The Commission issued on 11 April a description of research topics for 2017 under its Preparatory Action on Defence Research. The three-year programme is testing the use of EU money to finance military technologies that support the Union’s common security defence policy objectives, and will likely lead to defence R&D after 2020. Many of these will have dual use applications.
The budget of EUR 25 million for the first year will finance three actions. The first entails the initial phase of a complex technology demonstrator involving naval situational awareness via unmanned air, surface and underwater platforms systems for wide area surveillance and maritime interdiction. Among other requirements, the demonstrator will have to address anti-jamming and electronic counter-measures, drone launch and recovery from manned platforms in severe weather conditions, real- or near real-time communications, and the ability of the drones to swarm and deliver cargo. Most of the EUR 25 million will be spent here.
The second action is to develop force protection technologies regarding soldier systems, adaptive camouflage and tailor-made protection for personnel against blast, ballistic and CBRN threats. Finally, the third action will develop a methodology for gathering recurrent data to develop realistic scenarios of potential future conflicts. This will help scope EU-funded defence research.
The calls for proposals will be published in May.