Counter Surface to Air Fire (C-SAFIRE)

Jun 30, 2016

Start Date2013
Type of activity: project
Participating Countries: France, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom 
Other partners: EEAS/EUMS, European Commission (DG HOME), European Air Group (EAG)

In a EU-led CSDP mission/operation, whether it is civilian or military, aircrafts (fixed and rotary wings) are likely to be crucial to achievement of its goals and objectives.  However, adversaries could use Surface to Air Fire (SAFIRE) capabilities to interfere with, and potentially jeopardise, air operations.  C-SAFIRE capability is, therefore, required in order to prevent the threat or use of SAFIRE being a risk mission success, constraining air assets’ freedom of action, or imposing avoidable costs or casualties.

The project C-SAFIRE is based on a threat-based-approach and is aiming to identify and harmonise requirements and develop appropriate solutions/capabilities to significantly reduce the SAFIRE threats to aircrafts and contribute to their protection during operations.

Project goals

  • Supporting pMS efforts in developing C-SAFIRE capabilities, included through multinational cooperation (i.e. common projects), in order to enhance their air assets’ availability, survivability and freedom of manoeuvre, whist ensuring the safety of aircraft crews.
  • Developing a common approach and a multi-layered programme of measures covering all levels (strategic, operational and tactical) envisaging the operational effectiveness of military and civilian-operated air assets participating in EU CSDP operations, as well as enhancing interoperability among pMS. 
  • Harmonisation of national efforts in developing C-SAFIRE capabilities/ technologies.  
  • Encouraging the European defence industry to become more innovative and competitive in developing and validating new C-SAFIRE capabilities and technologies  

Detailed description

In the new joint operational environment, due to the increased likelihood of adversaries positioning SAFIRE equipment in urbanised areas close to civilian populations or critical infrastructure, the execution of specific air missons (i.e.: transport of humanitarian goods or  civilian and/or military personnel) in EU-led CSDP operations  require the use/employment of C-SAFIRE methods. From this perspective, the primary SAFIRE threats from the enemy will be Man Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS) and the ‘Low –Tech Threat’ from machine guns, small arms, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs).

The issues of interoperability and capability development (concept, doctrine, training, operation and support) over the full spectrum of C-SAFIRE (included information sharing) are addressed by the Project Team (PT) C-SAFIRE. The PT C-SAFIRE is continuing the work of the former PT Counter Man Portable Air Defence Systems (C-MANPADS) that have been closed-out in 2013.

The PT C-SAFIRE is an active forum where pMS and other interested stakeholders (i.e. EEAS/EUMS, EAG) exchange information on national intiatives/activities, identify possible areas of cooperation, initiate common projects, discuss interoperability issues,  elaborate common military requirements as a sound basis for the further development of appropriate C-SAFIRE technologies/capabilities and facilitate the engagement/participation of European defence industry in this regard.



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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