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France’s Naval Group, IIT Goa extend R&D deal for underwater surveillance, submarine imaging

Agreement will act as catalyst for improving analysis of data collected by underwater sensors through application of neural systems & AI.

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New Delhi: Paris-based defence firm Naval Group and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Goa have extended their existing partnership aimed at research on underwater signal resolution improvement, a press statement from the French company said.

An agreement between the two was signed on 28 September as part of Sea Tech Week in Brest, France. India was the featured country at the week-long event which focuses on marine technology and science, attracting researchers, scholars, and businesses from around the world.

The extension will now pave the way for Indian researchers to collaborate with French technical experts and carry out R&D on technology relating to underwater surveillance, submarine imaging and drones, the statement added. 

The agreement fell under the ambit of GOAT (Goa Atlantic cooperation in Marine Science and Engineering program) — a programme which was started during the Indo-French Knowledge summit in 2019 to enhance ties between the two countries in the fields of education, research, and innovation in marine science and technology.

French defence major Naval Group will work with IIT Goa to improve the analysis of data collected by underwater sensors by using neural systems and Artificial Intelligence. Further, the usage of neural systems and AI will “increase the resolution of underwater imagery for the needs of offshore applications or for the installation, maintenance, detection of any submerged structure among others,” the statement added.

The partnership signals growing naval cooperation between India and France which was on display in March this year during the 20th edition of the annual Indo-French bilateral naval exercise — Varuna 2022. Hailed as a mega naval wargame in the Arabian Sea, the exercise saw participation of ships, patrol aircraft, submarines, fighter aircraft and choppers.

According to a report by Business Standard, the Naval Group, in partnership with fellow French defence firm Thales, is also in the running to sell India marine and underwater technology such as sonars and F-21 torpedoes.

(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)

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