Soldier equipment will increasingly have to meet and adapt to the requirements stemming from their future application in multinational, less and less predictable and very dynamic environments This introduces important challenges to soldier systems, such as:
The topic calls for proposals to explore and demonstrate the potential of how technology can further advance and enhance soldier systems beyond current programmes, hence assessing what is the state-of-the-art in one or more of the aforementioned areas. Proposed activities could cover one of the following sub-topics:
(a) Generic open soldier systems architecture
The proposals should propose a definition of architecture ready for standardisation and comprehensively covering soldier systems within their context of operation (group, squad, multi-national, vehicles, etc.). The architecture domain to be considered shall include:
The architecture shall be based on a suitable architectural framework. At the end of the project a technical validation should be performed to ensure that a proposed architecture in terms of interfaces, protocols or standards is technically feasible and to enable delivery of an open, modular and easily reconfigurable soldier system.
Results from relevant NATO (STANAG 4677, STANAG 4619, STANAG 4695, STANAG 4740) and EDA (STASS I & STASS II) activities and studies should be used as baseline for the development of generic open soldier system reference architecture.
(b) Tailor-made blast, ballistic and CBRN protection of military personnel
The proposals should aim at research and technology development in lightweight ballistic and blasting protection allowing reduction at least 20% of weight versus existing commercial solutions for military personnel. The technology should allow achieving optimized protection with effective dissipation of energy and body protected zones. It should enable flexibility and modularity. Proposals should also explore the use of novel materials to integrate CBRN detection and/or protection into military body armour. Relevant advancements in manufacturing techniques, such as 3D printing, might also be investigated.
The activities included in proposals submitted under this sub-topic should clearly differentiate from or go beyond work already covered under Horizon 2020, in particular by the Specific Challenge "Secure societies – Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens".
(c) Adaptive camouflage
Advanced active and passive camouflage methods which are able to rapidly reconfigure or change to various patterns according to the surrounding environment. The camouflage should be active against a variety of present and future threats from advanced sensor systems and observation means, adapted to the needs and the variety of missions of the military users.
Activities are expected to focus on TRL 2 to 3 (for subtopic (a)) and TRL 2- to 4-5 (for subtopics (b) and (c))
The European Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 1 to 1.5 million for subtopic (a) and EUR 2 to 3 million for subtopics (b) and (c) would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.