representative for the Common and Security Policy (1999-2009) and first Head of EDA (2004-2009), also shares his recollections and analyses in an interesting and exclusive article for European Defence Matters.

We also sat down with those who, as Chief Executives, have steered the Agency through 15 exciting yet challenging years: Nick Witney (2004-2007), Claude-France Arnould (2011-2015) and Jorge Domecq who is currently (since 2015) in charge. Alexander Weis, who served as Chief Executive from 2007-2011, could unfortunately not attend this joint interview.

Member States’ views on EDA’s role and achievements in EU Defence are represented in this magazine by Finnish Defence Minister Antii Kaikkonen who explains in his contribution why the Agency is “the right intergovernmental platform for joint capability prioritisation, planning and development”.

In a series of six articles, we then describe and assess what can probably be considered as EDA’s main achievements over the past 15 years during which the Agency has established itself as: - the main architect of EU defence capability priorities; - the manager of European defence research; - the European hub for multinational capability development; - the military voice and interface for EU policies; - Europe’s training pitch for enhanced interoperability; - the guardian of coherence among the newly set-up EU defence cooperation tools.

In the ‘Industry Talk’ section, MBDA’s new CEO Eric Béranger shares his views on how European defence cooperation in Europe (and EDA’s role in it) have evolved over the past 15 years and what the industrial prospects and challenges are for the future. He also touches upon the implementation of the recent EU defence initiatives (CARD, PESCO, EDF).

The NATO view on European defence, EDA and EU/NATO cooperation is provided for this magazine by former NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy & Planning, Heinrich Brauss, who is now a Senior Associate Fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP).

Thoughts and reflections by representatives of some of EDA’s main partner organisations as well as a very interesting and inspiring outlook analysis (‘Quo Vadis EDA?’) by Dick Zandee, Head of the Security Unit of the research department of the Clingendael Institute in The Hague) round off this very special European Defence Matters magazine.     

Have a look immediately – and enjoy!
 

More information:

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA projects involved in major international logistics exercise

Fri, 21/06/2019 - 16:30

Two EDA projects - one related to the sharing of spare parts and the other to additive manufacturing (3D-printing) - were involved in the CAPABLE LOGISTICIAN 2019 (CL19) exercise, Europe’s largest international logistics exercise, which took place at the Drawsko Pomorskie training area in the Northwest of Poland from 3-14 June. The event was organised by the Multinational Logistic Coordination Center (MLCC), a multinational sponsored centre for all issues related to multinational logistic cooperation.

Some 3,400 troops from 31 countries (including 21 EU Member States) as well as representatives from 11 international organisations participated in this event. The exercise provided participants with a rare opportunity to test and train logistic procedures within a realistic multinational operational context under real life conditions. EDA was present at the exercise with two projects:

  • the Sharing of Spare Parts project (SoSP) launched in 2015 by 12 EDA Member States. In a nutshell, it provides a simplified request-and-response mechanism for the exchange of military services and spare parts between the participating MoDs, based on agreed standards. It offers different ways to compensate for the loan of equipment, including through a barter mechanism. Using the SoSP process is cost-free for contributing Member States. A dedicated SoSP handbook has been developed, setting common standards and processes. The reason why SoSP was brought to the CAPABLE LOGISTICIAN 2019 exercise in Poland was to test and validate its accuracy and applicability, which was done with success.  Now that it has been validated, the SoSP process handbook is considered ‘mission proven’ and ready to be used by the contributing Member States’ MoDs.
  • the Additive Manufacturing (AM) project. AM is widely considered as a potential game-changer as it could, inter alia, help reduce the logistic footprint of military missions. In 2018, EDA commissioned a feasibility study on AM with regard to EDA R&T activities. As a follow-up step to move onward from R&T to capability development, EDA proposed to Member States to test AM during a military exercise under real-life conditions. Together with France and Spain, EDA prepared the AM test which took place during the CAPABLE LOGISTICIAN 2019 exercise. Concretely, EDA deployed an AM Demonstrator in the form of a 20 ft standard container equipped with PolyJet and Fused Deposition Modelling technologies, 3-D scanner and appropriate software. Prior to the exercise, specific spare parts for military assets used at the exercise were identified by France and Spain. All of them could be printed during the exercise. Furthermore, the exercise showed that using a 20 ft container for the printing ensures logistical flexibility in the operational support and reduces the logistic footprint of a military operation. AM is thus a useful alternative to classical warehousing in military logistic supply chains, ensuring increased availability of spare parts, considerable time and cost savings as well as operational flexibility.

During the CAPABLE LOGISTICIAN 2019 Visitors Days, EDA had the opportunity to present AM as a potential technology for military purposes and has received a lot of positive feedback. The discussions during the Visitors Days underlined the necessity of establishing a forum within EDA for subject matter experts to exchange experiences and discuss logistic processes, technology developments and legislative issues to further promote AM and support Member States in their efforts to better use the AM potential to develop a military capability, as also highlighted in the 2018 Capability Development Plan (CDP) and the subsequent Strategic Context Cases (SCCs).
 

