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French Navy Deploys Kongsberg HUGIN Superior AUV

The HUGIN drone [© KONGSBERG Maritime]

The French Navy has conducted a first campaign with the HUGIN Superior AUV to implement an exploratory capacity for deep sea underwater drones.


DGA Press Release, Paris, 20 October 2022: [auto-translated] The DGA notified the Norwegian manufacturer Kongsberg Maritime of a contract for the implementation by the French Navy of the Autonomous Unmanned Vehicle (AUV) HUGIN Superior which can operate up to 6,000 metres deep. This contract, notified on August 12, 2022 and for a maximum amount of around four million Euros, includes several trips to the sea. It is part of the exploratory capacity of the ministerial strategy for controlling funds sailors.

As part of this strategy, in October 2022 the French Navy conducted a first campaign to implement an exploratory capacity for ‘deep sea’ underwater drones. The objective sought: to have autonomous submarine systems capable of operating in great depths. This first campaign consisted of a deployment of the hydrographic and oceanographic ship Beautemps-Beaupré from Brest, with the vehicle HUGIN Superior.

The DGA Naval Techniques centre of expertise and testing was involved in the specification of the requirement and will also participate in the feedback from these missions with a view to the future specification of the means that will be developed for the needs of the French Navy.

This first stage of defining an exploratory capacity is thus based on the rental of various French and European equipment, autonomous (AUV) or remotely operated (Remotely Operated Vehicle – ROV), available on the market, and which are intended to be used during campaigns at sea. With these campaigns, the DGA and the French Navy will be able to refine and then define their concept of employment.

A second stage, defined in synergy with the France 2030 investment plan, will ultimately provide sovereign access to future deep seabed capacities.


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