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EDF-2022-RA-C4ISR-AIRC2: Single European Sky interoperability 

In order to cope with sustained air traffic growth and operations over Europe, the Single European Sky (SES) initiative has been running since 2004. It intends to improve the performance of Air Traffic Management (ATM) in terms of safety, capacity, cost-efficiency and the environment. It hence paves the way for a European airspace that is used optimally, embraces emerging disruptive technologies, facilitates the integration of “new entrants” such as all types of drones, High Altitude Platform Systems (HAPS) to super- and hyper-sonic aircraft, trans-atmospheric and suborbital vehicles, and complies with emerging challenges. This modernisation of the civil aviation sector does not directly apply to military operations and training. However, civil and military aviation activities are closely interlinked, as they share the same airspace considered as a continuum. Therefore, SES implies a necessary coordinated modernisation of the different Air Command and Control (C2) systems, which are furthermore to collaborate at national and EU levels. Indeed, in this context, concomitant with a more hostile security environment, the timely sharing of correct and consistent information covering all phases of flight, between civil and military parties is a must.  

The evolving SES regulations based on the harmonisation of the coordination and interoperability operational concepts or technical standards introduces in front of the military ATM stakeholder several new challenges which might be converted in opportunities for a more complete, optimized and performant Air C2 missions. 

The introduction of the 4D Trajectory based management of the Air traffic and the new technical standards on the harmonisation of automatic ATM data exchanges need to be implemented in the Air C2 centres and systems. 

The latest version of the European ATM Master Plan demonstrates the necessity to transform the ATM architecture due to several observed concerns that will have to be improved and optimised. These concerns are mainly the following ones: 

  • a steady increase of conventional traffic since 2014, even if the current sanitary crisis has drastically reduced the traffic, it is most probably a temporary situation; 
  • the growing environmental concerns raised by the aviation sector to demonstrate its capacity to contribute to the EU’s environmental objectives; 
  • the appearance of new entrants into the airspace with the expected large number and heterogeneous nature of drones together with the emerging interest for operating vehicles at very high altitudes; 

Against this background, Member States and Norway must be prepared from a military perspective to: 

  • Safeguard the military ambition to be trained for and to execute missions as required and more specifically to continue performing Air Surveillance and Control in the changing context of civil aviation sector (digitalization, automation, dynamic airspace management, new data format, resilience and cybersecurity issues), facing the density and diversity increase of air traffic, 
  • Ensure the interoperability and data exchange between civil and military control centres, including data sharing between classified and non-classified environment, permitting an efficient, secured and safe ATC6 (e.g., for military airports providing Air Traffic Services for civilian flights) and to support the planning, tasking and execution of air operations 24/7. 

Military airspace users’ main challenges are to continue to provide, and further improve, defence and security missions, with needs of high degree of flexibility and reactiveness, into an airspace shared with civil airspace users, without prejudice to the safety of civil air traffic, and considering, to the maximum extent possible, the performance and environmental objectives of the civil aviation sector. 

In order to do so, the scope of the activity consists in increasing interoperability of military Air C2 systems against SES rules via an interoperability demonstration. The activity must focus on identifying technical solutions for information and data exchanges between cross border military C2 systems and cooperating civil – military ATC systems based on new challenges generated by the evolution of the SES harmonisation deployment regulation and new possibilities offered by information technologies. 

In particular, the implementation and assessment of new rules of Interoperability (IOP) for surveillance and control of the European air traffic from a military perspective are the main objectives of this call. Several technical standards must be implemented, and solutions developed to ensure the harmonized, efficient and secure data exchanges between relevant civil and military stakeholders: 

  • Technical interoperability for real time flight and airspace management data exchanges (with relation to ability to exchange, exploit and fill Flight Objects, etc.); 
  • Security aspects to ensure cross-domain exchanges (with regards to secure gateway or procedures to limit dissemination of sensitive military information, facilitating sharing of military information to enhance civil situational awareness, etc.); 
  • Assessment of resulting ATM safety levels as any ATC civil-military interoperability system. 

 6 Air traffic control 

The proposals must substantiate synergies and complementarity with SES, including SESAR, activities.

