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Protection and platforms and critical assets

ESM platform This Functional Area includes technologies related to the protection of platforms and critical assets, including threat detection systems (RF, optical, acoustical, etc.), threat countering systems (deception, interference, neutralisation, destruction) and passive protection systems (shielding, coating, stealth, etc.).

To avoid overlaps, the following items are excluded from this group: technologies related to passive protection and weapon systems; technologies concerning sensors, materials and object signatures since they are addressed in the Platforms and ISTAR Functional Areas; and technologies concerning simulation and modelling, as they are described in the ICTs Functional Area.

Accordingly, this Functional Area of Protection of Platforms and Critical Assets defines the following five Functional Sub-Areas:

  • ESM and ECM electronic warfare systems
  • Directed energy weapons
  • Self-protection systems
  • Simulation and training in electronic warfare systems
  • Protection systems for critical assets and deployed forces

ESM and ECM electronic warfare systems

This Sub-Area includes digital reception technologies, the design of systems intended to be modular, multifunctional and reconfigurable in order to simplify adaptation to different platforms and missions, and introduces the NEC concept for all systems deployments. Furthermore, special attention is paid to countering IEDs.

It includes the following Technology Goals:

  • TG 5.1.1 To increase technological capabilities to develop ESM and ECM for non-communications systems, which are modular, multifunctional, reconfigurable and multiplatform.
  • TG 5.1.2 To increase technological capabilities to develop ESM communications systems that are modular, multifunctional, reconfigurable and multiplatform.
  • TG 5.1.3 To increase technological capabilities to develop ECM inhibitor systems (against RC-IED and communications) that are modular, multifunctional, reconfigurable and multiplatform.

Directed energy weapons

This Sub-Area includes the promotion of national and international cooperation activities aimed at establishing technological criteria in all aspects of RF directed energy weapons, intended to temporarily incapacitate or even destroy the electronic systems of the threat (guidance systems, command and control systems, weapons systems, communications systems, etc.), by generating sufficiently high-powered radio frequency.

It includes the following Technology Goal:

  • TG 5.2.1 To establish mechanisms necessary to achieve initial capabilities in the area of RF directed energy weapons (DEW-RF).

Self-protection systems

Infrared image This Sub-Area is aimed at developing technologies, demonstrators and prototypes for the detection of threats that represent an immediate danger to the platform (laser, IR or optical guided missiles) and combating them by electromagnetic means.

Excluded from this area of development are self-propelled and multi-spectral decoys (included in the Armaments Functional Area), as well as passive detection and electromagnetic combat against RF guided threats, which is developed in the Functional Sub-Area “ESM and ECM electronic warfare systems”. With respect to “hard-kill” technologies, this Area includes active protection systems for vehicles (TG 5.3.2).

It includes the following Technology Goals:

  • TG 5.3.1 To increase technological capabilities to develop sensors and actuators and integrating them into the self-protection system.
  • TG 5.3.2 To generate technological capabilities for the evaluation of Active Protection Systems

Simulation and training in electronic warfare systems

The aim of this Sub-Area is to obtain simulators of EW equipments installed on board national platforms and to obtain simulators of principal threats as near to real as possible.

These simulators will be developed using standardised methods (in accordance with the aims of the Simulation Sub-Area, within the ICTs Functional Area), facilitating their medium-term integration into operational simulators to coordinate electronic warfare activities within a higher level operation, through the application of interoperability techniques amongst different simulators.

It includes the following Technology Goal:

  • TG 5.4.1 To increase technological capabilities to produce distributed simulation systems and electronic warfare training.

Protection systems for critical assets and deployed forces

The activities developed in this Sub-Area are aimed at the protection of critical assets in land and littoral environments, and at the protection of troop deployments in urban zones and extensive areas with complex terrain and an absence of infrastructure. Classified by importance, three specific areas of action are identified: the first concerns infrastructure in the terrestrial environment; the second, the littoral and harbour protection against submarine threats; and the third, protection against explosives-based threats.

It includes the following Technology Goals:

  • TG 5.5.1 To increase technological capabilities to develop distributed multi-sensor networks, both autonomous and remote, for terrestrial use.
  • TG 5.5.2 To increase technological capabilities to develop distributed multi-sensor networks, both autonomous and remote, for submarine use.
  • TG 5.5.3 To acquire capabilities to evaluate threats and to design and analyse protection measures for critical assets.
 
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