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ESSOR (European Secure SOftware defined Radio) programme continues into the development of Operational Capability 1 (OC1) to improve effectiveness of joint operations

The joint venture a4ESSOR (Alliance for ESSOR) has been awarded a contract by OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’ARmement) to start a new phase of the ESSOR (European Secure Software defined Radio) programme, called ESSOR Operational Capability 1 (OC1). Mr. Lino Laganà, President of a4ESSOR, and Mr. Arturo Alfonso-Meiriño, Director of OCCAR, signed the contract in Bonn on November 2nd.

The ESSOR OC1 phase aims to enhance the operational capabilities of the ESSOR High Data Waveform (HDR WF), developed in the previous phase of the ESSOR programme, in order to meet the most demanding requirements of the battlefield with secure, high capacity land tactical communications. The OC1 phase will also focus in defining the basis for managing the life cycle of the HDR WF in operational use.

ESSOR OC1 is a key step towards building a joint European capability in land defence. We have here major European industrial parties in the defence communications business working together, combining their expertise and most updated technology for a common product and a common goal,
said Mr. Lino Laganà, President of a4ESSOR.

The duration of the Operational Capability 1 phase, worth around EUR 50 million, is 45 months.

Mandate for the continuation of the programme and for OCCAR to act as the contracting authority has come from five participant states: Finland, France, Italy, Poland, and Spain. The work for the OC1 phase will be carried out in cooperation between members of the a4ESSOR industrial consortium Bittium, Indra, Leonardo, Radmor, and Thales.

Since 2009, the ESSOR programme has been developing the European Software Defined Radio technology for its operational use in coalition scenarios. The previous phase of the ESSOR programme has already proven the success of the multinational joint industrial development and implementation of the broadband networking waveform on a number of radio platforms provided by the members of the a4ESSOR industrial consortium. The ESSOR HDR WF has been demonstrated at a number of showcases in different conditions, and finally the capabilities and functionalities of the waveform were successfully demonstrated in battlefield conditions, showing evidence of how the ESSOR HDR WF allows land forces of different European countries to communicate seamlessly with each other in joint operations, linking up via a common waveform regardless of the radio platforms they use.


The aim of the ESSOR program is to develop the European Software Defined Radio technology in order to improve the capabilities for cooperation in coalition operations. The program was started in 2009 under the umbrella of the European Defense Agency (EDA)‎, has been sponsored by the governments of Finland, France, Italy, Poland, Spain, and Sweden, and was awarded by the Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’ARmement (OCCAR) to the dedicated joint venture Alliance for ESSOR (a4ESSOR S.A.S.) to be in charge of managing the industrial consortium. The members of the industrial consortium are Bittium from Finland, Indra from Spain, Leonardo from Italy, Radmor from Poland, and Thales from France. The first phase of the programme was successfully completed in 2015. In addition to the European High Data Rate Waveform, the first phase of the program produced and validated the definition for the European Software Defined Radio Architecture which was ported and qualified on six different European platforms. The interoperability capabilities and the functionalities of the waveform have been demonstrated with different national platforms in various occasions during the year 2016 and demonstrations will continue during the OC1 phase.