EDA launches a market survey on commercially available RPAS services

The European Defence Agency decided to launch a market survey to better understand the range of commercially available solutions which could fulfil possible future requirements for Remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) services in operations, as well as their potential associated risks or limitations. The objective of this survey is to identify service providers of turn-key solutions and not manufacturers or suppliers of assets.

The scope of the survey

The RPAS consists of the aircraft, ground segments (both ground control station and ground data terminal) and navigation and communications. Personnel, training facilities, as well as logistic support, are also considered as part of the RPAS capability for the needs of this market survey.

The primary scope of the survey is the provision of RPAS services (tactical and/or MALE) covering the aircraft, ground segments (both ground control station and ground data terminal), navigation and communications. Personnel, training facilities as well as logistic support are also considered as being part of the ‘RPAS services’ addressed under the survey. 

The capability shall allow for sustained, persistent, adaptable, 24/7 ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) operations. As the primary function of any ISR system is to achieve access to specific information and distribute it in a timely manner, the system should be capable to operate across all kinds of environments, including open and urban complex terrain. The system should be capable of all weather, day and night operations and world-wide deployment. In addition it must have a robust, secured Communication & Information System (CIS) to be able to operate in a dense and congested electromagnetic environment and respond to offensive and defensive threat systems such as radio-frequency disruption, deception, cyber-attack and jamming.

Although the EU can deploy operations and missions anywhere in the world, recent examples have mainly occurred in Europe and Africa. The exact environment for the delivery of the services cannot be defined in detail beforehand but can be generically described as a remote area, not exposed to opposing forces or direct threats. Similarly, the duration of the operations and missions could vary but it can be assessed that the services will be initially required for a period of 1 year, which could be extended.

Practical information

Stakeholders can participate until 31 March. Here is the document of the agency.  

No feedback will be provided on responses received. However, EDA may at a later stage organise bilateral meetings and invite participating operators to further clarify their initial responses.

For any clarification regarding this market survey please contact EDA Project Officer Georgios KOUVIDIS, georgios.kouvidis@eda.europa.eu , +32 (0)2 504 29 50.

More about the EDA’s missions 

According to the press release of the agency : 

« Providing support to CSDP operations is a core task of the EDA which, since its creation in 2004, has developed tools to provide administrative, contracting and/or technical support to EU-led missions and operations whenever they face capability shortfalls in crucial domains.

Situational awareness, which presupposes the availability of appropriate information gathering and intelligence management capabilities, is one of such domains. As EU or Member States’ military operations or civilian missions are often deployed on very short notice, putting these capabilities in place often constitutes a challenge. Tactical or medium altitude long endurance (MALE) type Remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), are critical assets in this respect with their ability to provide permanent and all weather coverage with high quality sensors. »

Credit photo: @European Defence Agency

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