€832m for European defence tech includes secure chiplet supply chain

€832m for European defence tech includes secure chiplet supply chain

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

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The European Commission has announced €832m of funding for 41 joint defence research and development projects across the EU.

The projects include a dedicated chiplet packaging capability with the ability to ensure that devices are not compromised, lead-free underwater components, €15m for adaptive camouflage and €4.7m for a ‘mothership’ for a swarm of drones.

The consortia include 550 entities from across the EU and Norway and strongly involve SMEs, which represent 39% of all entities and 20% of the funding.

Chiplet supply chain

The €25m EPICURE project aims to develop Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test services (OSAT) and support technology providers in Europe in the field of advanced packaging serving defence needs. The project will analyse use cases requirements and constraints and combine these towards modular architectures based on future chiplets. Five technology demonstrators will be designed, manufactured and tested to prequalify a “packaging toolbox” that will be built during the project.

At the same time a €4m project called HARTROID will develop tools to detect Hardware Trojans (HT) leaking information from a system on chip or alter the functioning of a Defence system.. If no HT is present, the tools will be able to certify that a system is HT-free allowing for future fast and cost-effective security checks of systems on chips before being embedded in any defence products.

The €20m SCUALE (Sustainable Components for Underwater Acoustics using Lead-free materials in Europe) project aims to study, develop and produce advanced lead-free materials and components to replace PZT (Lead Zirconate Titanate) existing ceramics with improved performance for military underwater acoustics applications. The overarching goal of SCUALE project is to set up at least one European supply chain of lead-free piezoelectric materials that are suitable for underwater acoustics military applications.

134 proposals were received by diverse consortia, encompassing large industries, SMEs, midcaps and Research and Technology organisations, and covering all calls and topics published across 26 EU Member States and Norway.

Mine & IED detection

The technology challenge for mine detection saw strong interest, with anew €25m technical challenge developing a range of AI-based robots and sensors to detect mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

There is €5m for detecting buried Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and landmines through the AIDEDex project using AI techniques on data collected from a large suite of sensors. AIDEDex will use AI across the whole chain of command, control, planning, IED and landmines detection and classification, navigation and multi-robot decisional autonomy.

The €5m CONVOY project will combine sensing technologies for the detection and recognition of hidden threats, including improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and landmines. The combinations of intelligent robots, drones and sensing technologies will use tactical cloud infrastructures and explore artificial intelligence to detect, recognise and avoid/neutralise hidden threats.

DeterMine aims to verify the concept for a modular multisensory and multiplatform solution for hidden threats detection. The project will strengthen the EU knowledgebase and create standardised benchmarks for the evaluation of the landmine and Improvised Explosive Devices detection systems, to pave the way for enhanced protection of personnel and infrastructures and freedom of action for military forces.

TICHE will participate in the technological challenge by developing a novel multiplatform collaborative solution to detect and characterize hidden Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and landmines in complex environments, using a combination of advanced sensors, information fusion from those sensors, and unmanned ground and aerial systems to extend the detection capabilities. The developed solution will improve the state-of-the-art in support of military operations and lifesaving.


The €4.7m EAGLES project will develop a mothership vehicle capable to deliver a swarm of UAV. It will develop a System of Systems with the capability of collecting data and gaining information for effective decision making at low cost and reduced risk. EAGLES will focus on the development of communication technologies, artificial intelligence techniques to manage the mini-drone swarm and to process data acquired by mission sensors, and autonomous flight techniques.

Similarly the €25m SWAT-SHOAL project is developing a concept of a system-of-systems, based on swarming technologies, to integrate manned and unmanned naval systems on the water and underneath. The system will enable different vehicle types, working in a team as a single unit, to face more complex scenarios, or be organized as a squad each with a defined task.

One of the larger projects is ODIN’S EYE II, extending the development of a European space-based missile early warning (SBMEW) architecture. The €90m project aims to provide timely warning, technical intelligence, missile defence systems against ballistic, hypersonic and anti-satellite (ASAT) threats as well as proliferation control. The project will consolidate collaborative efforts by entities from EU Member States in developing a common SBMEW capability to respond to the current and future security threats alongside the Timely Warning and Interception with Space-based Theater Surveillance (TWISTER) project.

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