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27. March 2015

MMCM Programme integrated into OCCAR and MMCM contract awarded

On behalf of France and the United Kingdom (UK), OCCAR has awarded the Maritime Mine Counter Measures (MMCM) contract to Thales Underwater Systems, in collaboration with BAE Systems and their partners in France (ECA) and in the UK (ASV, Wood & Douglas, SAAB UK). Initiated in 2010 under the Lancaster House cooperation agreement between France and the United Kingdom (the Participating States), the MMCM programme will develop a prototype/ demonstrator autonomous unmanned system for detection and neutralisation of sea mines and underwater improvised explosive devices. The opportunity for cooperation between France and the UK in MMCM initially emerged through participation within the European Defence Agency on requirement definition.

Mr. Beniot Plantier, Thales Underwater Systems Chief Executive Officer, and Mr. Tim Rowntree, OCCAR Director, signing the MMCM contract

The FR-UK MMCM contract covers the development, production, qualification and initial support of two identical MMCM prototype/demonstrators based on off-board unmanned systems deployed at a standoff distance from mother ships. The first stage of the contract, which has been signed, covers a 15 month-long study, definition and design phase worth about 22 M€ that is equally funded by each Participating State. The Contract also secures firm prices for two optional tranches, which, if exercised by OCCAR at the request of the Participating States, will cover Manufacture and Qualification and a period of support for evaluation of the systems by the Marine Nationale and the Royal Navy. 

The contract was signed on 27 March 2015 by Mr. Beniot Plantier, Thales Underwater Systems Chief Executive Officer and by the OCCAR Director, Mr. Tim Rowntree.

Industry, Participating States’ and OCCAR-EA teams during the Contract Signature ceremony on 27 March

For France, the MMCM project is a core building block of the larger "Système de lutte anti-mines futur" (SLAMF) programme aiming at renewing anti-mine warfare capabilities after 2020. For the UK, the MMCM project contributes to the Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic Capability (MHC) programme. 

With the signature of the MMCM Programme Decision by the French and UK Programme Board Representatives on 12 March 2015, MMCM was formally integrated as new Programme into OCCAR.

The OCCAR-EA MMCM Programme Division is located in Paris.