French naval shipbuilding major, Naval Group has unveiled its newest submarine concept, named SMX 31 E, at Euronaval Online 2020 virtual exhibition.
According to the company, the SMX 31 E integrates the latest digital technologies for reinforced operational efficiency and significant versatility of use. The boat is stealthy thanks to her biomimetic covering and also benefits from an unmatched electrical energy storage capacity and a new propulsion concept.
The new concept builds on the SMX 31 submarine concept which was unveiled by Naval Group two years ago at the Euronaval 2018 exhibition.
“Naval Group seeks to build a long-term vision, consistent with the operational needs expressed by its customers in order to invest in systems which will remain technologically superior over the 30 to 40 years of ships’ lifecycles,” said a company statement.
The SMX31E offers a stealthier, more autonomous and flexible solution. The increased invulnerability is the result of the biomimetic shape and the skin material making it stealthier against active sonar emissions. Endurance is the other asset of the SMX31E –it allows the crew to be submerged for months thanks to the high energy capacities and efficient energy management system.
Using advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, this submarine offers maximal connectivity to interact with the rest of the fleet in a distributed underwater network. This new IT design enables the crew to collect and process data efficiently with remote sensors allowing them to master underwater tactical situation. The company claims that the SMX 31E can monitor areas 10 times larger than today with the same efficiency.
This smart ship always keeps human decision in the loop and becomes a force multiplier thanks to the integration of all kinds of drones including large sized drones. Connected to each other, these vectors contribute to better control an extended underwater battlefield.
Technical characteristics of the SMX 31 E
• Submerged displacement: 3 200 tonnes
• Length: 80 metres
• Armament: 24 heavy-weight weapons (naval cruise missiles, F21 torpedoes, anti-ship missiles)
• Up to 6 unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) launched from 533mm torpedo tubes and 2 extra-large UUVs (XLUUV).
• Special Operations Forces (SOF) dedicated facilities – trunks, storage rooms, vehicle and weapons, grouping areas etc.
• Two rim driven electric propulsion motors
• Crew: 15 crew members + 12 to 20 personnel
• Submerged mission: > 40 days at speed of 8 knots.