Naval Group and ECA Group will showcase their joint solution for stand-off Mines Counter Measures (MCM) selected by Belgium and the Netherlands at PACIFIC 2019 International Maritime Exposition scheuled from Oct. 8 to 10 in Sydney, Australia.
The solution developed by Naval Group and ECA Group is a combination of the latest generation warship and a system of drones (toolboxes) to counter mine risks at sea while keeping humans out of danger, ultimately increasing the efficiency of MCM operations. It meets the needs of modern navies and allows for bespoke solutions.
PACIFIC 2019 will be the opportunity to present this solution for the first time in Australasia, but also to exchange with the Royal Australian Navy’s who has been looking into renewing its capability in the domain.
The Belgian and Dutch navies have already selected this solution to equip their forces for the next 20 years. Equipped with 80 drones and approximately ten drone systems (toolboxes), each navy will receive 6 ships.
The 2800-ton Naval Group militarised ship dedicated to mine warfare features military characteristics including acoustic and electromagnetic discretion and shock resistance. In particular, this vessel incorporates a Launch and Recovery System (LARS) for ECA Group’s INSPECTOR 125 unmanned surface vehicles (USVs). This innovative, robust and reliable system ensures the safety of operators and manoeuvres, protecting the crew, the ship, the USV, and its payloads while offering a high level of mission availability.
The drone systems onboard these revolutionary vessels are the latest generation of drones developed by ECA Group over the past four years, benefitting from over 50 years of developments in robotics. They are integrated into the C2 MCM UMISOFT software connected to the Naval Group’s I4drones software to form the mine-warfare mission system that is integrated into the ship’s combat system.
The solution includes A18-M autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), T18-M towed sonars and Mine Identification & Destruction Systems (MIDS) composed of SEASCAN and KSTER-C remotely operated vehicles (ROV). All these drones can be operated autonomously from the USV INSPECTOR 125. The drone system also includes unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and mine sweeping equipment.
Drone systems can also be projected. Containerized and equipped with handling and communication systems, they can be airlifted and deployed directly from ashore without a ship.