At the SOFINS 2023 Special Forces seminar and exhibition, Safran Electronics & Defense is introducing its new resilient PNT (position, navigation, timing) system, dubbed NAVKITE, to meet operational requirements for the French Navy Commandos (part of Special Operations Command). The NAVKITE system will be integrated in ECUME (Embarcation Commando à Usage Multiple Embarquable), a transportable, multirole, semi-rigid boat purpose-designed for commandos and other special forces.
Today, operating in a GNSS-denied environment (due to jamming, spoofing or lack of signals) is a major challenge. All onboard systems must be precisely geolocated and synchronized so they can provide consistent, reliable and time-stamped information under all conditions.
Safran Electronics & Defense, starting with a solution imagined by FUSCOLAB*, has developed a compact, hybrid navigation system to be used on ECUME, allowing special forces to operate in an increasingly complex and uncertain environment. The system’s capabilities depend on the coupling of a GEONYX™ M inertial navigation system with the VersaSync® time/frequency server, both being Safran Electronics & Defense products. Together, they handle the transmission of trusted position, navigation and timing data to ensure mission continuity. NAVKITE takes full advantage of Safran’s proven PNT expertise to provide navigation integrity and performance whether used on land or at sea, even over long periods of time and under the most demanding circumstances.
The first sea trials of the system, performed out of the Lorient naval base in Brittany by FUSCOLAB and the Ponchardier commando unit, demonstrated NAVKITE’s performance under operational conditions. It was then deployed in February 2023 in the joint services exercise HEMEX, projecting a major engagement, during phase 2 of ORION, a large-scale operation for resilient, innovative and interoperable armed forces, focused on high-intensity conflicts. The NAVKITE system delivered very satisfactory performance.
NAVKITE stands out as a technological breakthrough in resilient PNT to meet naval special forces’ demanding requirements. It was developed through a partnership based on mutual trust between Safran and FUSCOLAB, the “innovation lab” for the French navy’s infantry commandos. Safran Electronics & Defense is a long-standing major player in inertial navigation solutions, having developed the underlying technologies for over 70 years. Today, NAVKITE represents a new autonomous and sovereign PNT solution.