CROWN (European active electronically scanned array with Combined Radar, cOmmunications, and electronic Warfare fuNctions for military applications) received funding for the Research Action call on the topic “Electromagnetic Spectrum Dominance” under the European Union's Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR). The project has a duration of 30 months.
CROWN will address research and technological development activities to go a step further in the development of European next-generation multifunction radiofrequency (RF) system mainly for airborne surveillance platforms based on Active Electronically Scanned Arrays (AESA) technology capable of integrating radar, electronic warfare and communications functions into a single compact and lightweight item of equipment. The project makes a significant contribution towards building European industrial defence capability and ensuring industrial independence.
The planned activities of the project include R&D assessment and recommendations on critical technologies, R&T activities on system and component level as well as designing, manufacturing and testing of a small-scale prototype.
CROWN is led by Indra Sistemas S. A. (Spain), and the consortium of the project encompasses a total of 11 participants from 7 countries.
Emerging military scenarios with increasing complex threats are demanding new and advanced RF systems to ensure the strategic autonomy of the European Union (EU). Nevertheless, fully operational multifunction RF systems are not yet available. CROWN unites the EU’s major defence contractors, radar manufacturers, and research institutes and takes an initiative to define the steps towards the availability of a fully digital multifunction RF AESA-based system for the end users within the next decade.
Tangible progress for the future development of a high performance European multifunctional RF AESA-based system, combining radar, electronic warfare, and communications functions.
CROWN will address research and technological development (R&D) activities to go a step further in the development of European high-performance wideband multifunction RF AESA-based systems to face the emerging scenarios. The multifunction RF system will be based on digital AESA architecture with capability of operating in a wide range of frequencies.
EU supply chain assurance regarding critical defence technologies and particularly for the domain of multifunction RF AESA-based systems.
During CROWN critical materials, components and technologies will be identified and prioritized in a criticality mapping. Technology roadmaps and recommendations will be given. This will help to evaluate what is the need of investment on EU R&D and what are the industrial capacities to improve and/or create to design and build in Europe a wideband, high-power multifunctional RF AESA-based system. This activity will be aligned with inputs from the different European suppliers and customer requirements, being both key project stakeholders.
Active collaboration in the project of main stakeholders and end users for requirements identification and demonstration activities.
To assure that all needs from main stakeholder and end users will be collected and reflected into the system requirements, assuring maximum value project delivery, Ministers of Defence representing the seven different Consortium countries confirmed their involvement in the project. This will be a strategic complement to the CROWN consortium built with the most relevant European defence industries, with broad experience in RF systems in all military domains.
Constitution of a solid base for a future joint Union development program for a European multifunction RF AESA-based system.
Nowadays, efforts to overcome the technological limits of fully operational multifunction RF systems are made worldwide, hence the importance for Europe to create its own solution and foster collaboration between different EU countries and industries avoiding dependencies from non-European suppliers and strengthening our industry and its global position. Work and results obtained during CROWN will help to show the way forward giving and idea of the investment, milestones and research activities needed to further developments.