Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems on Monday received a €13.2 million euro funding notification from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy for the second phase of the “Modifiable Underwater Mothership” (MUM) project. The funding is part of the “Maritime Research Program” with which the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy supports the development of innovative maritime technologies. In the current project phase, a large demonstrator vehicle will be developed, built, and tested by the beginning of 2025. The total joint project cost is €35 million, the total funding amount from the BMWi for the joint project is €22 million. Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, the largest German company submarines, naval ships, and marine electronics, has taken on the role of project coordinator.
Norbert Brackmann, Federal Government Coordinator for the Maritime Industry, said “With the MUM Vehicles, the work (of laying pipelines and cables that run on the seabed) can be carried out safer, faster, and also more cost-effectively.” Dr. Rolf Wirtz, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems: “A system like MUM does not yet exist. With the current project phase, we will take a major step towards the market launch of such systems.” The MUM is set to become the new standard for unmanned underwater work by the beginning of 2025. Examples are the transport and use of payloads, applications in offshore energy, or the exploration of difficult-to-access sea areas, such as the arctic ice regions. To do justice to this, a modular structure is provided. The system uses electrical energy as the main energy source, using an ultra-modern, emission-free fuel cell.
The project can be divided into three phases:
- System research and development as well as integration into the overall vehicle will take place by mid-2023. This is backed up by tests with functional models and land test facilities.
- From 2023 an approximately 25 m large demonstrator will be built in Kiel. It is already available as a technology carrier for the exhibition of the maritime supply industry during the project period. The demonstrator will be tested intensively after construction.
- As part of the sea trials, application-related operations are to be demonstrated by the system from mid-2024.