The European Commission has announced 16 beneficiaries of €205 million of financing from two programmes, the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) and the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP), precursors to the European Defence Fund.
The European Defence Fund is “the Commission's key initiative to support, with the EU budget, collaborative research and development of defence capabilities” from 2021 onwards. The PADR was launched in 2017 with a €90 million budget, and aims to prepare the research component of the EDF. The EDIDP aims to support “competitiveness and innovation capacity” of the EU’s defence industry, with a €500 million budget in 2019-2020.
The projects announced in June will support the development of a wide range of different weapon arms technologies, including:
- drones and related technologies (low-observable and tactical drones, detect and avoid system for military drones, edge computing platforms for drones)
- space technologies (Galileo military-grade encrypted receivers, military grade optical payload for small satellites, big data system for satellite surveillance)
- unmanned ground vehicles, high precision missile systems (BLOS – anti-tank missiles)
- future naval platforms
- airborne electronic attack capability, tactical and highly secured networks, cyber situational awareness platforms, or next generation of active stealth technologies.