Germany joins ESSOR

Rohde & Schwarz Commissioned for National Implementation

Rohde & Schwarz has been named the German industrial representative for the ESSOR project and is participating in the development of a European wideband waveform for tactical interoperability in multinational operations, the company announced on 21 February.

Munich, February 24, 2020 – In mid-December 2019, the German parliament agreed to join the European Secure Software Defined Radio (ESSOR) project – the trans-European interoperability initiative for armed forces at the tactical level. This also initiated national implementation of the current OC1 (operational capability) phase of the ESSOR wideband waveform, which is part of the large-scale Bundeswehr project “Digitalisation of Land-Based Operations” (D-LBO). Rohde & Schwarz has been named as national champion for Germany and joins the group of member-state companies that have been working on the implementation of ESSOR since 2008.

ESSOR is a long-term programme, managed by OCCAR , in which national champions from Italy (Leonardo), Spain (Indra), France (Thales), Finland (Bittium), Poland (Radmor) and now Germany, are leading the joint enterprise a4ESSOR SAS as prime contractor and have been developing ESSOR OC1 since 2017. The overarching objective is further development of capabilities in secure communications technology to improve interoperability of the armed forces. In concrete terms, ESSOR OC1 defines the joint development and updating of an interoperable, trustworthy, robust and wideband radio waveform for connected armed forces.

With our experience in software defined radio [SDR] and associated waveforms from many years of development of our own products as well as SOVERON D (known from the SVFuA development project) for the German armed forces, which is ramping up for series production in 2020, we are very well prepared for this. This is complemented by our expertise as an architect of secure communications networks and approval for encryption up to the highest classification levels in Germany, the EU and NATO,” comments Hartmut Jäschke, Executive Vice President of the Secure Communications Division within the company.

The high data-rate waveform (HDRWF) developed for ESSOR OC1 is designed for operational and tactical unit command and IP connectivity at the brigade, battalion and lower levels. It features flexible configuration and adaptability to demanding scenarios, offering soldiers versatile and robust mobile ad-hoc networks (MANET) on their national radio systems for combined missions, in the context of territorial and collective defence.

With support from the European Defense Fund, ESSOR will be augmented with additional waveforms, for example for specific use cases or for airborne operations. “The collaboration of European industry and provision of the most advanced commercially available SDR in the form of SOVERON D will give major projects of the German armed forces, such as D-LBO, an enormous boost in the connected, secure and jam-proof transmission of voice and data,” Jäschke observes.

OCCAR has now awarded a contract amendment to a4ESSOR, worth approx. €100 million to the six companies, for the OC1 work to be conducted over the next 63 months.

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