19 Oct 23. Next-generation simulation solution wins backing from European Commission. Coordinated and led by Rheinmetall, the FEDERATES consortium, which stands for Federated Ecosystem of European Simulation Assets for Training and Decision Support, has been selected by the European Union for €30m in funding. The European Commission has picked the consortium to implement a prototype service-oriented innovative solution for distributed synthetic training and decision support.
The “distributed synthetic simulation environment” draws on a multitude of different simulation resources which, though spatially separate, are linked in a common network infrastructure. The objective here is to enable joint utilization of the resources of EU member states in a networked digital ecosystem, comparable to NATO’s Modelling and Simulation as a Service (MSaaS) architecture.
For the nations of the EU, distributed simulation and training are important prerequisites for preparing and qualifying their troops as thoroughly as possible for today’s complex military operations with increasingly sophisticated systems and equipment.
The consortium intends to integrate and jointly use existing resources of member states such as simulators and training systems as well as advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, cloud technologies and virtual reality in simulated environments for ground, sea, air, space and cyberspace operations.
FEDERATES will support the joint procurement and bundling of simulation resources as well as the formation of a new marketplace for corresponding services. This will result in improved availability and shorter construction times, culminating in lower costs, greater access to training and faster development of future solutions.
Comprising 32 companies from 14 EU member states and Norway, FEDERATES stands for robust, comprehensive European cooperation. It encompasses small and medium-sized businesses as well as large corporations, research facilities and universities. FEDERATES relies on their complementary areas of expertise and experience in simulation and training systems as well as integration and cooperation with military users.
In its role as coordinator, Rheinmetall Electronics of Germany will support the FEDERATES project as part of a core team, consisting of Thales (France), Leonardo (Italy), Indra Sistemas (Spain) and HM EI (Hungary). It will foster adherence to the technical and contractual obligations between the European Commission and all participating parties.
More information on the results of the call for the submission of proposals relating to the European Defence Fund in 2022 can be found at: https://defence-industry-space.ec.europa.eu/funding-and-grants/calls-proposals/result-edf-2022-calls-proposals_de
19 Oct 23. French Rafale fighters join Romania for Agile Combat Employment. Rafale fighter jets from France will join Romania’s Air Force for agile combat employment operations as part of Nato’s Air Shielding mission.
Three French Rafale Fighters have joined Nato’s Air Shielding mission in Romania to support Agile Combat Employment, the Allied Air Command announced on 17 October.
The Agile Combat Employment (ACE) of Allied fighter aircraft is considered as a method to enhance the survivability and operational effectiveness of Nato aircraft and systems. ACE deployments can enhance organisational agility and flexibility, as well as help mitigate the risk of becoming overly predictable and vulnerable to targeting. The concept enables Nato air forces to enhance their speed and responsiveness in order to efficiently deploy and redeploy as needed.
By request from Nato and Romanian authorities the Rafale fighters will conduct air defence missions with the Romanian Air Force out of Fetesti Air Base from 16–22 October, in close cooperation with the French MAMBA surface-base air defence system deployed at Cape Midia, according to Colonel Pierre Gaudilliere, spokesperson of the French Joint Defence Staff.
“Through our support for Nato Air Shielding missions and contribution to the enhanced Vigilance Activities, France is fully committed to the security of the Allies,” Colonel Gaudilliere added.
The Rafale Multirole Combat Fighter, manufactured by Dassault Aviation, is a twin-jet combat aircraft employed by the French Air and Space Force for a wide range of short and long-range missions including ground and sea attacks, reconnaissance, high-accuracy strikes and nuclear strike deterrence.
When discussing a one-day aerial manoeuvres series in service to Nato’s Air shielding Mission in October 2022, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Kendall, commander of the 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, described Nato’s Air Shielding mission as an enhanced posture on the eastern flank of Nato territory, “not only to deter our adversaries, but also to assure our Allies that we are ready to respond to any threat, any time”. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
17 Oct 23. MILEX23: EU Carries Out First Military Live Exercise in Cádiz. From 16 to 22 October, the EU will carry out its first-ever live exercise from the Rota Naval Base located in Cádiz, Spain. On 17 October, the High Representative will participate in a demonstration of the exercise.