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Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Launch of the Consultation Forum Third Phase

Wed, 12/06/2019 - 17:07

Jorge Domecq, EDA Chief Executive and Dominique Ristori, European Commission Director-General for Energy announced today in the presence of Mr Gabriel-Beniamin Leș, Minister of National Defence of Romania the initiation of the Third Phase of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS III).

The announcement was made in the margins of the 4th CF SEDSS II Conference which is held under the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and hosted by the Romanian Ministry of National Defence. 

The EDA Chief Executive emphasised that “the Agency’s interest in energy has been increasing in the last years, primarily because the Ministries of Defence have identified the importance of this topic, and because of how energy affects and will change our life in the future”. As he pointed out, “disruptive technologies and new business models are reshaping the energy ecosystem and the defence sector needs to be part of this”. New trends such as digitalisation, electrification, innovative energy technologies in battery storage, smart buildings, electric vehicles, artificial intelligence, integrated energy management systems as well as unknown malicious and hybrid threats require the defence sector not only to adapt to the fast-paced changing security environment but also to be able to recover when compromised.

Mr Ristori remarked that “all strands of the EU’s energy policy -energy efficiency, renewables, security of supply, interconnections- have an impact on our common European defence. That is why I believe the start of Phase III is an important step forward which reaffirms the Commission’s strong commitment to address our common energy challenges in close cooperation with the European Defence Agency”. He also said that “by improving the way the defence and security sector uses energy, new real economic opportunities can arise, creating jobs and growth for all Europeans”.

Phase III will continue pursuing the implementation of the EU legal framework on energy and will reaffirm the Consultation Forum as the appropriate vehicle to share best practice, information and experiences among the EU Ministries of Defence. With the support of the European Commission the Forum will bring closer the defence and energy communities with a view to improving energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy sources, and the protection of defence energy-related critical infrastructures.

Building on the know-how of the previous Phases and with the aim of adapting to future energy dynamics, Phase III will foresee the creation of a new ad-hoc transversal working group, which will cover the thematic activities on energy management and finance as well as a novel category on state-of-the-art technologies affecting the energy-defence dimension.

Phase III is expected to enable economic, operational and strategic results within the context of project ideas, guidelines, and action plans that can assist Ministries of Defence to apply more affordable, resilient, and sustainable energy models at the national level. To address such objectives, the Agency will implement several multi-dimensional activities ranging from high-level conferences and thematic workshops to table-top exercises.

Phase III will also be underpinned by the organisation of Energy Technology Solutions events engaging the civil sector, the industry and academia to ensure that the Forum keeps pace with the leading-edge developments in energy.

With the support of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy and the collaboration of the members of the Forum, the Agency will focus its work on how to better support Ministries of Defence to enhance strategic autonomy and resilience through a diversity of options within the nexus of the European Energy eco-system including the European defence dimension.
 

More information:
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Successful completion of the Second Phase of the Energy Defence Consultation Forum

Wed, 12/06/2019 - 11:12

Over 130 experts from 27 European countries and more than 20 different institutions and organisations participate in the 4th Conference of the Second Phase of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS II) in Bucharest. The Conference, which is held under the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and hosted by the Romanian Ministry of National Defence, marks the successful completion of the Second Phase of the CF SEDSS II initiated in October 2017.

Today’s conference was officially opened by Mr Gabriel-Beniamin Leș, Minister of National Defence of Romania, Mr Dominique Ristori, European Commission Director-General for Energy and Mr Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA).

Mr Jorge Domecq, EDA Chief Executive, emphasised in his speech that the “Bucharest conference marks the successful completion of a project which proved that sustainable energy matters for defence and that greener defence energy matters for the European Union”. The Chief Executive expressed his satisfaction “as the Consultation Forum has enabled directly or indirectly several Ministries of Defence to develop national defence energy strategies, implement Energy Management Systems, launch projects related to energy performance and consider initiating joint collaborative projects to address common energy challenges”

European Commission’s Directorate General for Energy (DG ENER) and the Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME) contributed to the work of the Forum by providing an EU long-term perspective on EU energy legislation, policy and action plans. With the support of the European Commission, the defence sector has come closer to the wider energy community and joined the Union’s efforts to transit to an Energy Union. Mr Dominique Ristori, European Commission Director-General for Energy acknowledged in his introductory speech, “the substantial work of the Ministries of Defence to apply sustainable energy in the defence sector and to pursue the implementation of the EU legal framework on energy”

The second Phase of the Forum developed a more practical defence-centric approach and focused on a range of activities such as improving energy management and energy efficiency of military building stock and fixed infrastructure, the integration of energy sources in defence infrastructure and the protection of defence-related critical energy infrastructure against hybrid threats.

