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Airbus has launched two defence research and development projects that it is coordinating as part of the 2021 European Defence Fund (EDF). In July 2022, the European Commission selected, among others, eight collaborative projects that Airbus is part of, covering different innovative technology areas. The EDF promotes cooperation among European companies and research institutes of different sizes and geographical origin in the EU, strengthening the resiliency and strategic autonomy of Europe.
Among the 61 collaborative defence R&T and R&D projects that were selected and funded with €1.2 billion, Airbus Defence and Space is coordinating the European Defence Operational Collaborative Cloud (EDOCC) project, while Airbus Helicopters is coordinating the EU Next Generation Rotorcraft Technologies Project (ENGRT). The contracts for these projects were signed in December 2022.
EDOCC will create a virtual platform to increase the interoperability, efficiency and resiliency of military operations, which will strengthen collaborative services on the battlefield. The project will study, design and conceptually validate the virtual platform and develop the first version of a services catalogue while identifying appropriate standards and technologies for high performance and interoperability.
ENGRT will focus on analyzing and understanding the needs of European armed forces for rotorcraft operations beyond 2030. The project's partners will study military rotorcraft concept of operations and define key technologies needed for future military rotorcraft. Alternative rotorcraft concepts and architectures will be explored. This project will pave the way for the next generation of military rotorcraft in Europe.
Airbus is also a partner in six further multinational EDF projects and will contribute with its expertise on the following areas of research and development: Collaborative Air Combat Standardisation; Enhanced Cockpit; European Protected Waveform for SatCom; Cyber Threat Intelligence; Advanced Radar Technologies; and Advanced Radio Frequency components.
The European Defence Fund’s target is to allocate €8 billion until 2027.