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French Ministry of Defense launches SLAM-F future anti-mine system armament program.

| 2020

The SLAM-F will eventually replace all current mine warfare resources (tripartite mine hunters, sonar towing vessels, mine clearance diver base ships).
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The surface drone (USV) of the SLAM-F program (anti-mine action system of the future) demonstrated its capabilities in the harbor of Brest on June 6, 2019. A demonstration carried out with the assistance of DGA Naval Techniques which highlighted works the exercise mines (Picture source: French Defense Ministry)

In particular, SLAM-F will contribute to ensuring the freedom of maneuver of the nuclear deterrent force by securing the implementation of the strategic units of the French Navy (SSBN, nuclear missile submarines (SNLE, Sous-marins nucléaires lanceurs d'engins), aircraft carriers). It will thus make it possible to protect access to French ports and, depending on the circumstances, to support the deployment of a naval action force, to secure the evacuation of nationals, to participate in crisis prevention or to intervene in contested environment.

The SLAM-F program consists of four components:
* drone systems that can be implemented from the ground or from a dedicated building. They are the heart of SLAM-F and are the subject of Franco-British cooperation called "Maritime mines counter measures ”(MMCM), within the framework of the Joint Organization for Cooperation in Armaments (OCCAR);
* Mine warfare ships (BGDM, Bâtiments de guerre des mines) dedicated to driving and deploying drones;
* New generation mine clearance diver base ships (BBPD NG, Bâtiments bases de plongeurs démineurs nouvelle génération);
* a Mine Warfare Data Operating System (SEDGM, Système d'exploitation des données de guerre des mines).

The model, defined by the 2019-2025 military programming law, provides for eight anti-mine drone systems (including four delivered by 2024), four to six mine warfare vessels and five new base ships for mine clearance divers in the 2030 horizon.

The design study and the production of the prototypes of the drone system have been entrusted to Thales, of which the company Études et Constructions Aéronautiques (ECA) will be the main French subcontractor. SLAM-F's industrial organization will be gradually defined when the contracts relating to the various components of the program are awarded.

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