CapTech Ground Systems

Jun 27, 2017
6_credits Polish Army-web

Type of activity: CapTech
Participating Countries: All
Other partners: n/a

The CapTech Ground Systems’ (Land) main objectives are to launch innovative collaborative R&T projects in the areas related to Ground Systems that are identified as priorities by the CapTech, to receive and review industry and pMS proposals in order to identify specific cooperation opportunities, and to have an overall responsibility for Ground Systems technologies vis-à-vis the other directorates of EDA.

The CapTech Land focuses especially on the R&T areas related to: 

  • Ground platforms (incl. Unmanned Ground Vehicles),
  • Soldier Systems,
  • Guns and Less Lethal Weapons, and
  • Military Camps.

 

In addition to the overall responsibility for Ground Systems, CapTech Land is assigned as lead for the following technical areas:

Propulsion & Powerplants

  • Reciprocating & Rotary IC Engines
  • Final Drive – Wheels and Tracks

Integrated Platforms

  • Fighting Land Vehicles
  • Logistic, Command and Surveillance Land Vehicles

Weapons

  • Gun Systems – Platform Mounted
  • Gun Systems – Hand Held
  • Non-Lethal Weapons

Installation & Facilities

  • Fortifications / Defences
  • Battlefield Engineering

CapTech Land normally addresses topics through a system perspective, in contrast to CapTechs focused on components or sub-systems. It provides an essential perspective on system and capability requirements needed in the activity of other CapTechs, while, in the same time, deriving knowledge from these areas. Therefore its approach is more “capability driven” rather than “technology driven”.

 

Way of working

The CapTech Land meetings are held 3 times per year, and last one and an half day each. During the first day, usually afternoon, there are two parallel sessions one for governmental experts (CNCs and CGEs) and the other for industry and research experts (CnGE). The second day is devoted to a joint session between all CapTech members (governmental, industrial and research). This way of working allows to address topics from different CapTech members perspective but more important enable for better networking among different CapTech groups. All the information is shared in the CapTech Land Workspace.

To become a Land CapTech member (CGE or 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.

The activities of the Land CapTech are guided by the CapTech Ground Systems Strategic Research Agenda (SRA). The SRA presents the technical fields treated within the CapTech by placing them in the context of the military capabilities requiring this technical base, the underpinning civil development trends and the evolution of the industrial capacity in Europe. The CapTech started by identifying the main European technical shortfalls and challenges in its areas of interest.  These were, in turn, translated into technology roadmaps. Four key domains have been defined: (1) ground vehicles, (2) unmanned ground vehicles, (3) soldier systems, (4) other battlefield topics (counter IED, mobility and counter-mobility, camps). A total of 65 areas for future work are identified.

Based on the SRA, any CapTech member can propose ideas for new activities (projects, workshops, seminars, etc.) according to adopted CapTech annual cycle. 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.



Activities

One of the main activity in the short and medium perspective is the standardization of open system architecture in the land vehicles. Two EDA studies (LAVOSAR[1], LAVOSAR II[2]) have been conducted to address this topic. The results are used to support NATO Generic Vehicle Architecture standardisation affords by providing key inputs to STANAG 4754 or its future developments. A vehicle which is built according to an agreed set of standards can be improved by simply adding, replacing or upgrading sub-systems. In the same way, a specific or changing mission need can be satisfied by adapting the set of sub-systems. Logistics is simplified and exchange of spare subsystems across various types of vehicles and even European Members States is also possible. Overall cost savings upcoming from implementation of an open system architecture are estimated at 10% to 25%  of the Mission System cost.

The L-AMPV[3] project is addressing a problem identified by military users referring to Armoured Multi-Purpose Vehicles currently in-service being far too heavy; this reduces off-road mobility and/or leaves insufficient room for additional equipment or protection enhancements. Consequently, the project aims at (i) delivering detailed information (material, weight, size and price) of vehicle components/parts currently used, (ii) determining the items which contribute most weight and (iii) recommending how to reduce the weight of these parts taking into account the need for the solution to last throughout the life-cycle of the system.

Power management in terms of software and hardware architecture to manage new consumers like electromagnetic guns or electric armor or new solutions for energy generation based on high-temperature PEM fuel cell and reforming technology for the land vehicles are addressed by PMLP[4] study and IAPUNIT[5] project respectively. Hybrid drive and contributing component technologies (like batteries, motors, power electronics, energy management etc.) have evolved fast over the last couple of years. The main driver for the development has been the civil market with its demand for capable and efficient drive trains, especially for cars and utility vehicles. Against this background and by considering future military needs the question comes up, to what extend these new technologies are suitable to cover future military mobility needs. This question will be addressed by HybriDT[6] project.

