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Periodista del EMAD

The Akhenaton research project trials come to an end

Hoyo de Manzanares - Madrid
November 7, 2023
  • The Akhenaton project researches means of protection for light vehicles

This October, the last batch of tests corresponding to the AKHENATON project has been carried out. These tests were carried out at the El Palancar manoeuvring and firing range, thanks to the support provided by units of the Spanish Army and Navy.

After completing the phases of threat characterisation, modelling, simulation and the three batches of tests, the final reports are now being drawn up by the bodies involved.

During these three batches of tests, the protection design has been refined to arrive at the most suitable solution, which will be presented to NATO's ESCD in the coming months.

With a two-year duration and co-funded by the Emerging Security Challenges Division and the Centre of Excellence against Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED CoE), the AKHENATON project focuses on the initial conceptual design and further testing of modular solutions with lightweight materials for the protection of vehicles against the threat of projectiles consisting of explosive charges. This protection is integrated in a way that does not affect the manoeuvrability of the vehicle, within acceptable production costs. This project is of relevance to the Armed Forces as the threat of projectiles made up of explosive charges is common in the different areas of operations where they are currently deployed.

In the AKHENATON project, in addition to the C-IED CoE, the Polytechnic University of Madrid, through its Schools of Mining Engineering and Civil Engineering, as well as the engineering company E&Q S.L., are involved on the Spanish side. As for foreign organisations, the Universidade do Minho (Portugal) and the Bundeskriminalamt (Germany) are participating.


The Centre of Excellence against Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED CoE), one of 28 NATO Accredited Centres of Excellence, is located in Hoyo de Manzanares, Madrid. Its mission is to provide expert support to NATO, NATO partners and the International Community in the fight against the IED System in order to improve the security of deployed troops by reducing or eliminating the IED threat, especially from terrorist and insurgent networks and from any type of emerging threat resulting from rapidly changing global scenarios.

As part of the Concept Development and Experimentation pillar of NATO-accredited Centres of Excellence, the C-IED CoE leads or participates in research projects related to counter-IEDs with the ability to define requirements, plan the development schedule or conduct trials and analyse the results. In addition, every two years, the  C-IED CoE organises the Technology Workshop Seminar where companies and experts in the field of C-IEDs exchange knowledge and learn about the latest technological advances in the field. The last edition, held in 2022 in Segovia, was a great success with two hundred participants from twenty-eight countries including forty-four companies and organisations exhibiting their latest developments in the field. The next edition will take place in May or June 2024 in Seville.

The C-IED CoE was offered by Spain to NATO as part of its network of Centres of Excellence and first accredited by the Alliance in November 2010. In April 2023, it underwent a new accreditation process, with a result that was "extremely satisfactory" to NATO's interests.