MHI Concludes Contract for France-Japan Joint Research Project to Enhance the Functionality of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles for Mine Countermeasures

Project Aimed at Developing Next-Generation Mine-Countermeasure Technology

Tokyo - 30 March 2021

• AI utilized to enhance precision of detection and classification support function, aiming for real-time signal processing on board the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).

• Technology will allow for the detection and classification of the buried and ground underwater mines that pose a hazard to ship navigation, without being subject to conditions underwater.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has concluded a research and prototype production contract with Japan's Ministry of Defense for next-generation mine-countermeasure technology, a France-Japan joint research project being conducted based on agreement between defense authorities in the two countries

The research and prototype manufacturing project aims to combine the low frequency synthetic aperture sonar (LF-SAS) mounted in MHI's OZZ-5 autonomous underwater mine countermeasure vehicle with the high frequency synthetic aperture sonar (HF-SAS) from France's Thales Group, and by enhancing the precision of the automatic detection and classification function, together with signal processing technology development, achieve synthetic aperture signal processing in real time.

This joint research project is being conducted based on a France-Japan strategic roadmap to “continue cooperation including producing a prototype using sophisticated mine detection technology and conducting sea trials.” Testing will be conducted in Japan through 2024, followed by trials in France.

MHI, through this France-Japan joint technology development, will supply high-performance, high-quality products in a timely manner, and following government guidance, will take part in international cooperation in the rescue, transport, patrol, surveillance, and mine countermeasure sectors.


OZZ-5, autonomous underwater mine countermeasure vehicle. Image by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.

About MHI Group
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group is one of the world's leading industrial groups, spanning energy, logistics & infrastructure, industrial machinery, aerospace and defense. MHI Group combines cutting-edge technology with deep experience to deliver innovative, integrated solutions that help to realize a carbon neutral world, improve the quality of life and ensure a safer world. For more information, please visit www.mhi.com or follow our insights and stories on www.spectra.mhi.com.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. press release