The French defense procurement agency DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) has announced a new “optional tranche” contract awarded to Safran Electronics & Defense for FURIOUS (FUturs systèmes Robotiques Innovants en tant qu’OUtilS), a science and technology program that aims to develop innovative robotic systems for mounted and dismounted warfighters.
The DGA’s announcement follows successful field trials of the FURIOUS robotic system, carried out by Safran in late 2021 at the French army’s urban combat training center (Sissone military base) - a key advance culminating the firm contract phase.
During this phase participants focused on the modular architecture concept (hardware and software), designed to ensure the autonomous operation of any terrestrial platform, whether crewed or not. Safran Electronics & Defense was able to deploy this architecture on three very different types of platforms included in the FURIOUS system. The optional tranche announced today aims to optimize this architecture and make the autonomous functions developed more robust (tracking passage points, replaying trajectories, monitoring the leader, autonomous target homing, etc.) within more complex and even unstable environments.
Safran Electronics & Defense builds on its skills and expertise to ensure the autonomy of both land platforms (robotics) and airborne platforms (drones): automated planning and control, navigation and geolocation, 3D environment perception based on semantic segmentation, artificial intelligence- based processing and critical embedded software.
The company has proven its credibility through real-world projects such as FURIOUS in France, or its European counterpart, iMugs, financed by the European Defense Fund. Critical building blocks for future programs could be developed in the short term, based on the operational advantages of autonomous functions in a number of scenarios, the applicability of a judicious incremental approach and a clear convergence towards adaptable modular solutions.
From this viewpoint, the launch of the planned Vulcain robotics unit by the French army, designed to officialize the army’s robotics needs by 2030, is a clear sign for the players involved of the viability of this approach.
Safran Electronics & Defense is a long-standing leader in inertial navigation, with over 70 years of expertise in all underlying technologies. HRG technology has proven its capabilities for demanding civil and military applications in all environments: land, air, sea and space.
Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aviation (propulsion, equipment and interiors), defense and space markets. Its core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world, where air transport is more environmentally friendly, comfortable and accessible.
Safran has a global presence, with 76,800 employees and sales of 15.3 billion euros in 2021, and holds, alone or in partnership, world or regional leadership positions in its core markets. Safran is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange and is part of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices.
Safran Electronics & Defense is a world leader in the supply of solutions and services in optronics, avionics, electronics and critical software for both civil and military markets. The company equips more than 1,000 ships, 25,000 land vehicles and 10,000 aircraft worldwide. (Photo: FURIOUS Robot © Safran - R. Brives)