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France Navy Receives Anti-Submarine Target Drones

The unmanned underwater target vehicles simulate a submarine to hone the French Navy's skill in anti-submarine warfare.

The French Navy has received two unmanned underwater target vehicles (UUVs) that simulate a submarine to hone their skill in anti-submarine warfare.

The system, delivered in September by RTSYS, is part of a contract to deliver eight such vehicles for the navy’s anti-sub training program, which was initiated in 2011. Two more UUVs are expected to be delivered early next year, the France-headquartered firm said in a press release.

The SEMA MK-II underwater target drone replicates a submarine’s active and passive acoustic signature, allowing crews to train in operationally similar conditions, replicating “live-action” dynamic maneuvers.

Weighing 33 kg (72.6 lbs) and measuring 2.13 m (84 in.) in length, it’s more compact than its Mark I predecessor, offering better maneuverability and acoustic performance.

The UUV is easy to operate on a variety of platforms, from ships and submarines and helicopters to rigid inflatable boats.

The MK-II features a high-capacity rechargeable battery that allows it to navigate to a depth of 300 meters for 10 hours at 4 knots (or 1.5 hours at 15 knots).

It also offers GPS-aided repositioning for optimal surface localization at the end of a mission.

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