France evaluates drone anti-mine system

Oct. 25, 2012 at 8:45 AM

PARIS, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- A possible system of "drone-carrying drones" for use in detecting and destroying naval mines is being studied by France's Directorate General of Armaments.

The study is part of Espadon, a long-term project evaluating the feasibility of automated clearance of surface and subsurface naval mines.

DGA said France intends to replace current naval mine-clearance equipment around the year 2020.

The system being evaluated consists of a surface drone and two types of underwater drones that it would carry for use in coastal waters as well as in larger maritime areas.

Experiments of a potential system have been conducted off shore since last year and tests are scheduled for a second drone prototype demonstrator.

A French industry group -- comprised of DCNS, Thales Underwater Systems and ECA -- were awarded a contract for the Espadon program in 2009.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
JetBlue first major airline to offer direct New York to Cuba flights
Samsung faces lawsuit from China over smartphone 'bloatware'
BBC to lay off 1,000 people to make up for $234M in lost revenue