The French Navy’s six A9-M autonomous underwater vehicles are set to receive upgraded long range communication equipment after thee years of operational service.
The AUVs were delivered to the French Navy’s mine disposal divers (GPD) of Toulon and Brest by defense technology company ECA Group in 2013.
The vehicles can be deployed from different platforms (RHIB, larger vessel) or from land. According to the company, the new function of the long range communication will allow to exchange messages from the vehicle even when NLOS (Non Line Of Sight). It will then be possible to send basic order and mission modifications, such as a return to the launching point.
The company said this new function which is the result of operational ‘return of experience’ will be proposed in the future on all ECA Group AUVs (A9, A18, A27) and will increase the operational capabilities of these unmanned vehicles.