During Phase II the working groups collected more than 30 project ideas, of which 18 were elaborated to comprehensive project proposals. To support their realisation, the Agency applied an internal methodology called “IdentiFunding for Energy”, which matched these ideas with more than 30 eligible funding opportunities, enhancing the probability of their implementation. As a first step, the Agency is currently supporting Ministries of Defence to prepare three (3) applications for funding.

Mr Domecq announced that “EDA is ready to allocate additional budget to support at least five (5) other applications demonstrating the commitment of the Agency to meet the expectation of the Ministries of Defence in producing tangible results”.
 

Next Conference

The Bucharest Conference marked the finalisation of the Second Phase of the Consultation Forum. Currently, EDA and DG ENER are preparing Phase III. It is expected that the first Conference of Phase III will take place during the first quarter of 2020. In the meantime, EDA and DG ENER are also organising a Joint Defence Energy Conference to be held at the end of 2019 in Brussels in preparation of phase III. More information will be uploaded on the EDA’s dedicated website “European Defence Energy Network (EDEN)
 

About the CF SEDSS II

The Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS) is a European Commission initiative managed by EDA. It aims at bringing together experts from the defence and energy sectors to share information and best practices on improving energy management, energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy as well increasing the protection and resilience of defence energy-related critical infrastructures. On 20 October 2017, the second phase of the Consultation Forum (CF SEDSS II) was launched. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, and the agreement is between the EASME executive agency and the EDA. The contract was signed on 16 October 2017 for 22 months, expiring in August 2019. 

Based on the foundations laid during the first phase of the Consultation Forum (2015-2017), the second phase has been further expanded to cover the following interrelated subjects through three main working groups (including sub-working groups): WG 1: Energy Management including Energy Efficiency (Sub-WG1: Energy Management and Sub-WG2: Energy Efficiency; WG 2: Renewable Energy Sources and Technologies; WG 3: Protection of Critical Energy Infrastructure and one cross-cutting theme: Finance.
 

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Categories: Defence`s Feeds

First Preparatory Action on Defence Research 2018 Calls project signed for €1.88 million

Fri, 07/06/2019 - 09:22

A grant agreement worth of €1.88 million was signed on 25 May 2019 for the Strategic Technology Foresight action called SOLOMON to be carried out under the EU Preparatory Action in the field of defence research. The grant agreement was signed between the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the winning consortium led by Engineering Ingegneria Informatica S.p.A. (The other members of the consortium can be found in the SOLOMON project page)

The Strategic Technology Foresight action called SOLOMON (Strategy-Oriented anaLysis Of the Market fOrces in EU defeNce) was selected following an EU-wide call for proposals organised by EDA closing on 28 June 2018. The action aims to provide an effective way for tackling the issue of critical defence technological dependencies for the EU regarding current and future systems and capabilities. The winning consortium encompasses a total of 18 participants from 10 countries. The project will be complementary to the PYTHIA project, which was selected following the Preparatory Action Call on Strategic Technology Foresight 2017.

The SOLOMON project is part of the Preparatory Action, aimed at testing the mechanisms that can prepare, organise and deliver a variety of EU-funded cooperative defence research and technology development (R&T) activities to improve the competitiveness and innovation in the European defence industry and to stimulate cooperation amongst R&T actors in the EU Member States.

The signature of this grant agreement continues the path towards EU defence integration and paves the way for developing a future European Defence Fund, especially its research dimension, as part of the EU’s next Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027). The next step in 2019 will be the signatures of the grant agreements related to the calls on electronic design technologies for defence application and effects.

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

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

More information:

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

‘Dark Blade 2019’ successfully completed

Fri, 07/06/2019 - 08:17

Dark Blade 2019, already the 13th multinational training organised under EDA’s Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP), was successfully completed last week at Náměšť airbase in the Czech Republic.

A total of 29 air assets from Belgium (3 A-109 and 3 NH-90), Czech Republic (5 Mi-24, 6 Mi-171 and 4 L-159 “Alca”), Germany (3 CH-53), Hungary (3 Mi-24 and 2 Mi-27), Slovenia (1 AS-532) and Poland (1 W-3A) were involved in the exercise, as well as around 1,200 military staff. Observers from Serbia, the Netherlands, Sweden and the Joint Air Power Competence Centre (JAPCC) also attended. Furthermore, a multinational Joint Tactical Air Controller (JTAC) team and an Electronic Warfare (EW) emulator system were also involved. A mentor team encompassing helicopter tactics instructors from Austria, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK supported the academic part of the exercise and provided mentoring and standardisation during the planning and execution phases of all Composite Air Operations (COMAO) missions.

