Defense technology


France enlists the Naval Group...


France enlists the Naval Group to conduct research on armed underwater drones

France Naval Group research
The Silicon Review
08 June, 2023

Once qualified, the XL-UUV will be used by Naval Group to test several "technological bricks" in a short cycle.

According to the company's announcement on June 7, the French military has given Naval Group a new contract to explore the design of a future armed unmanned undersea vehicle. During the nine-month study, Naval Group will analyze key use cases and design system architectures for an unmanned Combat Underwater Vehicle, or UCUV. According to Naval Group, its missions would include intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), with the goal of assisting the French military to "master" the seabed.

The system was originally unveiled in 2021, after the business began developing it in 2016. According to Naval Group, once qualified, the XL-UUV will be used to test multiple "technological bricks" in a short cycle. One such building block might be the Controlled Decision-Making Autonomy (ADC) capability, which has been developed in collaboration with France's national aerospace research center ONERA to serve as a "onboard brain for drones."

The research is being conducted while Naval Group prepares its extra-large unmanned underwater vehicle (XL-UUV) demonstration for sea trials this summer. In regard to the construction of the first demonstrator, this first UCUV project sets the door for subsequent work to quickly create the major technological bricks of such a drone.