Participating Countries
All EDA member states



The objective of the CapTech Air Systems and their Environment (CapTech Air in short) is to generate innovative collaborative R&T projects around air systems through a system approach.

The CapTech Air deals with air systems in general, including fixed and rotary wing platforms as well as unmanned systems, their design (aerodynamics, propulsion etc.) and operation (training, mission objectives, etc.). The technical areas assigned to the Air CapTech are the following:

Propulsion and Powerplants

  • Gas Turbines
  • Transmissions and Powertrains
  • Air Propellers and Rotors  

 Design Technologies for Platforms and Weapons

  • Aerodynamic Designs
  • Transmissions and Powertrains
  • Air Propellers and Rotors  

 Communications and CIS-related Technologies

  • Air Traffic Control Systems

 Integrated platforms

  • Combat aircraft
  • Helicopters
  • Lighter-than-air Platforms
  • Logistic, support and surveillance aircraft

The work of Air CapTech is generally of TRL in the ranges of 1 to 6, although work in higher TRLs is not ruled out. The activities of the CapTech are generated using technology push informed by technology watch, but also Capability Driven, mainly by the CDP (Capability Development Plan), and the CDP Priorities valid at a moment in time. Cross-cutting applications of interest include Human Factors, Command and Control as well as Information Acquisition and Processing.

With regards to its technological scope, CapTech Air explicitly identifies synergies and interdependencies with CapTechs CBRN & Human Factors, Navigation and Information. Furthermore, an analysis of Key R&T research areas implicitly reveals correlations to CapTechs Materials, Ammunition and Components.  The work of CapTech Air also interfaces with the work of EDA Project Teams (e.g. PT European Air Transport Fleet) and contributes to the identification of Critical Defence Technologies. CapTech Air identifies thematic linkages to activities in the Joint Investment Programmes on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (JIP RPAS), on Force Protection (JIP FP) and on Innovative Concepts for Emerging Technologies (JIP ICET).

Prominent EU research initiatives that relate to topics covered by CapTech Air include the Joint Undertaking SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) and the Joint Technology Initiative CS2 (Clean Sky 2). 


The Air CapTech meetings are held two times per year, with a maximum duration of two days. All the information is shared in its Workspace. Prior or right after a CapTech meeting, a workshop might take place. The Workshop’s objectives are to achieve concrete outcomes, such as the preparation of a project or fulfilment of an extraordinary request (topics for calls for proposals, SRA development, technology assessment, etc.).

To become a CapTech Air member (CapTech Governmental Expert - CGE - or CapTech non-Governmental Expert – CnGE), please follow the instructions included in the R&T General site, and be aware that your request will be forwarded to the relevant CapTech National Coordinator (CNC). The approval of the CNC will be needed to become a CGE or CnGE, and also for your participation in a CapTech event. Click here to become a CapTech Member.

The activities of the CapTech Air Systems are guided by the Air CapTech Strategic Research Agenda (SRA). Released in 2012, it is intended as a planning instrument that identifies the most urgent technical challenges in the aerospace and defence domain in order to enhance European R&T collaboration over the next 5 to 10 years. The SRA reflects a shared vision among governmental and non-governmental members of the CapTech and expresses the view of the participating Member States, (governmental) laboratories and industrial representatives The objective is to enhance European R&T collaboration by providing a common view for the generation of well-focused R&T projects in the Air Systems domain. The Air CapTech started by identifying a number CDP-related European capability gaps and attempts to prioritise this list in a number of technology areas where a high interest in R&T collaboration is identified. The challenges requiring the most important efforts are the following: Autonomy, Airspace Integration, Propulsion and Power, Communications and Platform performance. The Air CapTech SRA is undergoing revision in 2017. The European Technology Platform ACARE (Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe) has an SRA that covers the civil and dual use activities, and is complimentary to the Air CapTech SRA.

Based on the SRA, any CapTech member can propose ideas for new activities (projects, workshops, seminars, etc.) at any meeting. The ideas are collected and, if not immediately detailed with clear expression of interest, it is the role of the moderator to persist and revisit what remains to then re-launch or definitively ‘kill’ an idea. The active involvement of non-governmental members in proposing solutions for governmental needs, with a consistent and systematic ground for dialogue can definitely encourage cooperation.

The CapTech has had several projects in recent years deals with various aspects of aircraft structures. It is the EDA point of contact for the European Technology Acquisition Programme (ETAP) and has also been the originator of Desire 2 and ERA projects for RPAS. It also interacts with the air-related projects in the other CapTechs.

Copyright picture: Airbus Defence & Space