The main objective of DB19 was the performance of 8 day/night COMAO missions in a realistic, harsh and complex environment, as well as to carry out specific training as evasion training, live firing, formation flights, paratrooper and scuba jumps, rappelling and fast roping. In total, some 290 flights were performed amounting to around 500 flight hours. 

A Distinguished Visitors Day was organized on 28 May, attended by Czech Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar, the President of the Czech Senate, Jaroslav Kubera, as well as other military and civilian authorities.

During the closing ceremony on 30 May, EDA’s Project Officer Rotary Wing, José Pablo Romera, thanked the Czech Air Force, and in particular 22nd HAB Náměšť Airbase Commander, Col Miroslav Svoboda and all his team, for the outstanding organisation and execution of the exercise. A special thanks also went to all the participants for their proactive involvement and cooperative mindset which resulted in the achievement of the expected training objectives.

The next EDA helicopter exercise, ‘Swift Blade 2020’, will take place in April 2020 and will be jointly hosted by The Netherlands and Belgium, with Gilze-Rijen Air Base as the main location.
 

Background

A decade ago, the multinational helicopter training cooperation started in EDA with the aim of improving the European helicopter operational capability for crisis management operations and prepare helicopter crews for deployments by providing them advanced helicopter tactics training. Over time, requirements related to interoperability and training standardisation have been added to ensure that training does not only improve national readiness, but also supports multinational cooperation.

Since 2009, 13 Blade exercises held in eight different European countries (France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Finland, Hungary and Czech Republic), 9 helicopter tactics symposiums, 63 Helicopter Tactics Courses, 6 Helicopter Tactics Instructors Courses and several other training activities, as COMAO planning courses and the EW courses have been carried out under EDA management and involving 15 EDA Member States.

The outcome of all those trainings is a high level of operational interoperability and helicopter cooperation among a large number of EDA member states. The next important step will be the transfer of all those activities and programmes (HEP, HTC and HTIC) to a future Multinational Helicopter Training Centre (MHTC) by end of 2021.
 

More information

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Third Defence Energy Management course launched

Fri, 24/05/2019 - 16:43

EDA has launched this week another Defence Energy Managers Course (DEMC), already the third since its creation in January 2017. The courses aim at increasing energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption in the military domain through the application of defence-specific Energy Management Systems (EnMSs) based on the ISO 50001 standard.  

The course which started this week (and will last until May 2020) will provide participants from 8 Member States (Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Sweden) with both theoretical knowledge and practical guidance for using defence-specific and tailor-made Energy Management Systems.

It is split into three modules (10 days in total) alternating with two periods of mentoring and on-the-job training (11 months in total). The course builds on the success of the pilot course and the two first (still ongoing) DEMC editions. 

 
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Outcome of EDA Ministerial Steering Board

Tue, 14/05/2019 - 17:17

The European Defence Agency’s (EDA) ministerial Steering Board met this Tuesday afternoon under the chairmanship of the Head of the Agency, Federica Mogherini. Defence ministers discussed the Head of Agency’s report on the implementation of EDA’s long-term review and of the statute of the Agency agreed in 2015. They also tasked EDA to pursue its work in key research and capability development domains. In the margins of the meeting, a new military mobility programme on cross-border movement permissions was signed
 

Implementation of EDA’s long-term review and the 2015 Council decision  

Ministers welcomed the presentation by the Head of Agency of the report on the implementation of the conclusions and recommendations of EDA’s long term review (LTR, endorsed in May 2017) which reinforced EDA’s mission on three aspects: as the main intergovernmental prioritisation instrument at EU level in support of capability development; as the preferred cooperation forum and management support structure at EU level to engage in technology and capability development activities; and as a central operator with regard to EU funded defence-related activities and military voice in wider EU polices. In parallel to the implementation of the Council decision of 2015, the LTR adjustments allowed EDA to adapt to the fast-changing European defence landscape and the new requirements stemming from the EU defence initiatives that followed the 2016 EU Global Strategy: CARD, PESCO, European Defence Fund.   

Reflecting the Head of Agency’s report, Ministers acknowledged the important support role EDA plays in the implementation of these initiatives as well as in ensuring coherence among them. They tasked the Agency to continue its coordination with the European External Action Services (EEAS including EU Military Staff), the EU Military Committee and the European Commission in their respective areas of responsibility, and to pursue coherence of output and avoidance of unnecessary duplication with NATO. 
The Steering Board agreed to revert to the review of the 2015 Council decision on EDA’s statute, seat and operational rules in 2020.
 

Implementation of EDA’s key taskings and next steps

Ministers were also provided with a comprehensive update on the progress made in the numerous technology and capability development activities currently underway in the Agency. It shows that EDA manages a constantly growing number of projects and programmes which is set to even further increase in the future, also as a result of Member States’ request for support on PESCO projects. 

