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Jack Richardson 

Bittium is part of the integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System (iMUGS) project that is operating under the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) whose goal is to develop a modular and scaleable architecture for hybrid manned-unmanned systems. This is to address a large range of missions and enable easy update or modification of assets and functionalities within the system across:

  • aerial and ground platforms
  • command, control and communication equipment
  • sensors, payloads and algorithms

The project will also develop a prototype for demonstrating the features of the implementation, with Bittium responsible for the execution of resilient and networked data transfer over commercial 4G and 5G cellular networks. The iMUGS project will begin in 2021 with a duration of approximately 30 months with Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia and Spain participating. The total value of the project is approximately €32m, of which Bittium’s share is approximately €3.5m, though it does not change Bittium’s financial outlook for the year 2020.

Increase co-operation

EDIDP is the second pre-phase prepared by the European Defence Fund which is used to test the practices related to the fund’s performance for the purposes of the actual programme. The budget of the Development Programme is €500m and it is being carried out according to its multi-annual work programme after the first calls for proposals were executed in 2019.

The goal of the EDIDP is to foster competitiveness and innovation capacity of the defence industry throughout the EU by supporting the activities during the development phase of defence materiel. Another goal of the programme is to foster better exploitation of the results of defence research. The beneficiaries of the programme are industrial companies based in the EU with the aim of increasing cross-border co-operation between the companies. Also, third-country owned companies that are located in the area of the EU can take part in the activities within the programme if it can be ensured that it does not threaten the security interests of the EU or its member states.