Naval Group Reveals SMX 31 E, its 2020 Concept Sub

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  The SMX31E is Naval Group’s newest submarine concept. The underwater combat vessel, unveiled by the shipyard, integrates the “latest digital technologies for reinforced operational efficiency and significant versatility of use. Stealthier thanks to her biomimetic covering, the ship also benefits from an unmatched electrical energy storage capacity and a new propulsion concept.”

Naval Group seeks to build a long-term vision, consistent with the operational needs expressed by its customers in order to invest in systems which will remain technologically superior over the 30 to 40 years of ships’ lifecycles.

 In designing the submarine, the group’s naval architects project themselves in the future whereby circa 2040, in a context of permanent surveillance of oceans, navies will have to navigate in very intricate environment. The objectives for submariners will be to operate freely, to share information safely and to be able to act firmly and swiftly.

“The SMX31E offers a stealthier, more autonomous and flexible solution. More than a smart ship, the SMX31E constitutes a smart naval force to gain superiority in future underwater battlefields,” said the European leader in naval vessel construction when unveiling the concept Oct 23.

The shipyard said, the increased invulnerability is the result of the biomimetic shape and the skin material making it stealthier against active sonar emissions. “Endurance is the other asset of the SMX31E –it allows the crew to be submerged for months thanks to the high energy capacities and efficient energy management system.”

Using advanced artificial intelligence technology, this submarine offers maximal connectivity to interact with the rest of the fleet in a distributed underwater network. This new IT design enables the crew to collect and process data efficiently with remote sensors allowing them to master underwater tactical situation. At the end of the day, the SMX 31E can monitor areas 10 times larger than today with the same efficiency.

“This smart ship always keeps human decision in the loop and becomes a force multiplier thanks to the integration of all kinds of drones including large sized drones.” Connected to each other, these vectors contribute to better control an extended underwater battlespace, Naval Group said. –shp/mhi/iz

Technical Characteristics of the SMX 31 E

·         Submerged displacement: 3 200 tonnes

·         Length: 80 metres

·         Armament: 24 heavy-weight weapons (naval cruise missiles, F21 torpedoes, anti-ship missiles)

·         Up to 6 UUV (533mm) + 2 XLUUV

·         Special Forces dedicated facilities (trunks, storage rooms, vehicle and weapons, grouping areas…)

·         Two rim driven electric propulsion motors

·         Crew: 15 crew members + 12 to 20 pax

·         Submerged mission: > 40 days at speed of 8 kts.