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Naval Group Belgium to lead MIRICLE mine-countermeasures project

A consortium led by Naval Group Belgium has been selected to define and develop a technology and capability roadmap for a next generation of European maritime mine-countermeasures (MCM) capabilities.

Known as MIRICLE (Mine Risk Clearance for Europe), the 24-month project is being sponsored by the European Commission and eight European Union member states under the umbrella of the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP). The programme is valued at just under EUR10 million (USD11.8 million).

Intended to assure European and sovereign capabilities in MCM, MIRICLE has set out to pave the way of the next generation of MCM systems able to operate in harsh environments against increasingly difficult mine threats. The project has three key aims: to provide a comprehensive assessment of future MCM technologies; to establish a technology roadmap for a next generation of MCM solutions aligned to member states' procurement plans; and to develop a high level of interoperability between these assets.

According to the European Commission, MIRICLE will address the main components of a stand-off mine warfare solution such as a mission system, communication network, MCM mother vessel, and robots, using artificial intelligence for supporting decision making to “enable significant improvements to carry out all MCM missions”. Specific areas of interest include navigation, communication and autonomy, the development of a scalable intelligent multi-unmanned vehicle (UxV) mission management system, and work to evolve a UxV launch and recovery system.

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