Seven projects involving the participation of Estonian defence industry companies received EUR 6 million from the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) to develop new technological solutions. The Estonian state is providing almost EUR 500,000 in financing for the projects.
Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet noted that, above all, participation in European Union research and development cooperation projects gives the domestic defence industry the opportunity to develop important military technologies for Estonia and to develop our economy.
“Opportunities for Estonian research institutions and companies to participate in important defence research and development projects, along with access by our defence industry companies to international supply chains, will improve,” said Laanet.
He added that the regional dimension was especially important to Estonia this year. “Many projects are being implemented in co-operation with our neighbours in the Baltic Republics and the Nordic countries, which enables joint procurement and the development of joint capabilities to take place in co-operation with other Baltic Republics and the Nordic countries, taking into account the needs of the Baltic Sea region,” stated Laanet.
The coastal radar project PADIC is borne from co-operation between Estonia, Sweden and Finland. The development of an armoured vehicle suitable for the region’s climatic conditions is taking place in cooperation with Finland within the framework of project FAMOUS. The development of capabilities to combat cyber-attacks, CYBER4DE, will be created in part with countries bordering Russia.
Laanet emphasised that due to the development of the defence industry, the defence capabilities of both Estonia and Europe as a whole will be strengthened – fragmentation will decrease, as the choice of providers and availability of competitive products in the EU market expands, and dependence on third country technologies and equipment decreases.
In projects involving Cybernetica, Talgen Cybesecurity, Criffin R&D, CAFA Tech, Rantelon, Defsecintel Solutions and Marduk Technologies, a mobile tool for rapidly responding to cyber-attacks and a trauma care simulator for medical crews will be developed, along with capabilities to automate the detonation of sea mines, passive sensor based radar technology and an integrated anti-drone solution and battle command system technology based on artificial intelligence. Also being studied are the technological possibilities for the development of a new generation of land vehicles operating in complex terrain and climate conditions.
Overview of winning projects
- The Future Highly Mobile Augmented Armoured System (FAMOUS) is a Finnish-initiated and led project, the goal of which is to conduct a feasibility study for the development of a new generation of armoured land vehicles suitable for use in extreme climatic and off-road conditions. The project FAMOUS consortium is led by Patria. Among Estonian companies, Cybernetica is an industrial partner.
- The Deployable Cyber Defence Toolbox for Cyber Rapid Response Teams (CYBER4DE) project is initiated by Lithuania, with the goal being to develop a mobile and modular cyber toolbox for response teams dealing with rapid cyber-attacks, to allow for the resolution of cyber incidents in unknown systems and different environments. Talgen Cybersecurity is the industrial partner from Estonia. In addition, Cyber Security Exercises and Training Centre CR14 has been involved in putting together training materials and conducting exercises.
- Virtual Reality Trauma Simulator (ViReTS) is a project initiated by Latvia, which aims to create a real-time virtual simulator in which trauma patient treatment can be practiced. Criffin R&D (VR Lab) is participating as a partner from Estonia. Germany is also participating in the project.
- Mine Risk Clearance for Europe (MIRICLE) is a Belgian-led project to develop a sea mine detonating robot. The project consortium is led by the Belgian-French company Naval Group. The Estonian company CAFA Tech is a member of the consortium. The project solves the problem of how to reduce the use of mine clearance divers (people) when installing charges on naval mines.
- Passive Acquisition by Digital Convergence (PADIC) is a Swedish-led project for the development of passive sensor-based coastal protection radars. The PADIC project is managed by the Swedish company SAAB, accompanied by Patria, from Finland, and CAFA Tech and Rantelon, from Estonia. The passive radar solution being created is of interest to Estonia in planning our coastal protection technologies.
- The European Union’s Transversal Approach to AI as Applied to Defence Programmes (AI4DEF) is a Danish-led project, the goal of which is the creation of a management system based on artificial intelligence solutions that provides more efficient decision support. Defsecintel Solutions, from Estonia, is involved in the project. For Estonia, the most valuable part of the project is the idea of creating an AI data centre. Until now, the problem has been that training in artificial intelligence requires large quantities of data, which small countries and small businesses find difficult to obtain. It would therefore be necessary to create a combined capacity to store and share this data.
- The goal of the Joint European System for Countering Unmanned Air Systems (JEY-CUAS) project is the creation of an anti-drone system that integrates elements of drone detection (sensors), control and neutralisation. The result is a modular, portable and flexible architecture. Marduk Technologies, from Estonia, is involved.
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