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Europeans To Call for Force-Protection Research
After months of preparation, a majority of European Defense Agency (EDA) nations will launch an initial call for proposals May 15 as part of their joint research program to develop force-protection technologies. It is the first such collaborative research program sponsored by the EDA.
Launched in January, the three-year joint research program has a budget of 55 million euros ($74.4 million) and is funded by 19 of the EDA’s 26 countries — Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden — plus non-member Norway. The nations will formally sign off on the call for proposals May 14 during a meeting of the EDA’s steering board of national defense ministers.
Their joint research program covers 18 technology goals, grouped into five capability areas:
• Collective protection (i.e., units, platforms and infrastructure).
• Protection for the individual soldier.
• Data analysis, including data fusion from various sources.
• Secure tactical wireless communication systems in urban environments.
• Mission planning and training for asymmetric warfare environments.
According to EDA sources, the May 15 call for proposals will focus on sniper-protection technologies and protection against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks.
These and other defensive capabilities are part of the European Union’s wider capability goals for 2010-2020 to enable the union to carry out foreign peacekeeping and crisis-management missions.
“There will be other calls for proposals further down the road,” an EDA official said, adding that the three-year program could be extended “if we haven’t spent all the 55 million by the end of the program.”

Defense News
Posted 05/11/07 15:07


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