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OCCAR and ESSOR partners sign Grant Agreement on the development of the next generation of EU armed forces’ communication

Rome, 15 July 2021 – The OCCAR-EA Director and a senior representative from Leonardo, the company acting as industrial partners’ coordinator of the European multinational joint venture a4ESSOR (Alliance for ESSOR), signed the Grant Agreement to allow European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) funding from the European Union to partially finance the European Secure Software-defined Radio (ESSOR) programme. ESSOR is one of the two cooperative programmes identified by the European Commission (EC) for direct awards co-funded by the EDIDP. This is an important step in the deepening of the European defence cooperation.

OCCAR is supporting the EC in the management of the EDIDP, a capability test phase of the European Defence Fund (EDF), aiming at promoting defence cooperation among companies and between EU countries to foster innovation and develop state-of-the-art defence technology and products.

The EDF provides the European defence industry with financial support during the research and development phase of new products and key technologies in areas selected at European level. OCCAR’s expertise as the programme management authority and the funds provided from the European Commission will significantly enhance European defence capabilities and are a strong signal of the unity of Europe’s leading defence companies.

The Signature of this EDIDP Grant Agreement for the ESSOR Programme concludes a process started in 2017 with the launch of the EDF, created in the frame of the European Defence Action Plan (EDAP). This has happened today, two weeks after the European Commission decided unanimously to kick-start the EDF with its €1.2 billion envelope for the first year, as well as on the ESSOR direct award, granting € 37 million of the EDIDP funding to this programme.

The ESSOR Programme was launched in 2009 under the umbrella of the European Defence Agency and the same year was entrusted to OCCAR . The goal was to develop the Software-Defined Radio architecture and the new coalition ESSOR High Data Rate (HDR) WaveForm, in order to facilitate interoperability between European armed forces, through leading edge technologies. With the EDIDP support, the number of ESSOR projects increased with the development of new waveforms (ESSOR New Capabilities) and with the initiation of a comprehensive Custodianship system, able to ensure through-life management for the entire ESSOR eco-system. Moreover, leveraging on more than 20 years of European companies know-how, the ESSOR Programme will lead to the progress of an international EuroMIDS project, through the development of a new generation of European -MIDS (EMIDS) terminals for aircraft platforms.

The specific ESSOR-related European Defence Industrial Development Programme initiative will  evolve several ESSOR projects to improve the battlefield communication interoperability and security, while remaining compliant  with the Software Communication Architecture and Methodology. The industrial partners of the joint venture a4ESSOR will be joined by Hensoldt (Germany), Telespazio (Belgium) and Edisoft (Portugal).

a4ESSOR is a joint venture between Bittium (Finland), Indra (Spain), Leonardo (Italy), Radmor (Poland), Rohde & Schwarz (Germany) and Thales (France) responsible for managing industrial activities under the ESSOR programme and coordinating the partners’ work.

Disclaimer (Art 8.2 Contribution Agreement):
"Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the European Commission can be held responsible for them."

To learn more about the programme, please visit our website.