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a4ESSOR S.A.S (Alliance for ESSOR), a joint venture of several European partners for the development of digital waveforms, has signed a new procurement contract with OCCAR. In the scope of this contract, called ESSOR New Capabilities (ENC), the development of three new waveforms – ESSOR NBWF, ESSOR 3DWF and ESSOR SATCOM WF – will be undertaken, a4ESSOR writes in a statement. ESSOR stands for European Secure Software-defined Radio.

The objective is to improve the interoperability of European Armed Forces. In addition, the alliance’s project also aims to improve the ESSOR framework to manage waveforms throughout their life cycle and ensure their interoperability when ported to national radios.

The initiative now agreed between OCCAR and a4ESSOR is funded by the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) under Grant Agreement No. 044.

According to Lino Laganà, President and Director General of a4ESSOR, the new ENC contract is one of the most important prerequisites for common European defence. He said it is a privilege and a great responsibility to lead these new projects, which are funded by the European Commission and the six ESSOR countries (Italy, France, Spain, Poland, Germany and Finland), following the successful work on the first ESSOR broadband waveform and the ESSOR Framework Programme.

Next a4ESSOR Steps

The new project is part of the ESSOR programme, which aims to improve the interoperability and security of tactical land (ESSOR WBWF and ESSOR NBWF), air-to-ground (ESSOR 3DWF) and satellite (ESSOR SATCOM WF) communication. By adhering to the ESSOR and Software Communication Architecture (SCA)-based software-defined radio platforms and applying a rigorous qualification methodology for interoperability between all radios using these waveforms, the programme is expected to guarantee interoperability for forces in the field.

The procurement contract follows the EDIDP ESSOR grant agreement signed by OCCAR on behalf of the European Commission and the partners last July.

The new ENC contract will include the participation of new companies from non-ESSOR countries, namely Telespazio Belgium, a subsidiary of Telespazio (joint venture of Leonardo, 67 per cent, and Thales, 33 per cent) and Edisoft from Portugal.

The EDIDP, the Preparatory Phase of the European Defence Fund, is a European Union industrial programme funded by the European Commission to promote the competitiveness and innovative capacity of the European defence industry.