Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) OZZ-5 mine-hunting unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) will soon be equipped with SAMDIS high-resolution synthetic aperture sonars from Thales.
According to a Thales announcement, the UUVs will combine high frequency sonars from Thales and Japanese low frequency synthetic aperture sonar technology that will allow operators to detect suspected mines regardless of the varied or unvaried condition.
“This contract agreement is the starting point of a long-term program with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force as end-user and potentially opens the door to export markets. The continuous and successful collaboration between Thales and MHI in Japan has been, once again, strengthened by the order of SAMDIS HFSAS to equip MHI’s OZZ-5 UUV,” Thales said in the announcement.
“Equipping the OZZ-5 underwater vehicle with our high frequency sonar evidences our strong relationship with MHI which started years ago with the development of the OZZ-X prototype. It materializes the continuation of the ongoing Japan/ France bilateral long-term cooperation. Thales is really enthusiastic to bring its field proven expertise for the benefit of national and foreign defense forces through this successful alliance with MHI.” Cyrille Dupont, president and CEO of Thales Japan.
“We are very proud to be onboard the OZZ-5 mine warfare UUV with Thales SAMDIS HFSAS and to contribute to the OZZ-5 outstanding operational performances and unique positioning on this highly competitive market segment. This contract demonstrates Thales’ capability to tailor its offerings to any type of vehicle and navy requirement and will pave the way for future achievements with our MHI partner.” Alexis Morel, VP underwater activities, Thales.
According to Japan’s defense ministry, the OZZ-5 UUV measures 4 meters in length and has an endurance of over 9 hours. It has been in use or trials with the JMSDF since at least 2018. According to several reports, the UVV will also be deployed from the new generation of JMSDF 30FFM frigates, the first of which was launched earlier this month.