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EDA Signed a Contract on Studies for Integrated Multifunction Compact Lightweight Airborne Radars and Systems

The European Defence Agency (EDA) signed the contract on the Studies for Integrated Multifunction Compact Lightweight Airborne Radars and Systems (SIMCLAIRS) on 31 March 2009, an ad-hoc category B project, with a consortium consisting of national industrial companies from three EDA participating Member States: France, Sweden and United Kingdom.

The consortium consists of four European companies, all of which have already been successfully involved in past and present airborne radar and equipment development in Europe: SAAB AB (Sweden), SELEX Sensors & Airborne Systems Ltd (UK), THALES Systèmes Aéroportés (France), THALES UK Ltd (UK).

The main aim of this project is to deliver new technology solutions in the field of light and compact Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Radio Frequency (RF) payloads with the combination of Synthetic Aperture Radar / Moving Target Indicator (SAR/MTI), Foliage Penetrating (FOPEN), Electronic Support Measures (ESM), possibly communications. Expected results of the project will response to the capability needs arising within the time horizon of 2015–2020.

For delivering the best technology results the project uses a new mechanism called Innovation and Technology Partnership (ITP). The ITP mechanism is based on a specific structure where a competed part of the project will ensure the capture and exploitation of novel technologies from small and medium enterprises and academia, and provide the free flow of technology and information across national boundaries between the participating entities. In order to guarantee the best technology knowledge available in Europe, two open calls for Research Supplier Proposals will be organized by the consortium, without discrimination on grounds of nationality, type of research suppliers and so on.

The project will start in April 2009 and last 48 months; the value of contract is € 21 million, VAT excluded. In the case of successful project, the SIMCLAIRS phase 2 is expected with the participation of the three contributing Member States.