European Commission selects Naval Group Belgium for MIRICLE project

MIRICLE
A World War II-era bomb of the US air force is detonated by the crew of French minesweeper Orion in Bastia on June 2, 2015. PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

In the frame of the EDIDP (European Defence Industrial Development Programme) and in line with the PESCO project MAS MCM (Maritime semi- Autonomous Mine Counter Measures) Naval Group Belgium, a 100% subsidiary of Naval Group, will lead the MIRICLE project for a period of twenty-four months, Naval Group announced.

The 19 top European partners working together in the consortium will strengthen European capabilities in mine countermeasures for harsh environments and evolving threats. This project will allow reaching a European and sovereign capacity in the future mine warfare.

MIRICLE project will pave the way for the next generation of countermeasure solutions “made in Europe”, hence improving capacities to fight against maritime mines.

These technologies will more specifically enable European navies to benefit from the highest and most interoperable military mine countermeasures capabilities, in accordance with NATO recommendations. These innovations will complement the main components of mine warfare, made up of Mine Counter Measure (MCM) vessels, unmanned vehicles and robots (“Toolbox”), the mission system, the communication network and artificial Intelligence-powered decision making.

future mine countermeasures vessels of the belgian navy and dutch navy in action - naval post
Future Mine Countermeasures (MCM) vessels of the Belgian Navy and Dutch Navy (Credit: Marineschepen)

More specifically, MIRICLE project has three objectives:

  • To provide a comprehensive and forward-looking definition and assessment of the MCM technologies.
  • To set up the technological development roadmap for next generation of countermeasure solutions, which corresponds to Member States’ procurement plans. MIRICLE is supported by 8 countries who have signed a common Letter of Intent under the coordination of Belgian Defence.
  • To develop the interoperability of these assets.

This 24-months project will cover study, design, prototyping and test activities, all dedicated to strengthening R&D cooperation and technical excellence in mine countermeasures of the European countries. It will contribute to future European Defence Fund (EDF) developments, addressing main mine countermeasure challenges and enabling the European naval community to pursue the development of a unique mine action capability. Thanks to the European Commission and the financial support of the associated Member States, the nineteen partners will benefit in the future from strategic autonomy in the mine warfare domain.

miricla
Image Courtesy Of Naval Group

Nineteen partners

Naval Group Belgium will bring together the programmatic and operational contribution of academic, industry and research partners. The consortium includes both world leaders in the naval and/or robotics fields and small players pushing innovations. Members originate from ten European Union member states. The following actors will support Naval Group Belgium and its mother company Naval Group:

  • ECA ROBOTICS (France)
  • ECA ROBOTICS (Belgium)
  • THALES DMS(France)
  • CAFA TECH (Estonia)
  • TNO (The Netherlands)
  • FORCEAPP BV (The Netherlands)
  • SPACE APPLICATIONS SERVICES (Belgium)
  • ELWAVE SAS (France)
  • Sociedad Anónima de Electrónica, Submarina S.M.E, SAES (Spain)
  • Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee, VLIZ (Belgium)
  • TERRA SPATIUM SA (Greece)
  • Office National d’Etudes et de Recherches Aérospatiales, ONERA (France)
  • DotOcean N.V. (Belgium)
  • Ośrodek Badawczo -Rozwojowy Centrum Techniki Morskiej S.A. , CTM (Poland)
  • SISTRADE SOFTWARE CONSULTING SA (Portugal)
  • Belss Ltd (Latvia)
  • Agenţia de Cercetare pentru Tehnică şi Tehnologii Militare -Military Equipment and Technologies Research Agency, METRA (Romania).

Together, they will enhance MCM toolboxes to bring them to a higher degree of maturity by developing minefield instrumentation to optimize navigation and communication, thus optimizing mine detection, identification and neutralization.

The vessels will also benefit from innovations through the development of (semi)-autonomous Mine Countermeasures Vessel (MCMV) platforms, the improvement of interoperability & standardization, as well as through the development of a scalable intelligent multi-UxV mission management system and of an evolutive UxV Launch and Recovery System (LARS) onboard platform and docking.

Check out Naval Library App to learn more about the specifications of MCM vessels.

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