The European Defence Agency is coordinating an effort to develop mobile counter-IED laboratories.(Photo French MoD)
March 18, 2015 By Julian Hale – Defense News
BRUSSELS — The Netherlands is the lead nation in an EU effort to build two mobile counter-IED labs for use by EU countries at a cost of about €10 million (US $10.6 million).
The money will come from an ad hoc EDA budget. The new labs are due to be available for deployment in theater by the end of 2015, according to an EDA official.
Coordinated by the European Defence Agency (EDA), Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden are involved, while other countries have also expressed interest in the project. Only these 12 countries currently can decide on where the labs would be deployed.
The goal is to have the labs ready to be deployed within five days and fully operational in a given mission area within 21 days.
The aim of the Joint Deployable Exploitation and Analysis Laboratory (JDEAL) is to gather information about IEDs to better understand, identify and reveal IED threat networks. This will enable EU countries to adapt the tactics, techniques and procedures they use in operations and training.
The EDA has already issued a tender, which cannot be seen by the general public, to produce two deployable, fully functional laboratories, as well as housing for them. The EDA is currently evaluating offers received by industry in order to design, develop and deliver the JDEAL capability.
Asked which companies had responded to the tender, an EDA official said offers had been received but "the names of the companies cannot be disclosed as the evaluation process is ongoing."
The technical functionalities required by the tender cover area such as electronics, chemical, media and documentation exploitation, triage, and command and control.
After the EDA has finalized contracts with supplier companies, the labs are expected to be ready for deployment in November or December.