Naval Group signs research contract for Unmanned Combat Underwater Vehicle (UCUV)

By Defence Industry Europe

Naval Group has been awarded a contract by the French General Directorate for Armament (DGA) to conduct research on the Unmanned Combat Underwater Vehicle (UCUV). This nine-month preliminary research contract aims to explore the primary applications and system design of the UCUV.

With drones and autonomous military systems gaining importance in naval operations, navies are increasingly seeking advanced tools for tasks such as intelligence gathering, surveillance, and seabed exploration. Naval Group, drawing on its expertise in underwater systems, has been independently funding the development of a large underwater drone prototype (XL-UUV) since 2016.


The upcoming sea qualification of the XL-UUV prototype in summer 2023 will allow for rapid-cycle technological testing. Naval Group, along with its partners, has also developed a unique Controlled Decision Autonomy (ADC) feature, which serves as the onboard brain of the drone. This feature enables sailors to safely manage multiple drones and plan and execute complex missions, complementing manned vessels.

The newly awarded contract on UCUV research sets the stage for further exploration into the technological aspects of combat underwater drones, with the ultimate goal of creating a demonstrator. Naval Group’s collaboration with French partners positions them at the forefront of advancing autonomous underwater systems.




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