Japan, France to develop minehunting AUV under joint programme

Photo: Thales

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has entered into an agreement with the Japanese Ministry of Defence regarding the development of a new autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) optimised for mine countermeasures (MCM) duties.

The development of the AUV is part of a joint project between the Japanese and French defence ministries.

The unmanned vehicle will be equipped with an MHI-developed low-frequency synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) as well as a high-frequency SAS from French defence firm Thales Group. The partners said the combination of the two sonars will enhance the AUV’s ability to conduct accurate synthetic aperture signal processing in real time.

Testing of the prototype will initially be conducted in Japan through 2024. The trials will take place in France shortly afterwards.

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