WB Group to Develop "Silent" Communications as a Part of the European ENC Initiative

Image Credit: WB Group
Image Credit: WB Group

RADMOR company, being a part of the WB Group, is involved in the ESSOR New Capabilities project - specifically in the development of three new waveforms for SDR applications (narrowband „silent” land, air, and SATCOM waveforms). The implementation of the new solution is aimed at enhancing the interoperability and communications security levels among the European Armed Forces. The ENC initiative is scheduled to be finalized in 35 months.

Gdynia-based RADMOR company, a leading communications hardware supplier, has been involved in the ESSOR (European Secure Software Defined Radio) programme since its very inception. The initiative is aimed at the development of Paneuropean solutions for Software-Defined Radios, and consequential reinforcement of the capabilities of the Armed Forces when it comes to allied interoperability.

The OCCAR programme dealing with this domain was launched by EDA (European Defence Agency) in 2009. It has received sponsorship from the Finnish, French, Spanish, Polish, and Italian governments. For some time now, Germany has also been involved in the project. Rohde & Schwarz is the German industrial partner.

RADMOR has already launched its ESSOR New Capabilities effort, within the framework of three waveforms. Narrowband ESSOR NBWF, airband ESSOR 3DWF, and ESSOR SATCOM WF waveforms. The project is also to cover lifecycle management for the waveforms and ensure interoperability when transferred to national radio terminals.

In the case of the ESSOR 3DWF and ESSOR SATCOM WF waveforms, the main objective is to develop a common, secure solution that would be jamming-resistant and that could withstand other countermeasures potentially employed by the enemy. The ESSOR NBWF narrow-band waveform may be used, based on the experience of the WB Group and the RADMOR company, to create jamming-resistant low power communications, making detection and identification of such communications a major challenge. Frequency-hopping narrowband communications are challenging when it comes to jamming or interception.

Formally, the A4ESSOR stock company (Alliance for ESSOR) responsible for developing secure European SDR technologies has signed a procurement contract on ENC with the European OCCAR body (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d'ARmement). The programme in question is to guarantee efficient interoperability of the military elements in the field, providing compliance with software-defined radio platforms based on ESSOR and SCA [Software Communication Architecture]. This translates into a capability to establish secure joint communications.

Aside from the ESSOR WBWF wideband waveform, the definition of the European SDR architecture has been developed and verified. It was transferred and qualified to six different European platforms. The benefits of interoperability stemming from the waveform applied are being continuously demonstrated within the framework of networking tests that take into account a myriad of systems operated by the participating nations.

The next step for the ESSOR programme is seen in the establishment of a facility that would supervise the lifecycle of the waveforms developed, with testing involving numerous platforms also envisaged. This stage would also involve the Polish RADMOR company that, thanks to a laboratory it owns, would be able to specialize itself in interoperational testing at all stages of the programme.

Back in 2021, the 4ESSOR company received formal approval of the ESSOR HDR base waveform (High Data Rate Base Waveform). In 2022 the interoperability testing among the current participants is to be completed. The new German member is to finalize his tests a year later.

The ESSOR ENC contract is compliant with the EDIDP ESSOR subsidy agreement signed by OCCAR and partners, on behalf of the European Commission, in July 2021. The agreement would cover the participation of new enterprises in subcontracting roles: Telespazio Belgium (a daughter company of the Leonardo and Thales Telespazio joint venture) and Edisoft (a joint venture between Thales, EMPORDEF and NAV Portugal).

The ENC project is financed via the European Defence Industrial Development Programme, based on agreement no. 44. EDIDP, as the European Defence Fund preparatory phase, is a support programme run by the European Union that is financed by the European Commission to boost competitiveness and innovation within the European defence industry.