Functional requirements

The technical solutions for information and data exchanges between cross border military C2 systems and cooperating civil – military ATC systems should meet the following functional requirements:

  • Situational Awareness establishment and exploitation
    • Improve surveillance and flight identification data capacity
    • Improve situational awareness and operational flexibility
    • Identify better conditions to accommodate the mission-specific requirements derived from the introduction of new generations of military manned and unmanned aircraft and systems.
  • Coordination and IOP assessment
    • Improve flight information automatic exchange for coordination purposes
    • Facilitate hand-over of aircraft control
    • Identify and develop a military solution of common interest for European forces and compliant with SES regulation for the ATM civil-military, and military-military exchanges
    • Integrate data compliant with SES technical standards used for IOP exchange between civil-military ATC systems or military Air C2 systems of cross-border countries
    • Implement Operational Air Traffic (OAT)/General Air Traffic (GAT)
  • Cross-domain connectivity establishment and services provision
    • Assess the impact of the new pan-European network service (NewPENS) and the system-wide information management (SWIM) service-oriented architecture, including SWIM Nodes (for military operation system) access procedure, based on available standard interfaces to the military infrastructure and services delivery architecture (SWIM Blue for the interoperability)
    • Identify the level of performance/quality of service requirements as the basis to select the applicable SWIM-TI (technical infrastructure) profile
    • Develop interfacing and IP (internet protocol) networking approaches supporting SWIM-TI accessibility
    • Comply with NewPENS and SWIM services, including related standardization rules
    • Identify proprietary/local interoperability options outside the context of SWIM to ensure service continuity and redundancy and diversity of connections for military systems
    • Design and develop an evolving, scalable cross-domain solution supporting the information exchanges between ATM civil-military and military-military centres
    • Validate end-to-end information exchanges via the SWIM TI, between ATM military centres from European forces and between ATM civil and military centres in accordance with the regulation of the SES and national security rules.

Expected impact

This collective work should provide individual and mutual benefits, for European Member States, Norway and the industry, in different fields as follows:

  • European Technology
    • Reinforcement and security improvement of data exchange between cross domain (classified and unclassified environments)
    • Improvement of air surveillance performances and flight’s safety
    • Improvement of Dynamic Airspace Management
    • Capitalisation of on field proven Research & Development (R&D) process and ensure limited in time project
    • Production of consolidated R&D data for further industrialization phase
  • European Autonomy
    • Contribution to the enhancement of sensible data sharing between ATM stakeholders
    • Maintenance and enhancement of autonomous control of the European defence capabilities
    • Protection of the environment of the European citizen European Security
  • European Security
    • Participation to the improvement of the airspace surveillance and control, and air policing mission
    • Facilitation of military forces projection and intervention
    • Enhancement of cooperation between Member States and Norway for defence matters.

EDF-2022-DA-C4ISR-EC2: European command and control system 

An effective and robust EU military C2 capability for missions and operations is an essential element of the overall EU effort regarding the CSDP. The lack of an adequate Joint C2 system in the EU military C2 structure is a critical shortfall identified in the EU High Impact Capability Goals 2020 and capability development processes in the area of cross-domain capabilities contributing to achieve EU’s Level of Ambition (LoA), particularly, capabilities to operate autonomously within EU’s LoA. This is especially pressing for the development of the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC), which is currently not able to achieve the Full Operational Capable status with the current C2 and CIS arrangements. Interoperability with existing or in-development national C2 systems is of key importance in order to ensure the seamless coordination of joint and combined (EU) military operations. 

This call for proposals intends to pave the way for complementing or replacing existing European External Action Service (EEAS) C2 and Communication and Information Systems (CIS), to enhance and further develop the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC), covering all military operations, both executive and non-executive, within the EU’s Level of Ambition as formulated in the EU Global Strategy, subsequent Council Conclusions and the Strategic Compass. The ultimate aim is to allow planning and conduct of CSDP missions and operations at strategical and operational level. 

Considering the MPCC development timescale and other relevant documents, such as the Strategic Compass, the action must be finalised, in accordance with the requirements contained in this call, by the end of 2025. 

Proposals must demonstrate the capability to develop such a C2 capability and business and common services using a software technology model. Interfaces with existing and in- development EU, NATO and national C2 systems must be substantiated to ensure future interoperability. 

The software technology model, which may integrate existing modules, must provide the services and functionalities required to demonstrate that the MPCC, as the main foreseen end- user, would be able to simultaneously plan and conduct executive and non-executive missions and operations, anywhere in the world, autonomously or in cooperation with other EEAS services, EU Member States, Norway or international organizations (e.g., mainly NATO). 

The demonstration of the software technology model should be based on a scenario with the mandatory participation of the MPCC as the main foreseen end-user and include the end-to- end connections and business exchanges with national C2 systems required for seamless command and control at EU-level in close coordination and collaboration with national authorities. 

This demonstrated software technology model should pave the way for any further required developments and allow EU to launch the procurement of a new C2 capability eventually, including regarding the C2 software suite components that should be ready, and include the necessary provisions, to allow the end-user a fast and agile transition from software delivery to operational use. 

