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Thales develops drone-based mine countermeasure system for French Navy.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to a PR published by Thales on March 11, 2024, the company has completed the development of the Expeditionary Portable Operations Centre (e-POC) for the French Navy, a system designed to enhance mine countermeasure missions using unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 French sailor in front of the Expeditionary Portable Operations Centre. (Picture source: Thales)

The project, completed in under six months, aims to improve mission efficiency and safety by allowing for remote operation of minehunting drones.

The e-POC system enables the management of up to three UUVs simultaneously from a single computer setup, which can be operated onboard a ship or from a shore station. This development comes as part of efforts to increase operational flexibility and protect naval personnel by conducting operations from a safer distance.

Commissioned by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) through the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAr), the system underwent successful sea trials before being delivered to the French Navy.

The e-POC utilizes technologies from the M-Cube and MiMap systems, which are currently under evaluation, along with new system developments, to provide a comprehensive mission management solution.

The system is designed for portability, ensuring it can be quickly deployed to any theatre of operations. Its compact size allows the entire setup to be transported in just six cases, which can be efficiently packed inside a UUV container for improved logistical operations.

With the introduction of the e-POC, the French Navy gains an advanced tool for conducting mine countermeasure operations, emphasizing the strategic move towards incorporating drone technology in naval operations to reduce human risk and increase mission success rates.

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