Among the many research and technology domains in which EDA is active, a particular emphasis was put on Artificial intelligence (AI). In order to better understand the potential future military applications of AI, Ministers agreed on a two-step approach. The first phase will see the creation of a specific EDA cross-Directorate ad-hoc team which will develop a “AI Definition, Taxonomy and Glossary Document”, as well as increased collaboration with EU stakeholders (especially the Commission) and the launch of an Innovation Prize in the area of AI. The second step, later this year, will consist of in-depth analyses of concrete AI defence applications in areas where capability gaps exist.
Ministers also welcomed the Agency’s contribution to the identification of initial lessons related to the 2018 revision of the Capability Development Plan (CDP), the CARD Trial Run, the first PESCO projects and the Preparatory Action on Defence Research. These lessons identified should be reflected and taken into account, as appropriate, in the further development of the defence initiatives, it was stressed. 

The Steering Board also asked the Agency to pursue the implementation of the 2018 EU Capability Development Priorities through robust and output-driven Strategic Context Cases (SCCs). EDA was asked to present to Capability Directors in June 2019 for endorsement the landscaping part of the SCCs, including their avenues of approach to tackle the capability shortfalls and lack of coherence in the European defence landscape, in order to inform the further implementation of the EU defence initiatives. The Agency was also invited to present to the Steering Board in February 2020 detailed roadmaps with objectives and milestones for those activities that, subject to the necessary ad-hoc decisions by Member States, could be taken forward in the Agency framework. 
 

Military Mobility

In the margins of the Steering Board, ministers also signed the new EDA programme on “Optimising cross border movement permission in Europe” (see related news here). The programme aims at decreasing the administrative burden for military movement in the framework of the Agency’s work on military mobility.

 

EDA press contacts:

Elisabeth SCHOEFFMANN
Head of Media & Communication
elisabeth.schoeffmann@eda.europa.eu
T+32 470 87 01 65

Helmut BRULS
Media & Communications Officer
helmut.bruls@eda.europa.eu
T+32 2 504 28 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

23 Member States sign new military mobility programme

Tue, 14/05/2019 - 16:34

In the margins of today’s EDA Steering Board, 23 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden) and EDA signed a new programme that will facilitate the granting of cross-border surface and air movement permissions. The programme is developed in the framework of EDA’s work on military mobility. It implements an important part of the ‘Action Plan on Military Mobility’ which was presented by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR) and the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council in March 2018. Military mobility is also highlighted in the EU-NATO Joint Declaration signed in Warsaw in 2016.

The purpose of the programme signed today is to harmonise different national regulations of the participating Member States. It should allow Member States to reduce the administrative burden associated with different permission procedures and thus significantly shorten the timelines for granting surface and air cross border movement permissions. The programme provides the basis for important activities at technical and procedural level to develop the necessary arrangements for cross border movement per transport mode during crises, preparations for crises, training and day-to-day business. The arrangements cover surface (road, rail and inland waterways) and air movements (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, fighter aircraft or helicopters). They are expected to be finalised in 2020. 

“Military mobility is about improving the movement of military personnel and assets across and beyond the EU. The high number of Member States participating in this new programme on cross-border movement permissions shows the need to alleviate the administrative burden while fully respecting the sovereignty of Member States”, said Jorge Domecq, EDA’s Chief Executive.
 

Military mobility

Military mobility covers the movement of military personnel and assets from one place to another, including crossing borders by using different modes of transport. The latter is of utmost importance for multinational operations. The capacity to ensure a smooth, efficient and effective movement of military personnel and assets across and beyond the European Union (EU) will enhance the EU’s preparedness and response to crises. It will enable EU Member States to act faster, in line with their defence needs and responsibilities, both in the context of Common Security and Defence Policy missions and operations, and in the framework of national and multinational activities.  
 

EDA’s role in the implementation of the Action Plan

EDA is committed to supporting its Member States. The ‘Action Plan on Military Mobility’ builds upon the ‘Roadmap on Military Mobility’ developed by an EDA expert working group which was set up on request of the EDA Member States in September 2017. In addition to the programme on cross border movement permission, the Agency support to Member States comprises another programme on harmonising of military requirements in the customs domain as well as surveys on transportation of dangerous goods and other legal aspects.
 

Further information:

 

EDA press contacts: 

Elisabeth SCHOEFFMANN
Head of Media & Communication
elisabeth.schoeffmann@eda.europa.eu
T+32 470 87 01 65

Helmut BRULS
Media & Communications Officer
helmut.bruls@eda.europa.eu
T+32 2 504 28 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

European Spartan 2019 C-27J exercise starts in Romania

Mon, 13/05/2019 - 18:02

Five EDA Member States operating C-27J Spartan military aircraft (Bulgaria, Italy, Lithuania, Slovakia and Romania) participate in the 4th edition of the European Spartan exercise which started today (13 May) at Otopeni airbase in Romania. Observers from other C-27J user countries, such as Greece and even the United States and Australia, also attend the event which runs until 24 May. The aim of the exercise is to increase interoperability among European C27J Spartan operators. It is one of the outcomes of the European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) partnership signed in 2011 by 20 EDA Member States.

