First EDF research project awarded to German Rheinmetall

  • Matěj Novák
  • 22.2.2018 15:44

The European Commission, according to information from 19 February, awarded its first 2018 defence-research project to a consortium led by German arms firm Rheinmetall, which will be fully funded by the European Defense Fund (EDF) under the so-called EU Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR).

The Rheinmetall project, also involving major European defence industry players such as Italy's Leonardo SpA, Poland’s iTTi, Spanish Indra Swedish Saab, will focus on the initial comprehensive pre-research of current and future technologies for standardised EU-wide soldier systems. Rheinmetall's new strategic focus will in future take into account the stronger need for personal safety and security in a civilian environment. The company is a market leader in threat-appropriate security technology and its defence products set the global standard for excellence in a wide array of disciplines: from vehicles, force protection and weapon systems to infantry equipment and air defence, and from network-enabled warfare capabilities to electro-optics and simulation technology. The output of this project should be a framework to develop specific research projects that could help improve interoperability, for example through the use of common communication or electronic equipment. The final phase of the EDF research window, the European Defence Research Programme (EDRP), based on PADR is scheduled to launch in 2021. It will focus on full-scale research projects with estimated annual funding of €500 million. However, the question remains how far the outputs of these projects will be applicable in reality and how they fit into the financial and technological capabilities of individual Member States, or how effectively will the whole initiative be able to reflect the individual state's defence capability development plans.


About author: Matěj Novák


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