La Provence: ECA Group demonstrates A18-M AUV dedicated to underwater mine warfare
Published on La Provence, March 2018.
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Intended to equip the French and foreign Navies, this drone type AUV (autonomous underwater robot), called A18-M, is indeed fitted with an opening sonar, capable of detecting, identifying and classify all types of underwater mines known to date, up to 300 meters deep.
With two additional features: an internal architecture allowing to approach the smartest mines without triggering, and a high coverage speed, 5 to 10 times faster than that which can be examined by an AUV with conventional side-scan tunnel.
Therefore, given its autonomy (21 to 24 hours), its speed (4 to 6 knots, 7.5 to 17 km / h) and its mode of control (inertial center, speed sensor Doppler and GPS), the A18-M can cover an area between 20 and 40 km². As for the data collected, they are transmitted in real time to a mother ship or a shore station.
In addition to underwater mines, IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and sources of pollution can be detected, or very high precision seafloor maps can be provided
The A18-M is in fact the military version of the A18 whose family was developed at origin, by the ECA group, for civilian use.