When General de Gaulle decided the French nuclear program and started developing ballistic missile submarines, it became necessary to develop a 1:10-scale adjustable research model able to navigate in order to test the various hydrodynamic shapes of the vessel before its design and manufacture.


A 1:10-scale adjustable research model for the development of ballistic missile submarines


This remote-controlled vessel was designed to dive in the St. Tropez (France) area in order to test the various shapes and decide which ones would be the most effective. ECA set up an office in a country house in nearby Ramatuelle to handle these activities.


ECA office set up in a country house in nearby Ramatuelle


As ECA had expertise of radio-controlled airborne targets, and since subsonic aerodynamics and hydrodynamics are subject to the same physical laws, within two years the company logically integrated the field of underwater vessels, for which it remains a major player in regards to robotics since the beginning of the 1970s.

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