At UDT 2019 in Stockholm, 13-15 May, Naval Group has been showcasing a number of its naval vessels and solutions developed through its close relationship with the French Navy.

The SMX 31 digital electric next-generation submarine is designed to operate in a highly demanding environment, to carry out information gathering missions and will respond to threats with adapted weapons, or through special action modes – disruptive actions adapted to specific situations. The vessel features significantly increased power which allows for extended submerged periods and long term stealthy manoeuvring. With fully integrated combat and platform management systems, SMX 31 benefits from the latest developments in artificial intelligence and has a biologically-inspired hydrodynamic shape specifically designed for stealth against active acoustic threats, to which the submarine is totally undetectable, the company claims.

Drawing on its experience in autonomous underwater vehicles, Naval Group has developed the D19 family of drones, equipped with modular and easily exchanged front-end payloads. This means they can easily be adapted for multiple missions, such as identification, surveillance, recognition; electronic warfare; anti-submarine warfare; underwater mobile target; mine countermeasures or rapid environmental assessment. Furthermore, they can be launched by a submarine, a surface vessel or from the shore.

Based on an F21 torpedo, the D19 is propelled by a lithium-ion energy section. The vessel, proven in joint efforts by Naval Group and the French Navy, combines long endurance and intelligence.

The company has also been showing visitors to UDT its air independent propulsion (AIP) systems, powered by second-generation FC2G fuel cells. The system gives non-nuclear submarines unprecedented operational ability by enabling them to stay submerged for weeks at a time.

Naval Group has also developed a high performance and highly secure LIB lithium-ion battery system to provide its submarines with outstanding operational capabilities, as well as with greatly optimised immersion period and recharging time.

The SMX 31 electric submarine concept generated considerable visitor interest during UDT 2019. (Photo: Mönch archive)

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