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The DriX O-16 USV, unveiled last March, was first put to sea on May 29 in its home port of La Ciotat in the South of France. Following a first series of sea trials within the next couple of days, it was showcased in action on June 5.

The USV is suited for full ocean depth scientific and hydrographic surveys, geophysical and UXO surveys, and subsea infrastructure inspections, which may require the deployment of multiple robots.

This latest addition to Exail’s USV product line is twice the length and five times the displacement of the DriX H-8 and benefits from an autonomy of 3,500 nm and can deploy multiple payloads and subsea assets.

According to Exail, its larger size allows for a wide range of payloads, including multibeam echosounders (MBES), sub-bottom profilers (SBP), and acoustic subsea positioning and communication systems (USBL). The USV also features a launch and recovery system to deploy remotely operated towed vehicles (ROTVs), inspection-class remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).

“We are very proud to have demonstrated to our clients, in such a short time, our capacity to deliver a new fully functional USV that meets the demand for larger capacity, endurance, and multi-mission capabilities, while maintaining high reliability and efficiency at sea,” said Sébastien Grall, Director, Maritime Autonomy Solutions at Exail. “We are convinced that platforms such as DriX O-16 will support the marine industry’s transition to more reliable and efficient autonomous operations.”


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