He will hold a press conference at ca. 09:15, which will be broadcast live on EbS. During the visit, High Representative Borrell will be accompanied by the Chair of the EU Military Committee, General Robert Brieger, and the Spanish Chief of Defence, Admiral General Teodoro E. López Calderón.
The same day, High Representative Borrell will address the EU Military Committee at Chiefs of Defence level that will convene in Sevilla.
Approximately 2,800 personnel from Member States will simulate the initial phase of a stabilisation operation, involving the Spanish amphibious assault ship ‘Juan Carlos I’, leading an amphibious task group comprising 31 units including maritime, air, land, space and cyber assets.
Over the coming week, Member States’ armed forces will train their capability to act as a credible global security provider, as underlined in the Strategic Compass. The outline of the exercise will involve the preparation for the operation, an amphibious assault, securing and controlling the Seaport of Debarkation followed by the insertion of land enablers to ensure a safe and secure environment.
The EU is moving at full speed with the implementation of the Strategic Compass at all levels. This includes the first-ever EU live exercise. The LIVEX is a crucial step in the preparation of the EU Rapid Deployment Capacity (EU RDC) – a key instrument that will increase the EU’s ability to act rapidly and robustly in response to crises by mobilising the necessary Member States’ capabilities in a coordinated manner.
The LIVEX also represents the EU’s need for common training and exercises of its personnel to test and validate its concepts, procedures and tactics. Similarly, together with future LIVEX, it is a step further to reach full operational capability of the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) by 2025, which should become the EU’s preferred command and control structure, including for the EU RDC.
(Click here for the related fact sheet (2 PDF pages), on the EEAS website: https://www.eeas.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/2023/Milex_Oct2023.pdf) (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ European Union External Action Service)
16 Oct 23. NATO Holds Long-Planned Annual Nuclear Exercise. NATO will launch its long-planned annual nuclear exercise “Steadfast Noon” on Monday (16 October 2023) with up to 60 aircraft taking part in training flights over southern Europe.
The exercise is a routine training activity that has been conducted annually for over a decade. The manoeuvres will involve 13 Allied countries and a mix of aircraft types, including advanced fighter jets and U.S. B-52 bombers that will fly in from the United States.
Conventional jets and surveillance and refuelling aircraft also take part. A different NATO Ally hosts Steadfast Noon each year. Training flights will take place over Italy, Croatia and the Mediterranean Sea.
“Our exercise will help to ensure the credibility, effectiveness and security of our nuclear deterrent”, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “It sends a clear message that NATO will protect and defend all Allies.”
The exercise involves fighter aircraft capable of carrying nuclear warheads, but does not involve any live bombs. The exercise is not linked to current world events and the bulk of the training is held at least 1,000 kilometres from Russia’s borders.
NATO’s Strategic Concept makes clear that “the fundamental purpose of NATO’s nuclear capability is to preserve peace, prevent coercion and deter aggression.” It stresses that “as long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance”.
The exercise will run until 26 October. (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/NATO)
16 Oct 23. UK may ease fast-jet training woes with NFTE entrance.
The UK has signed up to the NATO Flight Training Europe High Visibility project, which leverages training assets of multinational partners.
The UK has accessed a resource that may help to alleviate some of its fast-jet training difficulties, having signed up to the Nato Flight Training Europe (NFTE) High Visibility Project.
The Nato Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) announced on 15 October that the UK and Germany were signing on to the NFTE project, which aims to leverage existing facilities across Europe to assist in the training of fighter pilots, helicopter and transport pilots, and personnel piloting aircraft remotely.
Airforce Technology understands that access to the NFTE will provide alternative flying training systems across Europe to increase the UK capacity, and that this is one of several mitigation procedures introduced to manage the impact of the Hawk T2 engine issues on the training pipeline.
The two new members bring the size of the scheme up to 12 participating nations: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Spain, Turkey and the UK.
While the UK will be among the largest air powers in the NFTE, and has significant training facilities, it also has a demand for fast-jet training that outstrips its supply. The UK has fallen short of its training requirement for fast-jet pilots in recent years, with a shortfall of 125 personnel per year between 2018 and 2019, according to a UK National Audit Office report, equating to 45% of the required number.
In 2022 the UK had 27 short take-off vertical landing F-35B aircraft, but a combined total of only 33 pilots, including three on exchange from the US Air Force, US Marine Corps and Australian Royal Air Force. (Source: airforce-technology.com