Fincantieri and its subsidiaries Fincantieri NexTech and IDS – Ingegneria Dei Sistemi are collaborating with the Italian Navy CSSN (Centro di Supporto e Sperimentazione Navale) at the REPMUS (Robotic Experimentation and Prototyping augmented by Maritime Unmanned Systems) 2023, the annual military exercise organized and hosted by the Portuguese Navy and NATO with the participation of forces from foreign military forces, universities and tech companies.
The REPMUS, underway these days in Portugal, allows NATO and partner countries, NATO Centres of Excellence, and NATO STO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation – CMRE, to test in a realistic environment the Fincantieri cutting-edge unmanned system solutions, which include the Multi Mission MUS Toolkit based on the SAND (Surface Advanced Naval Drone) together with an innovative UMS (Unmanned Management System).
Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO of Fincantieri, stated: “The underwater dimension is acquiring increasing relevance due to the presence of critical infrastructures, resources and activities. In this a context, Fincantieri is an accelerator and catalyst for marine technologies providing considerable underwater and surface warfare capabilities and ensuring the interoperability between unmanned and legacy assets”.
The Multi Mission MUS Toolkit can be integrated on new and legacy vessels increasing the effectiveness and persistence related to the execution of specific military activities and reducing or eliminating the exposure of personnel to risks. The platform and its payloads autonomous activities can be controlled and supervised by the operators working at the control stations, based on the experience acquired with both remotely operated surface and air unmanned systems of IDS (now part of Fincantieri NexTech).
SAND, launched in early 2019 under a joint project between IDS, Effebi and Meccano Engineering, is a reconfigurable multirole unmanned surface vehicle that can be used for a variety of missions, from Search and Rescue to environmental monitoring and maritime security. SAND has been developed primarily aiming to address recursive or dangerous operational scenarios where the employment of personnel can be safely and effectively replaced by use of unmanned and autonomous vessels.
Over the last year, a Launch & Recovery System (LARS) capable to deploy the unmanned underwater vehicles’ from Graal Tech that can provide naval mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and critical seabed infrastructure protection capabilities was integrated on SAND. The SAND, acting as a communication gateway, allows the capability, through the Fincantieri NexTech’s UMS, to manage a coordinated team of unmanned systems of different types (air, surface and submarine) from virtual ship ashore or from real warships like the Italian FREMM.
The system is also provided with a high level of standardization in the data protocol, including the CATL for the communication among different command and control systems that supports interoperability in line with the emerging NATO STANAG 4817.
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