The CapTech Naval Systems and their Environment (CapTech Maritime) deals with naval platforms (surface and underwater) and supporting systems, addressing their design, manufacturing, integration and life-cycle improvement.
- Overall objectives include:
- improvement of platform protection
- enhancement of guidance and control systems for underwater defence and surveillance
improvement of intelligence and surveillance capabilities for ships, submarines, unmanned vehicles and distributed sensor systems.
Human factors in the maritime arena constitutes the last focus area of the CapTech, focusing on simulation-aided training and decision support for surveillance and defence situations and, in addition, operational research and systems analysis.
The work of the Maritime CapTech is generally in the range of TRL 4 to 6 and can be categorised as technology pushed, but also capability driven, mainly by the Capability Development Plan (CDP), and the CDP Priorities. From a technology-push perspective, twelve key research and technology have been identified within the CapTech and these are applicable across five naval task areas: Surface/Submarine Platforms, Above water/Underwater Systems and Equipment, Service and Maintenance.
In its activity, CapTech Maritime provides system and equipment-related technologies for naval capabilities in all operational domains. With regard to its technological scope, CapTech Maritime identifies synergies and inter-dependencies with other CapTechs both at “component” and “system” levels.
The Maritime Capability Technology group (CapTech) is one of twelve CapTechs in EDA, with the mission of providing technological solutions for the Maritime domain. The membership comprising Governmental and Industrial members, is drawn from Governmental bodies, national research centres, Universities and Industry.
The Maritime Capability Technology group (CapTech) is a forum that facilitates the development of technological solutions to meet Capability needs. At its core is the SRA which elaborates upon a shared vision and provides a cornerstone for collaboration and mechanism for addressing identified technological gaps. It has proven to be an effective platform for the development and delivery of complex and challenging projects, that are fully aligned with pMS capability needs. Membership is drawn from Governmental entities, including Navies, National Research centres, Universities and Industry, with the broad span of membership reflective of the many areas to be addressed.
The Area of Responsibility (AoR) includes both the surface and underwater elements, with a particular emphasis placed upon the latter. Furthermore, the development of technologies related to Unmanned Maritime Systems (UMS) has been a priority area over the lifetime of the CapTech with a clear track record of project development and delivery.
The European Union Capability Development Priorities (CDP), finalised in 2018, serves as the mechanism for identifying priorities requiring technological solutions for development. Employed also in the preparation of the agenda is the Technology Taxonomy (TT) and the Generic Military Task List (GMTL).
Maritime Mine Countermeasures (MMCM) have long been a key activity within the Maritime CapTech. Technological advances and proliferation of sea mines have increased the asymmetric threat to expeditionary forces in the littorals as well as naval forces in general. Mine countermeasures is a complex area of naval warfare and the existence of a robust capability is critical to the successful execution of naval operations.
Recent years have seen a proliferation of Unmanned Maritime Systems (UMS) in the maritime domain. In an operational context, this has been centred on air systems dedicated to Intelligence Search and Reconnaissance (ISR) operations. However, surface and underwater systems have also experienced developments where their operational use is mostly focused on MMCM and ASW. The CapTech has facilitated the preparation, execution and delivery of a Programme on ‘Unmanned Maritime Systems for Maritime Mine Counter Measures and other Naval Applications’. Comprising of 11 contributing members and with a budget of over 56€ Million euros, this Category A programme consisted of 15 coordinated projects on areas such as Mine Hunting, Mine sweeping and areas such as Safety and Regulation and Standardisation.
The undersea domain continues to be a driver for technological change and it is an environment that is becoming increasingly contested with greater competition for maritime resources and a continuing need to preserve sea lines of communication. Based on the positive collaboration of the UMS programme and with the need to be able to overcome environmental and technological challenges of operating in this inhospitable environment, the CapTech has facilitated the launch of new projects on; Modular Lightweight Minesweeping, Smart Adaptive Long and Short Range Underwater Acoustic Networks and Signature Response Analysis on Multi Influence Sensors.
In order to achieve its mission, the CapTech undertakes the following pursue the following:
- Prepare and maintain the CapTech Strategic Research Agenda (SRA)providing guidance, encompassing pMS and industrial views, on technical challenges to be solved and establishing the roadmaps for developing future technologies to overcome identified capabilities shortfalls;
- Develop (generate, launch and assess progress)pMS collaborative R&T Projects and Programmes within the Area of Responsibility of the CapTech;
- Propose EDA-funded studies in specific areas to form a common understanding on research requirements.
- Contribute with the necessary expertise when required in preparing wider projects and programmes
Information Exchange Relating to:
- National R&T priorities and activities;
- EU and non-EU R&T initiatives;
- Priorities coming from other EDA work-strands (CDP, PTs,) and following the progress of the activities launched under those work strands (top-down);
- EDA R&T activities originated under the CapTech (e.g. ongoing CAT Bs) or from other EDA working groups that may have an impact on the CapTech.
- Evaluation of industrial proposals considered relevant to pMS R&T priorities.
- Forming groups of interested pMS for the further preparation of R&T proposals.
- Conducting technology watch, foresight activities and technology assessment in order to identify R&T areas of importance and provide guidance for the updates of the CapTech SRA and R&T taxonomy.
- Interacting with other EDA working groups and CapTechs to understand and provide contributions for developing defence capabilities.
- Organising and proposing workshops on relevant topics to broaden the contribution and consultation of the expert community.
The Maritime CapTech meetings are held 2 - 3 times per year, with a maximum duration of 2 days. All information is shared via the EDA’s online collaborative workspace. In addition to CapTech meetings workshops dedicated to specific topics are organised to investigate areas and promote cooperation.
To become a Maritime CapTech member (CapTech Governmental Expert - CGE or CapTech non-Gonvernmental 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 CNC. The approval of the CNC will be needed to become a CGE or CnGE, and also for your participation in a CapTech event.
- A new project entitled ‘Swarm of Biomimetic Vehicles for Underwater ISR’ has just been established. Project preparations will now continue with a view to implementation in Q4 2019.
- A new study on the use of Directed Energy weapons for countering UAVs\USVs on Naval Platforms will kick off shortly. A study workshop on possible scenarios will be held in Q4 2019.
- Joint study with the European Space Agency on the provision of space services for UMS is continuing and is due to be completed in Q2 2020
- Project preparations are continuing on a new project on the use of Laser Systems for the Detection of Underwater targets in the extreme littoral domain.
- New Ad Hoc Working group on Safety and Regulations for UMS.