Designed by EDA and hosted by the Romanian Air Force, the event aims at promoting aircraft user type approaches to harmonise tactics, techniques and procedures as well as to develop more cost-effective solutions to operate and sustain the C27J. The objective is to provide air crews with both academic and flight training as well as to have ground crews developing harmonised procedures to eventually allowing them to perform cross maintenance on each other’s aircraft.  The C-27J Spartan aircraft can perform tactical missions in peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, providing direct air transport to the theatre, day and night.

This flying event was developed in the framework of the C27J cooperation concept launched in 2015 by EDA. This concept is looking at developing a far-reaching level of interoperability amongst European C27J operators through a variety of projects in the areas of operations & training, logistics, airworthiness, common procurement and SESAR. The main advantages of EDA’s user groups – that are working in full transparency and cooperate with all other existing user groups led by other organisations, industry and/or service providers – is to group medium and small national fleets to take advantage of economies of scale, to exchange best practices and to be more cost-efficient in operating and sustaining the aircraft.
 

Media & VIP Days

On 22 May, a dedicated Media Day will take place offering journalists the possibility to attend a flying exercise at Boboc Airbase will include the landing of C-27J Spartan aircraft on soil and short-distance tracks, parachuting personnel and materials, cooperation with combat aircraft, airline coordination with land forces and medical evacuation. Media representatives who want to participate are requested to send their personal data (name, surname, ID number, name/address of media they represent) to proff@roaf.ro (deadline: Friday 17 May, 2pm).

The following day, on 23 May, there will also be a Distinguished Visitors’ Day attended by Romanian Defence Minister Gabriel-Beniamin Leş and EDA Deputy Chief Executive Olli Ruutu. Media representatives who want to attend the Distinguished Visitors’ Day are requested to send their personal data (name, surname, ID number, name/address of media they represent) to proff@roaf.ro (deadline: Wednesday 22 May, 2pm).
 

Background information

The European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) partnership, launched in 2011 and now gathering 20 Member States (AT, BE, BG, CZ, DE, EL, ES, FI, FR, IT, LT, LU, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SE, NO and HU), aims at increasing the airlift provision in the EU, developing concrete solutions to increase the efficiency of existing and future fleets and to optimise the use of air transport organisations and structures. Other activities undertaken as part of EATF include the C-27 J Spartan Cooperation CAT B Programme, the Transport Plot Training Capacity AHWG, the Diplomatic Clearance Ad Hoc Working Group (AHWG) and the Operations and Training AHWG.
 

European 2019 Spartan: List of participating air forces and aircraft
  • Romania:  1 C-27 J, (plus 1 C130, 1 Helicopter, 1 C 27 J for logistic support)
  • Bulgaria: 1 C-27 J
  • Italy: 1 C-27 J
  • Lithuania: 1 C-27 J
  • Slovakia: Maintenance personnel only
  • Observer nations: Greece, United States, Australia
     
Background

Beside  the Spartan Exercise, the C27-J Spartan Cooperation is developing a common type training for aircrews, using the already existing facilities placed in Romania and Italy; a common training for maintenance under the new European standards, a common logistic support and a common avionics upgrade programme to benefit of economies of scale.
 

More information:

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

European industry gathers at EDA for workshop on Leo2 MBT

Mon, 13/05/2019 - 16:56

Last April, the OMBT-Leo 2 programme entered a new phase with the publication of a call to European industry to participate in a Preliminary Market Consultation (PMC). Industry is invited to respond to the PMC not later than 18 July 2019.

On this matter, EDA encourages EU defence industry to establish European multinational cross-border industrial partnerships as the preferred mechanism to exploit this opportunity. Additionally, EDA considers the OMBT-Leo2 programme as a suitable vehicle for enhanced access for sid-caps/small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the European cross-border supply chains.

In order to support the PMC, EDA organised today (13 May) a business-to-business (B2B) workshop to encourage industry to consider the establishment of business relationships between potential future prime contractors and sub-contractors and / or the formation of related consortia (national or multinational) that will provide the basis for the delivery of a full capability for the OMBT-Leo2 Programme, covering MBT, derivatives, as well as the rest of the Programme aspects (e.g. Integrated Logistics Support, simulation, training, …).

EDA’s B2B workshop attracted wide participation: a substantial number of industrial entities (31 in total) covering a wide size range, from major industries down to SMEs, and Leo2 MBT capacities at system and sub-system level, attended the workshop. The B2B workshop proceedings provided a solid opportunity for industries to meet, get known to each other, present their requirements/capabilities, identify potential business opportunities and find the right partners, in view of best preparing for the future implementation of the OMBT-Leo2 Programme.

