MUM project to set new standard for unmanned underwater operations
Kiel, Germany: thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, Germany’s number three
defence company and world market leader in conventional submarines, today
presented the results of a pioneering research project on the feasibility,
usability, construction, and operation of large modular underwater vehicles.
The focus was on the MUM project “Modifiable Underwater Mothership”,
which is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and,
designed in collaboration by industry and science since 2017, is intended to
achieve market readiness in the upcoming years.

MUM vehicle arrives disassembled as shipping containers and is assembled in port.

The presentation was part of the “Maritime Research Programme” whereby the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy supports the development of innovative maritime technologies. Norbert Brackmann,
German government coordinator for the maritime industry, was on the shipyard site of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems to experience the progress of the project and the technological innovations already available for further

Norbert Brackmann: “The MUM project fits in very well with our aspiration to
technological leadership. The project results show that individual
commitment, teamwork, creativity and German engineering skills are an
excellent combination for maintaining our technological lead in future
markets. Given the challenging economic situation triggered by the Covid-19
pandemic, innovations and the further development of high-tech will pave the
way to a successful future. Therefore, we have included provisions in the
recently adopted economic stimulus package to provide additional funds for
supporting innovation and the Maritime Research Programme.”

Modifiable Underwater Mothership. Photo thyssenkrupp Marine Systems

MUM is a modular unmanned underwater system for various applications in
the civil maritime industry. Examples include the transport and deployment
of payloads, applications in the offshore wind and oil & gas industries as well
as the exploration of sea areas with difficult access, such as the Arctic ice
regions. In order to meet these requirements, a modular structure is
envisaged. The system will use electrical power as the main energy source,
by implementing a state-of-the-art, emission-free fuel cell. Where necessary,
the power supply system is supported by a safe and reliable Li-ion battery
module. Independent of wind and weather, MUM can operate 24/7, 365 days
a year.

Dr. Rolf Wirtz, CEO of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems:

Dr. Rolf Wirtz, CEO of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems: “We are the supplier of the only system in Germany to offer high-tech solutions for the future. The MUM project will benefit from our many years of expertise in fuel cell and battery technology, underwater vehicles as well as maritime sensors and autonomy software. Our project partners from science and industry complement us to an extraordinary degree!”
MUM is to set the new standard for unmanned underwater operations by 2024. Together with the project partners ATLAS ELEKTRONIK, EvoLogics, University of Rostock, TU Berlin, Fraunhofer Institute, German Aerospace Center the Institute for the Protection of Maritime Structures, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems will apply for funding for a MUM large-scale demonstrator as part of the Economic Ministry’s Maritime Research Programme.

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