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Sener takes part in three projects of the latest call of the European Defence Fund


The company will provide its experience in the OPTIMAS (multi-domain project for safe laser optical communications between satellite constellations and air, sea and ground units), ARCHYTAS (which will research unconventional applications of artificial intelligence in defence), and MARTE (to develop a main battle tank for Europe suited to new threats and needs) programmes.

In total, Sener has been involved in 14 projects of the European Defence Fund since its inception in 2021, most notably in HYDEF, the first programme to develop a European missile interceptor against threats from hypersonic vehicles, whose coordination was awarded to Sener and subsequently transferred to SMS, and in COMMANDS, where Sener leads a multinational consortium to develop ground convoys equipped with autonomous navigation.

Once again, Sener is cementing its position as a technological and industrial leader in Europe by taking part in three important European Defence Fund (EDF) programmes from its 2023 call – OPTIMAS, ARCHYTAS and MARTE – thus strengthening its commitment to European industrial collaboration.

OPTIMAS is a programme to link satellite constellations to air, sea and ground units using laser-encoded optical communications. Its goal is to develop a robust multi-domain solution that provides a high-speed, two-way data link between unmanned units and satellites and the ability to distribute quantum keys. It will also feature pointing, acquisition and tracking functions for satellites in low-Earth orbit (LEO).

In OPTIMAS, Sener will lead the design of the laser-precision pointing system, contributing its experience in PAT (Pointing, Acquisition, and Tracking). SENER is also responsible for the attitude and orbit control system (AOCS), a field in which it has considerable recent experience, as the main contractor of this system in the EUCLID mission of the European Space Agency (ESA).

Elsewhere, ARCHYTAS will study the feasibility of non-conventional artificial intelligence (AI) accelerators for defence applications that use novel technologies, such as opto-electronic accelerators, among others. ARCHYTAS will address the challenges encountered in various defence use cases, proposing more efficient alternatives in terms of energy consumption, speed and costs. Sener will lead the study of the land use case, leveraging its experience in the design and development of autonomous systems.

Finally, the MARTE programme will design a new main combat tank for Europe that is suitable for current and future threats and needs, with greater protection, detection and fire power capabilities, improving the platform’s profitability and the efficiency of its life cycle. To this end, it will integrate innovative technologies that will also be used to improve today’s fighting vehicles. In MARTE, Sener is involved in MUT (Manned-Unmanned Teaming), autonomy, situational awareness and the integration of unmanned air and ground vehicles (UAV and UGV, respectively).

Rafael Orbe, Managing Director of Defence at Sener, states:“We are very satisfied with the contracts received, which coincide with the focus of the developments we want to promote. Sener’s strategy is acknowledged through the granting of programmes financed by European Defence Funds”.

These three contracts are in addition to SWAT-SHOAL (to improve collaboration between manned and unmanned assets in underwater missions), ODIN’S EYE II (to develop a space-based early warning architecture for missiles),  LATACC (to improve the collaboration capabilities of armed forces, from the brigade’s command post, to combat vehicles in high-intensity conflicts) and SPIDER (feasibility study for the development of affordable multi-mission satellite constellations dedicated to intelligence, surveillance, and recognition), from the previous EDF call, in which Sener is also involved.

In total, Sener has participated in 14 EDF projects since its inception in 2021. Of note is its significant involvement in HYDEF, the first project to develop a European missile interceptor against threats from hypersonic vehicles, awarded to Sener and subsequently transferred to SMS; as well as in COMMANDS, where Sener’s leadership has been recognised through its coordination of the European Defence Fund in the autonomous navigation of ground platforms.

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