Germany has officially joined the European Secure Software Defined Radio (ESSOR) programme and the operational capability 1 (OC1) phase.

The participation follows the award of a contract amendment by the Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement (OCCAR).

Germany’s Rohde & Schwarz will work alongside the other participating companies Bittium, Indra, Leonardo, Radmor, and Thales.

The contract amendment was awarded to the multinational Alliance for ESSOR (a4ESSOR) joint venture, which is developing the European Secure Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology.

The €100m, 63-month contract will replace the ESSOR OC1 contract signed in November 2017.

a4ESSOR president and general manager Lino Laganà said: “This contract, which will see Germany participate in the ESSOR programme, is a big step forward towards a common European defence infrastructure.

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“Secure communications are key to the interoperability of armed forces, which is why a4ESSOR has been developing high-quality and highly secure communications capabilities, which are easily deployable on several manufacturers’ radios thanks to SDR technology and our ESSOR architecture.”

Laganà added: “This contract also recognises the outstanding work and achievements of the a4ESSOR team over the last ten years, and is an acknowledgement of the importance of the collaboration between our long-standing shareholders Bittium, Indra, Leonardo, Radmor and Thales.”

Initiated in 2009, the ESSOR programme seeks to provide the armed forces with a communication capability that will allow them to cooperate in coalition operations.

The programme has already produced and proved the European High Data Rate (HDR) waveform and a European SDR Architecture definition.

The architecture has been qualified on six different European platforms.