In conclusion, EDA’s B2B workshop successfully fulfilled its mission to promote industrial cross-border cooperation within the EU, especially in view of future enhanced Mid-caps/SMEs’ access to defence contracts and to supply chains of the industrial entities that may be awarded in the future contracts for the implementation of the OMBT-Leo2 Programme.
 

Background
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

DARK BLADE 2019 kicks off in Czech Republic

Mon, 13/05/2019 - 10:36

DARK BLADE 2019, the 13th helicopter exercise organised under the umbrella of the European Defence Agency’s Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP), takes place as of today (13 May) at Náměšť airbase in Czech Republic, until 1 June 2019.

A total of 29 air assets (25 helicopters + 4 fixed wing) and some 600 military personnel from six countries - Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia, - will participate in this exercise hosted by the Czech Air Force. DARK BLADE 2019 will allow crews to practice operations in various environment replicating the challenging conditions that participant forces are expected to encounter when deploying to a theatre of operation.

The exercise’s main focus will be on enhancing interoperability at the tactical level between helicopter units by using the Composite Air Operations (COMAO) concept in a combined, joint, realistic and challenging environment.

Its main objectives are to:

  • enhance tactical interoperability between helicopter units from the participating countries by using the COMAO concept in a combined, joint, realistic and challenging environment and to operate using standard helicopter Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs). The focus will be on Composite Air Operations (COMAO) with live firing and trooping;
  • train and practise TTPs with/against fighter jets and electronic warfare means on the ground;
  • improve interoperability in training and operational tasks with Ground Forces involvement (NVG operations, low level flying, formation flights, FARP training, gunnery, etc.) in a full spectrum environment.
     
Programme

Participating crews will fly diverse day and night COMAO missions and execute Air Assault (AA), Air Interdiction (AI), Air Transport (AT), Close Air Support (CAS), Personnel Recovery (PR) missions, night flights (with/without NVG) and other missions at tactical level.

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

In addition, DARK BLADE 2019 will provide multiple opportunities to practice multinational training with the Special Operation Forces (e.g. infiltration and exfiltration) and will enhance crews’ skills in using the HEP Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and COMAO planning procedures in the conduct of tactical missions.

Six instructors from Austria, Sweden and the United Kingdom trained in EDA’s Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course (HTIC) accompanied with some Instructors from the Netherlands trained on the Dutch Helicopter Weapon Instructor (HWI) course will jointly form the DARK BLADE 2019 Mentor Team, ready to support the multinational crews during the preparation and execution of the COMAO missions. The EDA’s Chief Instructor (CI) Team will manage and supervise the Mentor Team to ensure consistency and the best possible uptake of lessons learned coming from EDA helicopter activities (HTC, HTIC, COMAO planning and the EW Course) and operational experience.
 

Distinguished Visitors Day

A Distinguished Visitors Day (DVD) is planned for 28 May 2019 when representatives from all EDA Member States and representatives of Switzerland, Norway and the Republic of Serbia will have the opportunity to attend and observe various live training sessions.
 

Background

The annual Blade exercise is part of EDA’s wider Helicopter Portfolio aimed at providing Member States with a joint European framework to develop, consolidate and share best practices in order to meet the challenges of flying helicopters in a modern operational environment. Other components of this Portfolio are the annual HEP Symposium, the Helicopter Tactics Courses (HTC), the Helicopter Tactics Instructor Courses (HTIC), and the COMAO Planning and Electronic Warfare (EW) Courses.
 

More information:

 

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

3rd EDA Defence Innovation Prize launched

Fri, 10/05/2019 - 15:26

EDA has issued a call for applications from parties interested in participating in the third edition of the ‘EDA Defence Innovation Prize’ contest rewarding companies and research entities who come up with innovative and ground-breaking technologies, products, processes or services applicable in the defence domain.

The area that has been selected for this year innovation prize is “AI applications for defence” and will include:

  • Supporting decision-making tools in command and control
  • Improve intelligence gathering and processing of information to improve the common operational picture
  • Supporting the autonomy of unmanned systems
  • Demonstrating the efficient use of AI in combination with 5G and Internet of Things
 
The winning idea/concept will be worth 30,000€

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is recognised as a disruptive technology with potentially revolutionary effects already in the short term. 

Even though civil applications and commercial producers are the main drivers behind the Artificial Intelligence evolution, Ministries of Defence and armed forces do not ignore the potential benefits of using these technologies to improve European defence capabilities.

Against this backdrop, contesters for this EDA Defence Innovation Prize are expected to propose ideas or concepts which, if implemented between now and 2035, would help improve and enhance specific EU defence capabilities.

No specific defence background is required to participate in the contest which is open to innovators from ALL types of industries and research institutions in Europe: defence & civil/commercial producers, large companies & SMEs, defence-related & civil research communities. Applications from dual-use and civil/commercial innovators and researchers are even particularly encouraged.