For the time being UGVs are mainly used in Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) operations. However, according to UGS LIS[7] study further use will expand to tasks like communication node, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), medical evacuation, Chemical, Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN), convoying or soldiers support conducted by autonomous  systems. Some aspects of autonomy in terms of vehicle following or obstacle avoidance are addressed in the HyMUP[8] project aiming to prove the feasibility of mounted combat missions of unmanned systems coordinating with regular manned vehicles.  A new project further developing this area is currently under preparation. The OEMTA[9] aims to identify, develop, evaluate and demonstrate  technologies that allow remote human operation, supervised (semi-) autonomous operation or even completely autonomous movement of the vehicle. Additionally protection of autonomous systems against enemy interference and safety requirements for combined manned-unmanned mission will be addressed in PASEI[10] project and SafeMUVe[11] study respectively.

Within  soldier systems main activities are performed in the frame of the CEDS FSP[12] programme, where nine feasibility projects (ACAMS[13], ACCLITEXSYS[14], CEDS FSP PT[15], Energy Harvesting, iHELMMAT[16], LiVEST[17], MUMSIS[18], OBSURV[19] and SPEC-PACK[20]) have been conducted addressing technological advancements in observation, energy, human factor and survivability areas. From capability perspective one of the current critical requirement for soldier systems is to increase both its protection and combat effectiveness without increasing its weight. This could be achieved by decreasing weight of all components or designing soldier’s system which is mission tailored. For both solutions, the current CEDS FSP will provide only limited answers. However this aspect is being addressed in the STASS I[21] and STASS II[22] study aiming to develop an comprehensive open reference soldier system architecture which shall promote interoperability and interchangeability for national dismounted soldier programmes both at the system level and the component level. The approach developed under the STASS studies will be further improved under the EU Preparatory Action for Defence Research 2017 (PADR 2017) by defining architecture ready for standardisation and comprehensively covering soldier systems within their context of operation (group, squad, multi-national, vehicles, etc.). At the end of the project a technical validation should will 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

Enhanced detection and identification of IEDs while on the move is addressed by the IEDDET programme[23]. Within the programme three projects VMEWI3[24], MUSICODE[25] and CONFIDENT[26] will develop and field test early warning, stand-off detection and confirmation and identification capability gaps respectively to support future route clearance capabilities beyond 2020.


[1] Land Vehicle Open System Architecture

[2] European Reference Open Architecture Standard for a modern Integrated Electronic Mission System in Military Land Vehicles

[3] Study to investigate opportunities and challenges of lightweight constructions for Armoured Multi-Purpose Vehicles
[4] Power Management for Land Platforms
[5] Development of an innovative auxiliary power unit for military purposes based on high-temperature PEM fuel cell and reforming technology based on military logistic consumable materials
[6] Hybrid drive trains for military applications
[7] Unmanned Ground Systems Landscaping and Integration” Study
[8] Hybrid Manned-Unmanned Platooning
[9] Operating UGS in Explosive ordnance endangered Military Training Areas
[10] Protection Against Enemy Interference
[11] Identification of all major technical and safety requirements for military unmanned vehicle to operate in combined manned-unmanned mission
[12] Combat Equipment for Dismounted Soldier Feasibility Study Programme
[13] Adaptive Camouflage for the Soldier
[14] Acclimatization Textile System
[15] Precision Targeting Study
[16] Innovative Helmet Materials For Soldier Head Protection
[17] Ultralight Weight Bullet-proof Vests
[18] Multimodular Soldier Interface System
[19] Observation Under Reduce Visibility
[20] Soldier Portable Energy Reserve PACK
[21] Standard Architecture for Soldier Systems with focus on power
[22] Standard Architecture for Soldier Systems with focus on data management and infrastructure
[23] IED Detection Programme
[24] Vehicle Mounted Early Warning of Indirect Indicators of IEDs <Manned or UGV platform>
[25] UGV stand-off multi-sensor platform for IED component detection

[26] Confirmation, Identification and Airborne Early Warning of (CBRN) IEDs













  

Participating Member States

  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech
  • Germany
  • Estonia
  • Ireland
  • Greece
  • Spain
  • France
  • Croatia
  • Italy
  • Cyprus
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Hungary
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Austria
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • UK