France’s ECA Group has received an order to supply the Lithuanian Navy with another batch of K-STER mine disposal remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to be used for mine countermeasures missions at sea.
The Lithuanian Navy was one of the first navies to be equipped with ECA GROUP’s K-STER MIDS (Mine Identification and Destruction Systems) ROVs when it receives the vehicles back in 2009
“Ordering another batch of this system, the Lithuanian Navy confirms its trust and satisfaction towards the performances of the K-STER”, sai an ECA Group statement.
K-STER is an expendable mine disposal system developed by ECA GROUP in 2008. Inheriting from the successful PAP ROV solution and benefitting from the latest technologies and R&D development, this Remotely Operated Vehicle is dedicated to underwater mine countermeasures. This sea proven solution allows to neutralize mine while keeping the crew safe.
Operators can run the drone from a command and control unit located outside of the minefield, whether onboard a ship or from the land – in this case, the K-STER can be automatically deployed from an unmanned surface vessel (USV) platform.
Designed with a tiltable shape charge, the K-STER can neutralize all kinds of mines from sea bottom mines, floating mines, historical mines to the newer mines. Its unique propulsion architecture allows it to withstand strong water currents and approach the mine to its closest. Safety characteristics include insensitive ammunition and multi-pole safety interlocks until the final firing.
ECA Group’s K-STER solution is compliant to NATO standards thanks to the integration of the most advanced technologies in terms of reduced acoustic and magnetic signatures.
The K-STER MIDS ROV can also be integrated into a collaborative system of drones UMISTM, and can thus be automatically be deployed by a USV. All operations can be planned, run and analyzed through a common interface software UMISOFTTM allowing the simultaneous use of several drones during all the phases of MCM operations, in a user-friendly way.
Leveraging on the success of PAP ROVs launched in the 1970s and still in service today, the K-STER solution equips several navies worldwide and has been recently chosen by the Belgian Navy and Royal Netherlands Navy as part of the modernization program of their MCM Capabilities to be delivered within the next 3 years.
In total, ECA Group MIDS ROV solutions equip 20 navies across the world.
In spring 2019, as part of the Open Spirit exercise held in Lithuania, ECA GROUP’s K-STER systems were deployed. Alongside traditional means of mine neutralization, Lithuania and NATO mine countermeasure ships participating in the exercise were equipped with this ECA GROUP solution, which has once again successfully demonstrated its efficiency and reliability to complete mine neutralization operations.