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€25 million for military research includes investigation into "swarming" naval drones
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The European Commission recently approved the budget for the EU's 'Preparatory Action on Defence Research', seen as paving the way for a full-blown military research budget to be launched in 2020. €25 million is going towards the Preparatory Action, which will be managed by the European Defence Agency and supported by a a group made up of "governmental experts in defence". It includes a project on technology "to demonstrate that situational awareness in a naval environment can be significantly improved" through the use of unmanned vehicles, which will examine the possibility of "swarming behaviours".

See: COMMISSION DECISION of 11.4.2017 on the financing of the 'Preparatory action on Defence research' and the use of unit costs for the year 2017 (C(2017) 2262 final, 11 April 2017, pdf)

The other research priorites are "technology and products in the context of Force Protection and Soldier Systems" and "Strategic Technology Foresight".

See also: PA on Defence Research: Commission adopts financial decision with project details (European Defence Agency, link)

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