20 Oct 16. ESPADON demos AUV deployment from USV. France’s Direction générale de l’Amament (DGA) has successfully completed its ESPADON demonstration programme. ESPADON is part of the overarching Système de Lutte Anti-Mines Futur (SLAMF) programme, which aims to prove that robotic systems can be used in mine-countermeasure (MCM) missions to reduce risk to manned mine sweeping vessels and their crew. DCNS, ECA Group, and Thales participated in ESPADON. ECA was responsible for the robotic components of the demonstration, providing the A27 and A18-T autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) in addition to the remote control system for the Sterenn Du unmanned surface vessel (USV). In a first for unmanned MCM operations, an AUV was both launched and recovered from Sterenn Du. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
20 Oct 16. Thales, BAE Systems and their partner SAAB, ECA Group and ASV Global welcome the confirmation by the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) that the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) will continue their collaboration for the combined United Kingdom and France MMCM (maritime mine counter measures) programme. Initiated in 2010 under a cooperation agreement between France and the United Kingdom, the MMCM programme develops a prototype autonomous system for detection and neutralisation of sea mines and underwater improvised explosive devices (UWIEDs).
The agreement signed at Euronaval today between Harriet Baldwin, Minister for Defence Procurement in the UK and Laurent Collet-Billon, General Director for French Procurement Agency; is a key milestone in the UK-French co-operation and the commitment to jointly develop future unmanned naval systems.
The next stage of the programme will involve taking the first stage designs into a complete, manufactured system for assessment by the Royal Navy and the French Navy.
Patrice Caine, Chairman & CEO of Thales said: “From the depths of the oceans to the edges of the universe, Thales’ systems are performing at the cutting edge of technology. Today’s strategically important agreement is an excellent example of the Anglo-French co-operation inventing the world of tomorrow.”
BAE Systems Naval Ships Combat Systems Director, Richard Williams, add: “We are pleased to be starting stage two of the combined United Kingdom and French MMCM programme, which is a key milestone in the transformation of MCM capabilities and the future operational use of unmanned naval systems.”
Guénaël Guillerme, CEO of ECA Group: “ECA Group has been providing both French and UK navies with MCM subsea robots for nearly 40 years. We are proud that our wide and unique experience in Autonomous Underwater Vehicles is recognised by those two navies in MMCM program.”
Dan Hook, Managing Director at ASV Global: “This contract culminates years of collaborative development work around the use of autonomous systems for MMCM applications. We’re excited to progress to this next stage of the contract which will see the build of the next generation of MMCM platform following on from the Halcyon demonstrator platform showcased at the Royal Navy’s recent Unmanned Warrior exercise”.
20 Oct 16. DCNS, a world leader in naval defence, and Airbus Helicopters, the world’s leading helicopter manufacturer, are joining forces to design the future tactical component of France’s Naval Aerial Drone (Système de Drones Aériens de la Marine – SDAM) programme. By pooling naval and aerospace skills and expertise, the teaming of DCNS and Airbus Helicopters will be equipped to address all technical challenges arising from the naval integration of the drones through the creation of a robust system architecture that can evolve and adapt to meet every need.
Ten years of experience in the naval integration of aerial drones
For DCNS, drones are the roving eyes of the battle system; their missions are overseen by each ship’s combat management system, ensuring increased effectiveness in real time