New Wave Media

March 30, 2021

JV Aims to Develop Next-Gen AUV for Mine Countermeasure

OZZ-5, autonomous underwater mine countermeasure vehicle. Image courtesy MHI

OZZ-5, autonomous underwater mine countermeasure vehicle. Image courtesy MHI

Project aimed at developing next-generation mine countermeasure technology using AI to enhance precision of detection and classification support function, aiming for real-time signal processing on board the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has concluded a research and prototype production contract with Japan’s Ministry of Defense for next-generation mine-countermeasure technology, a France-Japan joint research project being conducted based on agreement between the countries' defense authorities.

The research and prototype manufacturing project aims to combine the low frequency synthetic aperture sonar (LF-SAS) mounted in MHI’s OZZ-5 autonomous underwater mine countermeasure vehicle with the high frequency synthetic aperture sonar (HF-SAS) from France’s Thales Group, and by enhancing the precision of the automatic detection and classification function, together with signal processing technology development, achieve synthetic aperture signal processing in real time.

This joint research project is being conducted based on a France-Japan strategic roadmap to “continue cooperation including producing a prototype using sophisticated mine detection technology and conducting sea trials.” Testing will be conducted in Japan through 2024, followed by trials in France.

MHI, through this France-Japan joint technology development, will supply high-performance, high-quality products in a timely manner, and following government guidance, will take part in international cooperation in the rescue, transport, patrol, surveillance, and mine countermeasure sectors.

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