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The French Minister of Defense Florence Parly announces new order of four MMCM drone


On 29 May, the French Minister of Defense, Mme Florence Parly, was presented the progress of the Maritime Mine Counter Measures (MMCM) programme in Brest, France.
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The French Minister of Defense Florence Parly announces new order of four MMCM drone 925 001MMCM system (Picture source: Thales)


MMCM is a mine warfare system, composed of Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) and Underwater Unmanned Vehicles (UUVs), aiming at replacing French Marine Nationale and UK Royal Navy. MMCMs will operate quicker, with improved sonar capabilities, monitored from distance by operators in a Portable Operation Center. Each USV is able to launch and recover a towed sonar or a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), with a munition to defeat the mines.

MMCM development has been contracted by OCCAR, on behalf of France and the United Kingdom, to Thales Defense Mission Systems France. The main sub-contractors are Thales UK and L3 ASV from the UK, ECA from France and SAAB from Sweden. The two prototypes have started their sea trials.

Mme Parly confirmed FR intention to order this year 4 additional MMCM systems, once the prototypes will achieve their qualification.


The French Minister of Defense Florence Parly announces new order of four MMCM drone 925 002MMCM system (Picture source: OCCAR)


About MMCM program:

France and the United Kingdom share a vision in which Maritime Mine Counter Measures (MMCM) capability is delivered by unmanned systems operating remotely from a command centre deployed either on board ship or ashore.

The objective of the OCCAR-managed MMCM Programme is to develop, manufacture and qualify two systems to achieve this vision by demonstrating prototype technologies, combined to deliver agile, interoperable and robust MMCM capability.

By defeating static underwater threats at pace, these systems will give strategic, operational and tactical freedom of manoeuvre and thereby assure the delivery of Maritime Force Projection and Maritime Security at the time and place of the States’ choosing in support of a wide range of naval operations.

The FR/UK MMCM Programme is structured in four distinct stages:

Stage 1 – Study: definition and design stage culminating with a successful Critical Design Review for the Primary System.
Stage 2 – Manufacture: development, manufacture and testing of individual sub-systems progressively and iteratively.
Stage 3 – Qualification: demonstration of capabilities in order to qualify the system using realistic operational scenarios.
Stage 4 – 24-month Operational Evaluation: delivery of systems to both the Royal Navy and the Marine Nationale together with contractor support during extended at-sea evaluation and development of concepts for use.

The FR/UK MMCM Contract for the demonstration phase was awarded in March 2015 and alongside this, the programme was integrated into OCCAR.