Potential synergies and complementarity with ongoing projects at national, multinational, or EU level in particular, must be given due consideration. In any case, proposals must not duplicate the main objective and work requested in the call EDIDP-ESC2S-2019 – European Command and Control (C2) system for strategic and operational level21. 

Among mandatory design activities, initial tests and delivery of the software technology model to be developed should be attained within two years after the signature of the grant agreement.

Functional requirements
The capability to be developed should meet the following functional requirements:

REQ 1 – High degree of reliability and availability.

REQ 2 – High level of maturity that paves the way for the end user’s swift transition from software delivery to operational use.

Software operational functionalities:
REQ 3 – Plans:

  • Web Based Planning for planning operations/missions. Highly flexible and based on open workflows of information and templates.
  • Operations Planning. Support. Specification of actors, timings, objectives to achieve the campaign goals; designing and comparing Courses Of Actions (COA), producing the Synchronization matrix; ROE management.
  • Integration of common services (GIS, Messaging, data distribution, etc.), applied to planning.

REQ 4 – Cyber activities and Cyber operations:

  • Recognized Cyber Picture (RCyP): Integrate and disseminate available cyber information into the operational to achieve Real-time full Cyber Situational Awareness.
  • Rapid defensive response: Rapid containment and response to cyber-attacks.
  • Cyber risks management: Cyber risks management during the planning and execution phases of an operation considering and evaluating known threats, risks and information from intelligence sources and the Cyber Space Situation.

REQ 5 – Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR):

  • Advanced Intelligence Exploitation to collect, process and analyse a wide range of data types (video, imagery, reports, office documents) from open sources and generating  different  types  of  analysis  view  (relational  diagrams,  temporal statistical…).
  • It includes advanced search and analysis capabilities on structured and non-structured data.
  • Monitoring and assessing international events to detect potential risks.
  • Early Warning and SA to have a clear view of the monitored areas.
  • Intelligence plans management. Collection plans and allocation of Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) means.
  • ORBAT22 management.
  • Comparison and extrapolation of own and adversary forces capabilities (based on equipment) with history enhanced.

REQ 6 – Missions and Operations:

  • Missions/operations Assessment. Provide measurement of progress, effectiveness and results of the military missions/operations.
  • Planning: measurable tasks, objectives, end state conditions, and associated effects and criterion to assist with assessing progress.
  • Preparation & Execution: structured monitoring of the current situation and enables evaluation of the operation’s progress.
  • Joint Task Force HQ Management. Support for the JTF HQ decision cycle and event management of Battle rhythm.
  • Info Ops. Support for the analysis, planning, management, deployment, monitoring and assessment of coordinated military activities within the information domain.
  • Battlespace management. To enable the dynamic coordination and synchronization of activities in the whole battlespace (Land, maritime, Air, Space, Cyber) according to the commander’s priorities.
  • Situational Awareness. To gain knowledge, cognition and anticipation of events, factors and variables affecting the safe, expedient and effective conduct of missions/operations.
  • Meteorological and Oceanographic (METOC) management. Provides information related to weather and oceanographic observation and forecasting.

REQ 7 – COP integration and management.

  • Integration and management of the different COPs available: Recognized Air Picture (RAP), Recognized Maritime Picture (RMP), Recognized Civil Picture (RCP), Recognized Intelligence Picture (RIP), Recognized CIS Picture (RCISP), Recognized Logistics Picture (RLP), Recognized Electromagnetically Picture (REMP), Recognized Environmental Picture (REP), Recognized CRBN Picture (RCBRNP), Recognized Engineer Picture (RENGGP), Recognized Cyber Picture (RCyP), Recognized Medical Picture (RMedP), Recognized Targeting Picture, Space Domain Common Operating Picture (SCOP) and Other Partners Information.

REQ 8 – Logistics:

  • Logistic information provision. Provide relevant and accurate logistic information related to EU and national forces and civilian actors timely.
  • Infrastructure data management: Define and manage infrastructure objects like road and railway networks, airfields, ports, bridges or Reception, staging and Onward Movement (RSOM) hubs Ports of Debarkation (PODs).
  • Force deployment planning. Calculate and plan convoy movements, and it will manage the resulting movement plans and resolve conflicts between activities during force deployment. It will find optimized paths in multi-modal transportation networks.
  • Customs management. Generate required EU customs forms 302 and it will make use of EU existing or future projects that aim to digitize the EU customs form 302.

