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Naval Group, Icarus Swarms reveal collaboration

French naval shipbuilding, systems, and services prime Naval Group has signed a memorandum of understanding with tech start-up Icarus Swarms to explore the application of ‘drone swarms' for naval use.

Icarus Swarms, part of Dronisos, is a pioneer in the simultaneous and synchronised deployment of multiple (up to 1,000) mini unmanned arial vehicles (UAVs). Having focused on light shows for entertainment events and theme parks, Dronisos now offers Icarus Swarms kits, based on artificial intelligence-based autonomy, using mini-drone swarms for defence, security and para-public missions.

According to Naval Group, drone swarms are a disruptive technology with a potential impact on, and application to, more conventional naval operations. “The signing of this partnership [with Icarus Swarms] is part of the company's innovation approach, which already brings together laboratories, start-ups, industrialists and navies around the theme of drone swarms represents,” it said in a 17 March statement.

Under the terms of the MoU arrangement, signed on 1 February, Naval Group and Icarus Swarms will bring their respective experience and expertise to explore and evaluate a number of drone swarm use cases in the naval domain. Work to explore new applications will be focused on the Naval Group site in Angoulême-Ruelle, and the Dronisos offices in Bordeaux.

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