Airbus Launches Two R&D Projects As Part of the European Defence Fund

Airbus is coordinating two defense research and development projects—the European Defence Operational Collaborative Cloud project and the EU Next Generation Rotorcraft Technologies project. (Photo: Airbus)

Airbus recently launched two research and development (R&D) projects which are funded by the European Defense Fund (EDF). The two projects, the European Defence Operational Collaborative Cloud (EDOCC) and the EU Next Generation Rotorcraft Technologies Project (ENGRT), will research and develop strategies to strengthen the autonomy of the EU and to bolster partnerships between member states.

The EDF was established by the EU in 2021 to provide resources for conducting and implementing defense research. In the summer of 2022, the EDF chose 61 projects to fund, including eight projects which Airbus was a collaborator on. Over €1.2 billion has been allocated to the 61 projects. All funded projects will promote collaboration between European researchers and companies in order to strengthen European autonomy and coordination between different geographic areas.

The Defence and Space team at Airbus is leading EDOCC. This project will create a virtual platform to test the interoperability and resiliency of military operations. By cataloging current services and identifying opportunities to increase efficiency, the virtual platform is designed to bolster the cooperation between military units and improve the efficiency of military operations overall.

The second project, ENGRT, is coordinated by Airbus Helicopters. The project’s partners will study military rotorcraft operations and look for key concepts which can improve them. The partners will also look into new rotorcraft technologies, identify the key technologies currently being used, and explore alternative rotorcraft architecture.

Along with the two projects they are leading, Airbus will collaborate on six other projects this year. These include Advanced Radio Frequency Components, Advanced Radar Technologies. Collaborative Air Combat Standardisation, Cyber Threat Intelligence, Enhanced Cockpit, and European Protected Waveform for SatCom. All eight projects will pave the way to a stronger, more resilient, and more coordinated military future.

While they are allocating €1.2 billion to fund projects in 2023, the EU’s goal is to invest €8 billion into defense initiatives and research by 2027. With this funding, they hope to support more projects which strengthen European cooperation between members and bolster the EU’s position as a strategic world leader.

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