REQ 9 – Training:

  • Initial capability for user training, simulation and exercises
  • Management of Geographic Information System

REQ 10 – Core GIS:

  • Cartography display and management, including access to ArcGIS server maps, wit the ability to operate and convert all types of grids.
  • ·Analysis and management of geospatial data.
  • Symbology display and management compatible with relevant standards (APP-6A, APP-6B, APP-6C, APP-6D, MIL-STD-2525B and MIL-STD-2525C)
  • Generation, management and display of automatic alarms and warnings based on geographic areas and track/contact lists.
  • Use of Artificial Intelligence on both structured and unstructured data to collect, analyse and represent data.
  • Geo Web Services: providing access to geographical data through common data exchange standards like Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC): Geography Markup Language (GML), Keyhole Markup Language (KML), Filter, Simple Features, Symbology Encoding, Web Feature Service (WFS), Web Map Service (WMS), Web Map Tile Service (WMTS) and Web Coverage Service (WCS).

REQ 11 – Interoperability:

  • Process integration services allowing to integrate seamlessly with one another
  • Data and information Exchange with import and export of data provided by current EU-systems to ensure the timely availability and integrity of information.
  • Endless real-time data capacity (big data)
  • Secure Office Local Area Network (SOLAN) that hosts EUCCIS and its successor (EC3IS).
  • EUMS Lessons Management Application (ELMA)/ Collaboration Application for Management of EU-led Operations (CAMEO).
  • Military Archiving and Retrieval System (MARS).
  • Interoperability with different EU systems: EUMS Lessons Management Application (ELMA)/ Collaboration Application for Management of EU-led Operations (CAMEO), EU Operations Wide Area Network (EOW), RESCOM, MRC2.
  • Interoperability with EU Member States and Norway systems based on common standards.
  • Federated mission network (FMN) compliant.

REQ 12 – Common services.

  • System administration and user management in line with relevant operational and security policies and doctrine.
  • Provide e-mail exchange and common file network among EC2 users and with external entities.

Expected impact
The expected impacts from the action should be:

  • Development of Joint C2 critical enablers for CSDP operations and missions.
  • Reduction of the minimum reaction time for deployment of European military missions.
  • Integration of all CIS and ISR data provided by Member States, Norway, EU forces, NATO and civil agencies.
  • Situational awareness improvement, resilience and security of EU operations.
  • Creation of a reference Strategic C2 System that will improve the capabilities of the European defence industry to develop and supply state-of-the-art C2 systems.
  • Reinforcement of the interoperability of Member States and Norway’ armed forces.
  • Cost reduction of European military missions.
  • Enhancement of unity of command, from the strategic to the tactical level.
  • Interoperability achievement and matching of heterogeneous networks.
  • Command connectivity improvement among all users.
  • Visualization capabilities in near real time to multiple platforms and a broad range of capabilities and C&C-scenarios.
  • Technological advancement concerning net centricity applied to military C4ISR systems.

22 Order of battle report


EDF-2022-DA-C4ISR-SOFC2: Deployable special operations forces multi- environment command post and C2 System

In the context of CSDP operations, Small Joint Operations (SJO) conducted by Special Operation Forces (SOF) can provide a wide array of flexible military options for a rapid and effective response to the whole spectrum and all the stages of the fast-evolving crisis management landscape. The use of SOF can evidently decrease the risk of escalation that is generally associated with the employment of larger and more visible combat forces. Furthermore, SOF can be used in order to prepare and incorporate the full capacity and rapid deployment of such larger EU military forces and reinforce their operational capacities when they are already deployed in an operational theatre, in order to stabilise a deteriorating situation.

SOF can also contribute to the effort to maintain the maritime security across Mediterranean Sea, to conduct maritime security and interdiction operations in the context of combating maritime terrorist, to mitigate refugee flows and intercept illegal trafficking of people and goods.

A key contribution from SOF to SJO is their highly flexible mobility that can provide the ability to rapidly adapt and respond to a broad range of operational scenarios in every operational domain (land, sea, air and cyber) with minimum or no demand for host nation support.

Against this background, the SOFCPC2 should provide adequate flexibility, interoperability, deployability, scalability, discretion and redundancy, notably concerning communications systems and networks, in order to adapt easily in rapidly changing levels of conflict.

The duration of the proposed action shall not exceed three years and shall provide an initial operational capability of the prototype system.

