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STX France unveils multimission concept for ocean research and mine warfare

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STX France has unveiled DeviceSeas, a multimission concept for mine warfare, ocean research and more. Following a preliminary study phase and discussions with experts at Ifremer (French institute of marine research & exploration), SHOM (French Naval Hydrographic & Oceanographic Service) and Navy mine clearance specialists, STX France has developed a concept for a multi-role platform offering a vast modular work deck with space for survey boats, autonomous underwater vehicles, RHIBs and containers. The deck features an innovative LARS (launch and recovery system) comprising an A‑frame and a rail-guided handling system to launch and recover boats, AUVs, RHIBs and the like with minimum effort and maximum safety.

 

(© : STX France)

(© : STX France)

(© : STX France)

(© : STX France)

 

Research versions will carry an array of equipment to study and map the seabed and marine environments and a hull dome for various sensors including a 16‑metre multibeam echo sounder. Electric propulsion ensures the low noise levels needed to record high-quality acoustic and other data while the reverse stem minimises transducer interference due to ‘bubble sweepdown’. The design also includes an IT room and 110sq.m of reconfigurable space for three to five laboratories.

 

(© : STX France)

(© : STX France)

 

The steel hull will be optimised for low acoustic and magnetic signatures ensuring good potential for mine countermeasures. In this role, a DeviceSeas mother vessel would deploy various automated vehicles from a safe stand-off distance. A hangar on a deck extension could house four large AUVs which, like the automated surface vehicles stored on deck, would be deployed by aft A‑frame. The ASVs would deploy towed sonars, small AUVs to detect and identify mines, and clearance robots. For divers, the design offers below-deck storage and dedicated spaces; for UAVs, a flight deck for loads up to 400kg and a hangar for two Camcopter S‑100s, or similar. The UAVs would be used for reconnaissance and as communications relays between the ship and the USVs and AUVs engaged in mine clearance.

Thanks to an innovative multimission concept, a DP2 dynamic positioning system and wide-ranging capabilities, DeviceSeas ships will also be well-suited to missions from surveillance to SAR and spill cleanup.

 

DiviceSeas technical data 

Displacement: 4,000 t

Dimensions (m): 84 x 15

Power: 9,300 kW

Speed: 16 kts

Accomodation: 30 (+30)

Weapons: 1 x 20mm 

Chantiers de l'Atlantique (ex-STX France)