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First SLAM-F component handed over

France has accepted delivery of the first hardware for its SLAM-F (Système de lutte anti-mines futur) future mine countermeasures (MCM) capability.

A prototype Maritime Mine Countermeasures (MMCM) system was formally handed over to the Direction générale de l'armement by Thales in Brest on 25 November to support operational evaluation activities and establish an initial operational capability.

The SLAM-F recapitalisation is intended to provide the French Navy with a next-generation MCM capability to deliver against four different MCM tasks: to maintain the security of the strategic deterrent and the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle ; to protect access to French ports; to support the deployment of a deployed task group; and to support evacuation, crisis prevention, and contested intervention operations.

The MMCM programme, co-funded by France and the UK, has matured an end-to-end offboard minehunting system that uses remote offboard systems – both autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) – to enable the detection, classification, localisation, and neutralisation of mine threats at stand-off ranges.

The primary MMCM system architecture comprises two USVs – one equipped with a towed sonar and the other with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) – plus two AUVs for detecting, classifying, and locating mines. The ROV can be used to both identify and neutralise mines.

As well as taking the overall programme lead for MMCM, Thales has supplied its multi-aspect Synthetic Aperture Mine Detection and Imaging System (

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