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Armées d'Aujourd'hui : Underwater identification using ECA Group self-propelled ROV PAP Mk6

Discover how ECA Group PAP MK6 unmanned underwater vehicle is used for identification purposes by the French Navy.
Friday, May 12 2017 - Defence & Security
See also PAP MK6

Published on within the Armées d'Aujourd'hui magazine, April 2017

Read the PDF File (French)

Written by BOUEMAR Victor


Identification by Self-propelled Fish

"Small yellow filoguided submarine, self-propelled fish (PAP) is used to identify suspect echoes detected at sonar. In the case of mines, the aircraft may deposit explosives to neutralize them. One of our journalists, embarked aboard the tripartite minesweeper L'Aigle, was able to pilot a PAP from the ship's operations central . Ready to dive.

1 - Driving Courses
It took a while for my eyes to get used to the darkness of the operations central. In the small room are many tactics & sonar screens. Operators make the final adjustments on the advice of the Quarter Operations Officer (OQO) and the Commanding Officer. I position myself into the operations central The adjutant, deputy of the OQO and guarantor of the smooth operation of the teams, gives me instructions for piloting the PAP. He explains that the propulsion is done by two small propellers in the back of the craft, controlled by two remote levers. It is therefore necessary to play on the power of one and the other to set the course. As in a video game, but in real ...

2 - PAP n ° 42 ready

Rear range: PAP is prepared by demining divers. I make radio contact with them to begin the testing phase. I activate the various buttons, then the divers take the hand on the device. The tests are conclusive. At rear it announces: "PAP n ° 42 ready ". The crane puts the machine at the level of the water, then the OQO orders the immersion. I see the ripples through the camera of the fish, then nothing. I take back the commands at the main desk: it's up to me to play. I turn a wheel and then engage the engines, I push completely the two controllers forward. Consciously obeying the OQO who knows where the objective is, I pilot completely blindly! They suddenly command me to "stop, and let it sink! I put the joysticks in neutral. Led by lead, the PAP sinks underwater. First successful phase!

3 - Objectif Identification

I discover on the sonar screen of my neighbor the shadow of the PAP at the bottom of the water. The OQO authorizes me to switch on the projector. The bulb heats up gently and the background appears, as if by magic. Thousands of little black starfish strew the ground covered with mud. The OQO guides me: "By the right come to the 240 ° ... Continue like that ... three meters more ... Slow down ... On your left! Suddenly, an imposing object invades my screen. I push back the PAP to identify it and maneuver a little on the left to get around the object. It is not easy to manage the inertia ... The profile of a small stem is can be seen: it is an annex. I report. The OQO confirms and announces: "Get ready for a guiderope drop." I then release the guiderope, that is to say, the ballasting of lead. The PAP then rises back to the surface. The OQO announces the duration of intervention: "20 minutes! Congratulations! "

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