COLOGNE, Germany – Swedish supplier Saab has received an order to supply underwater vehicles for blasting sea mines to an Anglo-French program, the company announced on Jan. 8.
The $ 300 million (US $ 37 million) deal involves Saab’s Multi-Shot Mine Neutralization System (MuMNS), which consists of a remote-controlled vehicle that can inspect all types of mines and place explosive charges.
The robots can carry three such loads, which means multiple mines can be prepared for detonation in one run.
The company expects to deliver the first vehicles in 2022 to the French company Thales, which manages the binational program as prime contractor. The pan-European armaments cooperation organization manages the effort on behalf of France and the United Kingdom under the name Maritime Mine Counter Measures, or MMCM.
This program in turn provides for a major overhaul of equipment and tactics for countermines in both countries, which rely heavily on unmanned platforms.
“We are proud to announce our first customers of the MuMNS”, Görgen Johansson, head of the Saab subsidiary Dynamics, was quoted in a statement. “It is a great achievement to provide capabilities that enable these navies to conduct safer and more efficient mine countermeasures as the operator can neutralize multiple sea mines from a safe distance.”
The French and British anti-mine programs are based on the 2010 Lancaster House Treaty between the two countries. The first theses began in 2015.
In addition to the Saab vehicle, there are five other technologies that complete the MMCM package, including additional robots and sensors. The manufacturers include the companies ECA, ASV and Thales.