The French Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA) notified Naval Group of a contract intended to study the main use cases and the system architecture of an underwater combat drone called Unmanned Combat Underwater Vehicle (UCUV).
This first study contract will take place over nine months. It will identify the use cases of the UCUV and define the system architecture of an autonomous combat system demonstrator, Naval Group said.
The naval use of military drones and autonomous systems is increasingly sought after by the navies for their intelligence, surveillance or seabed control missions.
Naval Group has invested with its own funds since 2016 to develop a first demonstrator of a large underwater drone (XL-UUV). This demonstrator will be qualified at sea in the summer of 2023 and will test technological bricks in a short cycle.
Among the capabilities developed by the company and its partners is Controlled Decisional Autonomy (ADC), created to be the onboard brain of drones, while offering sailors the ability to supervise all drones in safely, to plan and carry out complex missions, in addition to crewed ships.