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Exail’s DriX USV takes part in US military exercise

The company’s unmanned surface vessel took part in the US Navy’s Digital Horizon Unmanned and Artificial Intelligence Exercise in Bahrain.

The company’s unmanned surface vessel took part in the US Navy’s Digital Horizon Unmanned and Artificial Intelligence Exercise in Bahrain.

The three-week exercise, hosted by the US Navy’s 5th Fleet, was held to test new USV capabilities with an eye to creating the world’s first 100-strong drone fleet in the Gulf.

Exail explained that Vice Admiral Brad Cooper established Task Force 59 last year, which has been engaged in expediting the integration of new capabilities into the fleet — in particular, unmanned technologies.


Exail’s DriX was one of 15 USVs to participate in the exercise, with the drone tasked with gathering data to detect threats and demonstrate effective communication capabilities.

The company explained that it had met requirements for communications redundancy, communications integration, imaging and sensing capabilities.

“We’re very happy about the feedback from the TF59 on DriX’s performance. We’d like to thank the US Navy 5th Fleet for their support throughout the exercise, and in particular, Capt Michael Brasseur and his staff,” Guillaume Eudeline, Exail’s naval autonomy market director, said.

“For the first time, DriX integrated a multiple-unmanned collaborative military organisation, alongside some of the industry’s best. It was a real success and we are proud to have collaborated in this group effort, which showed what unmanned technologies can bring to MDA.”

In December, the DGA, France’s defence procurement agency, has selected Exail’s A18D autonomous underwater vehicle for seabed monitoring operations.

Under the agreement, the French Navy is expected to rent an A18D autonomous underwater system for approximately two years.

The contract includes academic and operational training for 12 sailors, which is expected to upskill them on the use of the AUV and how to interpret critical data collected by the vessel.

According to Exail, the vessel can undertake a range of missions to 3,000 metres in depth including mapping, sonar imaging and high-resolution pipeline and cable inspection. It can also be housed on an array of different ships.

The A18D can operate autonomously for 24 hours, reaching speeds of six knots and capture 40 square kilometres of imaging during each mission.

The AUV is expected to allow the French Navy to detect and identify objects underwater, chart the seabed and characterise the nature of the seabed.

“We are proud to participate in this seabed program and to put all of Exail’s technology and the know-how of our teams at the service of France’s ambitions in this area of sovereignty,” Dominique Giannoni, chief executive officer of Exail, said.


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