The European Commission (EC) has selected a consortium led by Naval Group Belgium to define and develop a technology and roadmap for the next generation of European maritime mine countermeasure (MCM) capabilities.
Known as Mine Risk Clearance for Europe (MIRICLE), the project is valued at $11.8m (€10m) and is being sponsored by the EC and eight EU member states.
It will be implemented under the umbrella of the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) and is in line with the PESCO project Maritime semi- Autonomous Mine Counter Measures (MAS MCM).
The wholly-owned subsidiary of Naval Group will lead the MIRICLE project for 24 months.
The companies supporting Naval Group Belgium and its parent company Naval Group include ECA Robotics (France), ECA Robotics (Belgium), TNO, Forceapp, Space Applications Services (Belgium), Thales, Cafa Tech, DotOcean, Ośrodek Badawczo -Rozwojowy Centrum Techniki Morskiej.
Sistrade Software Consulting, Elwave, Sociedad Anónima de Electrónica, Submarina S.M.E, Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee, Terra Spatium, Office National d’Etudes et de Recherches Aérospatiales, Onera, Belss and Agenţia de Cercetare pentru Tehnică şi Tehnologii Militare are also serving as the supporting companies.
These 19 partners working in the consortium will strengthen European capabilities in the mine countermeasures for tough environments and emerging threats.
MIRICLE project will help in achieving a ‘European and sovereign capacity’ in the future mine warfare and will create a path for the next generation ‘made in Europe’ countermeasure solutions.
In a press statement, Naval Group stated: “These technologies will more specifically enable European navies to benefit from the highest and most interoperable military mine countermeasures capabilities, in accordance with Nato recommendations.
“These innovations will complement the main components of mine warfare, made up of Mine Counter Measure (MCM) vessel, unmanned vehicles and robots (‘Toolbox’), the mission system, the communication network and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered decision making.”
The MIRICLE project is aimed at providing a comprehensive assessment of the MCM technologies.
The project is backed by support from eight countries, which have signed a common letter of intent (LoI) under the coordination of Belgian Defence.