Exail’s A18 underwater drone chosen by DGA, the French defense procurement agency, for seabed operations

Published on December 19, 2022 – News

Exail Technologies announces the signature of a contract for the rental of an A18 AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle) with the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA), the French defense procurement agency. The French Navy will use this multi-sensor autonomous vehicle to conduct experimentations with a view to define its future needs, with the technical support of the DGA, as part of the French Ministry for armed forces’ strategy to understand and monitor seabed.

The contract is scheduled to last about two years and includes academic and operational training for 12 sailors. This contract follows an initial operational evaluation campaign conducted last year and constitutes the first step in this experimentation program.

The A18 AUV will be able to be embarked on several types of ships. It offers seabed reconnaissance and characterization capabilities thanks to various sensors, including sonars. Combined with the acoustic positioning system (GAPS) produced by Exail, it will be able to operate with great precision even at depths of 3,000 meters.

Observing and monitoring what is happening in the deep ocean has become a real necessity to ensure the protection of national interests. Last February, the French Ministry for armed forces unveiled its seabed strategy, supported by the “France 2030” investment plan. As part of this plan, dozens of millions of euros will be devoted to the development of innovative technologies, in particular to provide highly autonomous exploration equipment.