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Key dates

The history of the ECA Group is full of innovations and partnerships with the most important industrial and technological companies in the world.


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1936 - Creation of the ECA company (Etudes et Constructions Aéronautiques)

Participation in construction of the "Arc en Ciel" aircraft piloted by Jean Mermoz, which completed the first Paris-Buenos Aires-Paris return trip entirely by air

1940 - More than 30 patents already filed for creation of aeronautics components, e.g. the "Autoptère" automatic control surface, etc.

First project in the Maritime sector, entitled "air torpedo with automatic pilot and remote control"

1958 - Development of the Aeronautics, Naval Defence and Simulation construction workshop

500 machines built, forerunners of remote-controlled and radio-guided missiles (ECA 27, ECA 20, ECA 57, etc.) for major customers (Marcel DASSAULT, MATRA, Service technique de l’aéronautique (STAé), etc.)

100 invention patents filed

Design of new components for the French Navy (steering simulator and longitudinal manoeuvring console for submarines, etc.)

1966 - Creation of ECA Sud-Est for robotics developments that would come to fruition in the next decade: 

Numerous components and systems for underwater applications: PAP 104, EPAULARD, POPE, MARLIN, SAR, etc.

Remote-controlled underwater vehicles: mass-production of more than 300 vehicles of 10 different types

Industrial robotics (PEUGEOT, SNIAS)

Robotics systems for the offshore oil industry (ELF AQUITAINE, TOTAL) 

1970 - Creation of PAP 104, the first underwater mine detection and destruction robot (DGA)

1979 - Design and construction of the first AUV for IFREMER: the Epaulard.

1980 - Creation of an English subsidiary, CSIP, and first sales of PAP MK5 on the international market, to the British navy (1983), Japanese navy (1996), Turkish navy (1998), etc.

1992 - The Gorgé Group (at that time known as Finuchem) becomes the majority share-holder.

1999 - Acquisition of HYTEC, and MATRA's Systems and Information business

Design of the first flexible assembly lines dedicated to the A340 (AIRBUS), then the A380 (2001)

Development of PAP Mk6

2002 - Development of K-STER robot (mine killer)

2003 - Development of the ALISTAR 3000 AUV, urban combat robots (MiniROC /DGA) and the H1000 work class ROV (French navy)

ECA is listed on the Euronext secondary market

2005 - AUV partnership agreement between THALES and ECA

Nuclear decommissioning for FRAMATOME

2006 - Acquisition of ECA FAROS, the terrestrial division of CYBERNETIX (Saclay), of ELECTRONATEC renamed ECA EN, of ECA CNAi and ECA SINTERS

2007 - Development and commercialisation of the combined A320/B737 flight simulator

Development of autonomous surface drones and AUVs

Acquisition of ECA SINDEL (Italy) and SSI (Simulator System International) INC (USA) specialised in training simulators

2008 - Development of the Cobra UGV (used by the DGA in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan)

2009 - Participation in the Espadon project for the Future Mines Countermeasures System led by the DGA

Acquisition of TRITON IMAGING INC

2010 - Creation of ESFE subsidiary set up in Singapore

2014 - Design of the SDV (Swimmer Delivery Vehicle): SWUV

Acquisition of INFOTRON specialized in aerial drones / UAVs

Creation of ECA RSM - commercial entity dedicated to exportation

2015 - Creation of ECA Drone - UAV Services company

Stake held in Wandercraft and creation of ECA Dynamics, joint venture for developments of Humanoid Robotics for Defence & Security

Development of Unmanned Systems  

2016 - Creation of ECA Aerospace