The D19 is the last generation of versatile Unmanned Underwater Vehicle developed by Naval Group for military missions. The D19 is built on a F21 torpedo base. This way, Naval Group takes advantage of its experience accumulated with the development of this torpedo. The D19 is propelled by a Lithium-ion energy section. Already sea proven thanks to the joint effort of Naval Group and the French Navy, the D19 combines long
The family of D19 drones is equipped with modular front-end payload, meaning it can easily be adapted for each mission. It can be launched by a submarine, a surface vessel or from the shore. Thanks to its plug-and-play payload system, D19 can fulfil a wide variety of missions:
■intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR),
■anti-submarine warfare (ASW),
■underwater mobile target,
■rapid environmental assessment,
■mine and mine laying.
Talking to Naval News, a Naval Group spokesperson explained that the French Navy ordered the D-19T as part of the Artémis program also known as F21 heavyweight torpedo program:
“The D-19T will serve primarily as targets for torpedo fire training. Start of mass production is scheduled for mid-2021 and delivery to the customer is set for the end of 2021. We are not authorized to give the number of D19 ordered by the French Navy and we do not wish to provide details about ongoing talks with other customers”.
To learn more about the D-19 UUV, check out our recent video report recorded at Naval Group Underwater Weapon site in St Tropez:
Naval News comments
Based on the F21 heavyweight torpedo, the D19 will likely be part of the Suffren-class’ weapons package alongside the torpedoes, missiles and mines. The number of navies able to deploy UUVs from submarines is quite limited today:
- The US Navy is likely able to deploy the Bluefin-21 from a submarine (according to this video by General Dynamics).
- The Swedish Navy now has a capability to launch and recover UUVs from its Gotland-class submarines, as we reported last year.