ECA Group confirms important AUV order for FR/UK underwater mine countermeasure programme
Following the announcement of the first conditional stage, the Franco-British underwater mine countermeasure (MMCM) programme, supervised by OCCAR on behalf of French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) and UK Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) through the joint project management of Thales/BAE, begins its manufacturing phase.
ECA Group has already taken part in designing the system during the initial design phase (cf. press release of April 10, 2015).
During this new stage, ECA Group will supply six autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) derived from the A27-M as well as other peripheral equipment.
The A27 is the largest AUV in the range offered by ECA Group. Its A27-M version, equipped with a multi-aspect synthetic aperture sonar (SAM) supplied by Thales and additional sensors also capable of detecting contacts in the water column, is specifically designed for detection, classification and localisation operations in underwater mine-hunting missions. Equipped with a specific means of communication, these A27-Ms can be deployed individually or in “Pack” mode.
In this stage, ECA Group will also supply a launch and recovery system (LARS) used to deploy and recover these AUVs in challenging sea conditions.
Equipped with a unique, patented system aiming at detecting and grabbing a recovery cable, the A27 is able to autonomously come back in the LARS deployed by the mothership, significantly limiting human intervention and preventing crew members from being exposed to danger.
The amount of this conditional stage is over 15 million euros. The robots must be delivered within a short period of time. The main part of the sales figure will therefore be entered in fiscal year 2017.