Proposals must focus on the development of a capability considering SOF specific requirements, which includes not only generic C2 capabilities but also those tailored for SOF. Those SOF specific

Proposals must in particular address the development of:

  • A SOFCPC2 hosting infrastructure, transportable by air, road and sea, and rapidly deployable, including accommodation facilities, HVAC23, water supply and sewage to support all operations. The facilities should be modular and adaptable to all climate zones and in line with operating Member States and Norway’ needs, with the ability to be deployed on board of sea-based assets or naval vessels.
  • An autonomous, energy supply system with low thermal and acoustic emission that can be integrated to air, road and sea transportable SOFCPC2 hosting infrastructure.
  • An ad-hoc, adaptive, interoperable, resilient, and cyber-secure, end-to-end SOFCPC2 communication system, able to be integrated in the broader C2 infrastructure, enabling the exchange of information across the entire command hierarchy, with platforms and down to the field-deployed operators.
  • An integrated C2 platform, intelligence and sensing software
  • A system capable to receive and fuse information from heterogeneous sensors, manned and unmanned platforms.
  • A SOFCPC2 end-user terminal (field-deployed special operator), including applications to achieve the integration of C2, intelligence, sensors, weapon systems and communications platforms to a seamless architecture.
  • A SOFCPC2 perimeter security system and its integration with the C2 and communications platforms.

23 Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning

Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) of the SOFCPC2 prototype must be attained within three years after the signature of the grant agreement.

The prototype of SOFCPC2 should be tested and evaluated for initial operational capability with facilities and equipment for multiple of ten of military personnel (at least 50), according to test scenarios and requirements that will be defined and provided by the operating Member States and associated countries before starting the design activities.

Functional requirements

The capability to be developed should meet the following functional requirements:

  • REQ1 The SOFCPC2 should provide a transportable by air, road and sea (sea-based assets, naval platforms and/or merchant vessels), able to be deployed in all climate zones and in line with operating Member States and associated countries’ needs, with modular and rapidly deployable facilities, including HVAC, water supply, sewage, and energy supply systems to support its operations.
  • REQ2 The SOFCPC2 should implement a net–centric mobile ad hoc network with the ability to combine with heterogeneous networks of different architecture. It should integrate interoperable and cyber-secured communications at multiple levels enabling the exchange of information across the entire command hierarchy, between field- deployed SOF task groups and the SOFCPC2, within the SOFCPC2, from the SOFCPC2 towards higher hierarchical levels and from SOFCPC2 to close air supporting aircraft or other supporting units. For interoperability and compatibility purposes, the SOFCPC2 communication systems should take into account, as far as possible, all standards applicable to SOF operations, including those of NATO.
  • REQ3 The SOFCPC2 should feature all necessary software platforms related to the exercise of Command and Control (C2) of multiple SOF task groups operating concurrently in the field, including the generation of all necessary situation awareness to achieve that goal across multiple domains.
  • REQ4 The SOFCPC2 should embody novel terminal devices with suitable SWaP characteristics for field deployed SOF task groups which must provide C2 functionality at the tactical edge in coordination with the SOFCPC2 C2 platform.
  • REQ5 The SOFCPC2 should feature a software platform providing Digitally Aided Close Air Support (DACAS) capability and able to share tactical on-site and other sources intelligence information for target detection, recognition and assignment, while making maximum use of interoperability standards.
  • REQ6 The SOFCPC2 should feature the relevant means to be integrated with several different aircraft and/or surface vessel platforms, manned and/or unmanned, employed either for the transportation of SOF Task Groups or for the collection of intelligence.
  • REQ7 The SOFCPC2 should feature a military grade, autonomous, horizontally scalable, and low thermal/acoustic signature power supply system capable of furnishing the energy needs of the entire SOFCPC2, employing a resilient and proactively managed mix of thermal and renewable sources and storage.
  • REQ8 The SOFCPC2 should feature a perimeter security system integrated with the core C2 and communications platforms, primarily passive and capable of detecting close range threats. The security system should be compliant with the overall SOFCPC2 electromagnetic spectrum.
  • REQ9 The SOFCPC2 should be modular and scalable in terms of facilities and equipment. Initially designed for deployments from 5 up to 150 military personnel, it should be expandable and upgradable to future operational capabilities while allowing integration of other additional modules and tools.

Expected impact

By providing a reference SOF C2 System, hence improving the capabilities of the European defence technological and industrial base to develop and supply state-of-the-art C2 systems, the action should contribute to:

  • promote the upgraded role of SOF as envisioned by EU;
  • enable efficient SOF deployments where no permanent C2 infrastructure exists, with a state-of-the-art deployable European SOFCPC2;
  • shorten the response times of the EU and its Member States as well as associated countries during both peace and war time, for a variety of missions, both civilian and military;
  • reduce the cost of EU SOF SJO missions;
  • facilitate the collaboration and interoperability among Member States, notably through integrated CIS and ISR means provided by Member States and Norway, EU forces, and civil agencies;
  • enhance the security of supply and reduce