Exail Secures French Underwater Drone Contract

The French Defense Procurement Agency has awarded Exail a 3.5-million-euro ($3.7 million) contract to deliver its A18D underwater drone to the French Navy.

The multi-sensor drone will support underwater experiments and efforts “to understand and monitor seabeds” across French territories.

Work for the agreement will be conducted over two years, including theoretical and field training for 12 future operators.

“We are proud to participate in this seabed program and to put all of Exail’s technology and the know-how of our teams at the service of France’s ambitions in this area of sovereignty,” Exail CEO Dominique Giannoni said.

Exail’s A18D

The A18D uses a synthetic aperture sonar, bathymetric multibeam echo sonar, sub-bottom profiler sonar, and a video camera for subsurface mapping, high-resolution inspection, and sonar imaging.

The drone includes mission management software to analyze data collected on missions.

Users can operate the A18D with a command-and-control platform that can be integrated onboard a ship.

It can submerge to depths up to 3,000 meters (1.9 miles) and reach a speed of up to 6 knots (11 kilometers/6.9 miles per hour).

The drone can run autonomously for 24 hours and cover up to 40 square kilometers (15 square miles) in a single mission.

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