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Safran wins contract for French robotics programme ‘Furious'

Safran Electronics & Defense ‘eRider' (pictured) is playing an important role in the French robotics programme ‘Furious'. (Safran)

Safran Electronics & Defense has been awarded a new ‘optional tranche' contract by the French defence procurement agency (Delegation Générale de l'Armement – DGA) for the robotics programme ‘Furious', Safran announced on 20 June.

‘Furious' – part of the Scorpion modernisation programme – seeks to develop innovative robotic systems for mounted and dismounted warfighters. In 2018 the DGA awarded Safran and partner Effidence a contract to study and “lay the groundwork for the integration of land robots”, a separate Safran announcement said.

Three vehicles or demonstrators will be tested during this five-year period. The eRider unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), developed by Safran, is the largest of the three robots in the study.

This latest announcement follows successful trials of the robotic vehicles at Sissone military base – the French Army's urban combat training centre – in late 2021, Safran said.

These trials conclude the end of the firm contract phase, Safran said. During this phase, the company focused on a modular architecture concept (hardware and software), to ensure autonomous operation of any manned or unmanned terrestrial platform. This architecture was then integrated and trialled on the three platforms, Safran said.

According to the announcement, the new optional tranche contract will enhance this architecture, while also strengthening and testing the autonomous functions in more complex and challenging environments. The autonomous functions developed include autonomous target homing, replaying trajectories, and monitoring the leader.

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