French Navy tests counter drone measures in ‘first at-sea exercise’ at naval base

The French Navy conducted “its first-ever at-sea anti-drone exercise” off the coast of Brest naval base in the Atlantic, says a report published by The Defense Post.

“During the drill, sailors practiced neutralizing aggressive unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) while aboard a FREMM-class frigate and an offshore patrol vessel. French Navy pilots also utilized Rafale-M multi-role fighters to combat several unmanned surface vessels (USVs) scattered at sea,” says the report.

“According to the service, the training was held to evaluate how surface combatant crews fight against emerging asymmetric threats. “By allowing navy riflemen to test their jamming and neutralization equipment on the high seas, by allowing surface ship crews to confront different types of aerial and surface drones, and by offering Rafale M pilots the opportunity to deal with a USV at high speed, this day fulfilled all of its objectives,” the French Navy said.

“In the at-sea anti-drone training exercise, the FREMM-class frigate was confronted by UAVs flying at high speeds. Sailors immediately used the vessel’s 76-millimeter main gun, 20-millimeter Narwhal remote weapon stations, and a 12.7-millimeter machine gun to hit the approaching targets.

Micro-drones also took off from the frigate’s helicopter deck to test its BADA autonomous anti-drone jammers. In addition, several navy riflemen aboard the offshore patrol vessel fired shotguns with specific anti-drone ammunition.

“Their use on the high seas has proven to be instructive,” the French Navy stated. “The protection brigades of the participating units were also able to attempt to destroy these drones using the weapons with which they are usually equipped,” according to The Defense Post.

(Image: French Navy)

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