Contract concluded

Bundeswehr to receive new underwater reconnaissance drones

Bundeswehr to receive new underwater reconnaissance drones

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Almost four meters in length, almost 40 centimeters in diameter and a weight of 400 kilograms - these are the dimensions of the new underwater reconnaissance drones of the Bundeswehr. Annette Lehnigk-Emden, Director of the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBwBundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr), signed the contract for the procurement of an initial batch of four systems on 20 October 2023.

A metal tube in the colors gray, black and orange suspended from a hook above the water.

The “SeaCat” underwater reconnaissance drone will improve the capabilities of class 332 minehunters in future


The new “SeaCat” long-range underwater reconnaissance drones will be integrated into class 332 minehunters and the associated training and test facilities.

Underwater reconnaissance will be improved

Underwater reconnaissance is a crucial element of national and Alliance defense. A clear underwater situation picture that is available at all times creates a decisive advantage and serves as a basis for decision-making at all levels.

A woman and two men seated next to each other at a table. Documents are placed in front of them.

The procurement of a commercially available product enormously shortens the time required to achieve operational capability. It has now been given the go-ahead with the signing of the contract.

Bundeswehr/Dirk Bannert

The new drones are equipped with high-resolution side-looking sonar systems and can search the seabed for potentially dangerous objects like mines at great depths. The data collected by the drone are already pre-processed during such missions. The results obtained during the mission will then be used to plan further steps up to and including target engagement in coordination with the sea mine countermeasures forces.

Due to the high area search performance, the high-resolution representation and the pre-processing of relevant sonar data, the drones meet all the requirements placed on them. In addition to this, it is not necessary for military personnel to operate in mine hazard areas. This will also significantly improve their protection.

Gray ship leaving a harbor

The new drones are to be integrated on the Frankenthal class type 332 minehunters

Bundeswehr/Marcel Kröncke

When will the drones be delivered?

As the “SeaCat” is a commercially available system, the first drone can be delivered as early as the end of 2024 according to the current planning status. In parallel, the preparations for the integration of the system will commence on the first minehunter. A subsequent system acceptance test on the first boat is planned for spring 2025.

After the complete delivery and integration of the four systems, including transport and storage containers, spare parts and documentation, the project is scheduled to be completed in mid-2026.

The contract is designed as a blanket purchase agreement. Therefore, additional systems can be ordered and integrated at a later stage, if necessary.


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