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

Deadline for submissions: 30 August 2019 (5pm Brussels time).

Information on how to apply can be found in the contest documentation under the link above.

The prize winners will be notified not later than October 2019. An EDA Defence Innovation Prize award ceremony is scheduled to take place at the 2019 EDA Annual Conference in Brussels.

 

Status of the 2nd edition of the EDA innovation

The selection committee of the 2nd EDA Innovation prize, after a thorough evaluation of the submitted project ideas, decided not to award the prize to any of the participating project ideas. The reasoning behind this decision of the selection committee wasn’t because of the quality or merit of the submitted ideas but due to the fact that none of them could demonstrate a clear contribution of the project idea to a defence problem.
 

More information:  
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Personnel Recovery Controller & Planner Course project successfully completed after 6 years

Fri, 10/05/2019 - 14:26

The 19th edition of the Joint Personnel Recovery Staff Course, which ended today in Veszprem (Hungary), was also the last one of its kind: after six years, EDA’s Personnel Recovery Controller and Planner Course (PRCPC) project came to a successful conclusion. The last JPRSC was organized by the Hungarian Defence Forces’ Air Command and Control Centre with the support of the European Personnel Recovery Centre (EPRC), a close partner of EDA. 

Launched in May 2013 as an EDA ‘Cat B’ project initially supported by Sweden (lead), Austria, Germany and The Netherlands, the PRCPC grew over time to count today eight participating Member States (Belgium, Cyprus, Hungary and Italy joined later). During the six years, the project allowed participating Member States to train more than 500 staff who are now able to perform specific Personnel Recovery Planning tasks during military operations.
 

Follow-up project underway

Based on the project’s success, a follow-up collaborative initiative is already under preparation within the Agency, as a ‘Cat B’ project called ‘Joint Personnel Recovery Education and Training Courses’. Its objective will be to organise multinational Joint Personnel Recovery (JPR) training events under EDA’s umbrella.  Moreover, new courses will be developed and organised such as specific ‘JPR Leadership Courses’ and ‘JPR operational Planner Courses’.
 

Background

In 2011, EDA’s Project Team Personnel Recovery identified the lack of well-trained PR staff in military operations as an important operational shortfall, as well as a training gap. Accordingly, it initiated a series of four pilot courses for PR controller and planners to assess the need for conducting multinational PR courses at EU level. The four pilots were hosted by Sweden (March 2011), the Netherlands (November 2011) and Germany (March & November 2012).  Based on their success, four PT PR participating Member States (AT, DE, NL, SE) decided to join their forces under EDA’s umbrella for organizing multinational PRCPC events. The Cat B project PRCPC was established, initially for just two years but later extended twice for two years respectively, until 30 May 2019. In the meantime, four additional Member States (BE, CY, HU, IT) had joined.

In November 2018, the PRCPC contributing Member States decided to make the course documentation available to all EDA Member States, at no cost, in order to support them overcome the existent shortfall on well-trained PR staff. For this purpose, a dedicated workspace will be created under EDA’s Collaboration Platform.
 

More information

For more details regarding PRCPC/JPRSC documentation and related PR training tools (SERE e-learning and PR FAS ATD) please contact EDA at CAP@eda.europa.eu.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

We're recruiting!

Wed, 08/05/2019 - 18:00

The European Defence Agency (EDA) currently has several job openings in different Directorates: 8 Seconded National Experts (SNE), 3 Temporary Agents, 2 Contract Agents and 10 Trainees (1 year duration). The profiles we’re looking for include head of unit, project officer, assistant and trainee positions across all EDA Directorates. Candidates must apply via the EDA website

Among the vacancies, you will find the position of Deputy Director/Head of Unit (Air Domain), Head of Unit Operations Support, Education, Training and Exercise, Project Officer SES Policy, Project Officer Land Programmes, Project Officer REACH, Project Officer Counter-IED, Project Officer Cyber Defence Technology, Project Officer Engage, Project Officer CDP & CODABA, Project Officer Air Systems Technologies and many more. Starting dates vary between September 2019 - September 2020

Through the EDA Traineeship Programme we offer 10 trainee posts of 1 year duration in different domains, starting September 2019. Deadline for applications: 31 May 2019.

Do not miss this chance and consult the EDA job portal for an overview of all open posts!

The Agency is an “outward-facing” organisation, constantly interacting with its shareholders, the participating Member States, as well as with a wide range of stakeholders. It works in an integrated way, with multi-disciplinary teams representing all of the Agency’s functional areas, to realise its objectives. Its business processes are flexible and oriented towards achieving results. Staff at all levels need to demonstrate the corresponding qualities of commitment, flexibility, innovation, and team-working; to work effectively with shareholders and stakeholder groups, formal and informal; and to operate without the need for detailed direction.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

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