France: DCNS Unveils New Concept-Ship
At this year’s Euronaval show, DCNS is unveiling its new concept-ship, SMX 26, a small submarine designed for operation in very shallow waters, in littoral zones not usually accessible for conventional submarine operations.
SMX 26 can remain on the sea bed for long periods, continuously monitoring its environment, before attacking its target with the appropriate assets.
Its shape ensures precise, safe progress in very shallow waters, enabling operation in water less than 15 m deep. Its two shaft-lines and its four steerable and retractable azimuth thrusters give the SMX 26 extreme manoeuvrability and the ability to remain in a stabilized position near the bottom or just under the surface in swell.
The SMX 26’s capacity for long discreet surveillance is also noteworthy. It is capable of ‘landing’ very quickly on all types of sea bed thanks to a extendable wheeled ‘undercarriage’ system, and lurking on the bottom, deploying hoses to the surface for air and power. Its embedded and deployed sensors maintain a complete watch above and below the surface.
The SMX 26 can take rapid and effective action, including the deployment of six special forces divers at depth or at the surface for catching targets ‘in the act’. It also has two mast-mounted weapon systems: a 20 mm cannon for policing capability and missile launch container for anti-aircraft self- defence. Its main offensive armament comprises two heavyweight torpedoes and eight lightweight torpedoes with heavy warheads.
Naval Today Staff,October 29, 2012; Image: DCNS