Europe forges ahead with the ESSOR interoperable tactical communications waveform.
Leonardo has shared with MONS details of the next phase of the ESSOR (European Secure Software Defined Radio) waveform initiative. The ESSOR initiative involves Finland, France, Italy, Poland, Spain and Sweden. It intends to develop wideband high frequency (three megahertz [MHz] to 30MHz), very high frequency (30-300MHz) and ultra high frequency (300MHz to three gigahertz) waveforms. Commencing in 2007, the programme is managed by OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement-Executive Administration/Joint Organisation for Armament Cooperation-Executive Administration) which manages European collaborative defence programmes. An industrial consortium was formed in December 2008 involving Bittium, Indra, Saab, Leonardo, Radmor and Thales to develop the ESSOR waveforms.
A written statement from Leonardo has articulated that work is now underway on the next phase of the ESSOR initiative, known as OC-1. This “will enhance the HDR (High Data Rate) waveform and add new features to the current version. All such enhancements will be performed through software modifications and additions.” The statement continued that this initiative will commence in January 2018 and will take around three and a half years to accomplish. The work required to realise OC-1 will be performed by each company involved in the project “with common tools and procedures which allow the sharing of information and enable testing and integration in a shared environment.” The statement continued that final testing will be hosted by one of the companies involved in the initiative.
The commencement of the OC-1 phase follows the completion of the first phase of the ESSOR programme which concluded in 2015. The Leonardo statement continued that this delivered: “a fully functional and tested waveform which has been proven in the field by multi-national military forces.” Crucially, the OC-1 initiative is expected to further deepen the interoperability offered by the overall ESSOR initiative: “The new phase will deliver, in the expected time frame, even more capabilities in order to provide a full-featured interoperability solution for European and Coalition tactical communications.”