The implementation of ARTUS, a project selected under the 2019 call for proposals for the EU Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) managed by EDA, was officially launched at an online kick-off meeting held on 10 February 2021.
ARTUS stands for ‘Autonomous Rough-terrain Transport UGV Swarm’. The project, with a budget of approximately €1.5 million, was selected following an EU-wide PADR call for proposals on the topic of ‘Future Disruptive Defence Technologies - Emerging Game-changers’, sub-topic ‘Augmenting Soldier Capacity’.
ARTUS aims at developing a technological feasibility concept and demonstrator for a small swarm of intelligent and autonomously operating Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) to support infantry platoons during their missions. The supporting swarm will significantly augment their capacity by: providing substantially added payload for the entire equipment through harsh environments, including densely wooded or sloped areas; reacting autonomously to unexpected developments, such as losses of parts of the swarm; increasing the unit's mobility and flexibility; and increasing the overall protection level of the troops.
The consortium is led by Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung E.V. (Germany) and also encompasses ONERA (France), another well-established R&T organisation, Diehl Defence (Germany), a global player in defence systems, and charismaTec (Austria), a highly innovative SME. The project has a duration of 24 months.
More information on the consortium can be found on the ARTUS project page.
About the PADR
The ARTUS project is part of the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) launched by the European Commission in 2017 to assess and demonstrate the added-value of EU supported defence research and technology (R&T). It paved the way for a proper European Defence Programme to come as part of the European Defence Fund (EDF), under the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027).
The PADR implementation is run by EDA following the mandate via a Delegation Agreement between the European Commission and EDA signed on 31 May 2017. By this agreement the Commission entrusts EDA with the management and implementation of the research projects launched within the PADR.