Story 4
Full speed into tomorrow
Drones are the newest crew members

Drones have captured the public imagination, spawning a new generation of hobbies, sports and businesses. The scope of their applicability is endless, ranging from surveillance aids to defense assets. They have been embraced by modern navies seeking to extend mission capabilities. Drones – unmanned systems in naval jargon — are highly suited for dull, dirty and dangerous tasks. They can be used in the air, at the surface and underwater to extend a ship’s, or a fleet’s, operability in terms of situational awareness, information gathering and force projection.

In its role as naval system designer and integrator, DCNS is at the forefront of drone integration on warships.

I4® Drone: the new all-environment, multi-drone mission system

I4® Drone is the mission system for drones designed and developed by DCNS to manage drone operations during the various stages of a mission, namely during:

  • mission preparation
  • mission implementation
  • exploitation of data, recovery and mission restitution.

I4® Drone manages naval drone operations in all environments — in the air, at the surface and underwater. It can be deployed on surface vessels, submarines and even land-based command centers. Thanks to I4®’s full interoperability, drone management is significantly facilitated and seamlessly integrated for joint or coalition operations.

D19 multi-mission torpedo drone

Drawing on its experience in autonomous underwater vehicles, DCNS has developed a new Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) called the D19. The family of D19 drones is equipped with modular front-end payload, meaning it can easily be adapted for each mission. The D19 may be used in a wide variety of missions:

  • Identification, surveillance, recognition
  • Electronic warfare
  • Anti-submarine warfare
  • Underwater mobile target
  • Mine countermeasures
  • Rapid environmental assessment
  • Mine laying


Submarine drone docking station

In parallel to the D19, DCNS has developed several homing and docking solutions for UUVs launched from a submarine. The most recent docking station is capable of recharging the drone using induction, secure wireless data transfer, an acoustic data link for guidance, and a redeployment system. Sea trials of the station began in October 2016.


HEUDYP (Head Up Display for Pilot) for drone operators

Developed by DCNS and CLARTE, a French virtual reality research enterprise, using information gathered through close collaboration with the French Navy, HEads Up DisplaY for Pilot (HEUDYP) is a system designed to assist drone operators during takeoff and landing of ship borne drones. Using augmented reality, HEUDYP provides the pilot with more than just a visual, it provides the pilot with information regarding atmospheric conditions and the ship’s movement to assist with the launch and recovery from the ship’s deck.