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Thales provides expeditionary operations centre demonstrator to French Navy for drone-based mine countermeasures missions

  • Thales took less than six months to develop the Expeditionary Portable Operations Centre (e-POC), a lightweight, full-function mission planning, management and analysis demonstrator for mine countermeasures operations relying on unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).
  • The innovative demonstrator is a small form-factor, easily transportable operations centre that will enhance force agility by allowing naval operators to control up to three underwater minehunting drones simultaneously from a single computer set up on board a ship or at a shore station.
  • The e-POC solution builds on the M-Cube and MiMap systems, which are currently undergoing operational evaluation by the French Navy, and a number of new system developments.

The French defence procurement agency (DGA) placed an order with Thales, via the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAr), for the provision of an Expeditionary Portable Operations Centre (e-POC) to meet the French Navy's new requirement for a drone-based mine countermeasures capability. The system was developed in less than six months and has been accepted by the DGA and OCCAr after completing sea trials and delivered to the French Navy. The e-POC demonstrator enables naval forces to conduct mine countermeasures missions quickly and efficiently using only unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).

Thales's e-POC demonstrator is an easily transportable solution that will ultimately enable the French Navy to deploy underwater drones for mine countermeasures missions in any theatre of operations. It will provide a flexible mission management capability from outside the zone of operations, helping to keep naval personnel out of harm's way. The e-POC demonstrator runs software developed for the M-Cube1 and MiMap2 systems on a single computer equipped with three control screens to plan, execute and analyse missions requiring the simultaneous deployment of up to three UUVs. The system can be set up on board a ship or at a shore station, and is small enough to fit into just six transport cases for deployment into the theatre of operations. The transport cases are stowed inside the UUV container to streamline logistics and boost mission effectiveness.

"Thales has combined the power of innovation with the agility of its development teams to augment the defensive capabilities of the French Navy. The e-POC solution is designed for rapid deployment into any theatre of operations, making a valuable contribution to future mine countermeasures missions and helping to guarantee the safety of naval personnel." Gwendoline Blandin-Roger, Vice-President Underwater Systems, Thales.

1 MCUBE is the Mine Counter-measure Mission Management system

2 Mission analysis tool that enables operators to analyse sonar data in real time or recorded during a mission, with the support of artificial intelligence.

Camille Heck, Thales, Media Relations Land & Naval Defence
+33 (0)6 73 78 33 63
Alice Pruvot, Head of Media Relations, Aeronautics & Defense
+33 7 70 27 11 37