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DSA 2024: Naval Group promotes its SMX31 submarine in Malaysia.

At the Defense Services Asia (DSA) 2024 exhibition, Naval Group, the French defense contractor, unveiled a model of its innovative SMX31 submarine.
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Model of the SMX31 at DSA 2024, Kuala Lumpur. (Picture source: Navy Recognition)

The SMX-31, unveiled by Naval Group at the Euronaval 2018 exhibition, is a concept submarine designed with a focus on stealth and automation, intended to meet the demands of future maritime warfare scenarios.

Notable for its absence of a traditional sail, the SMX-31 features a unique biomimetic design to enhance stealth, resembling marine life forms to minimize its sonar signature. This design approach extends to the integration of sensors directly into the hull, eliminating protrusions that could increase acoustic detectability.

This submarine is equipped with two rim-driven electric propulsion motors situated on the sides of the hull near the stern, which not only contributes to its stealth but also maximizes internal space.

This space is utilized for an innovative aft section that can deploy unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) and other equipment. The SMX-31 can carry a range of heavy weapons, including torpedoes and cruise missiles, launched from multiple tubes positioned around the submarine.

With an emphasis on reduced crew requirements due to high levels of automation, the SMX-31 requires only a small crew to operate, which allows for greater focus on high-value operational tasks. The automation is supported by advanced artificial intelligence systems that manage the submarine’s operations and help in data processing for tactical situations.

The SMX-31's propulsion system is entirely electric, powered by high-capacity lithium-ion batteries, offering a significant submerged endurance and a maximum speed of around 20 knots. In terms of operational depth, the SMX-31 is designed to operate at depths greater than 250 meters.

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