Le Marin : ECA Group H1000-SAR ROV and Newtsuit collaborate for submarine crew rescue training

Monday, January 16 2017
With the entry into service of French Navy's new sub-surface nuclear submarine "Barracuda" in 2019, crews are being trained to react in case of damage. Discover how ECA Group's underwater robot H1000 ROV contributes.

Published in Le marin, December 2016.

The submarine crew rescue training scenario was about dealing with a distressed submarine at 15 meter depth undergoing a ventilation issue. The ECA Group's H1000-SAR, (later known as H1000-INS) ROV mission was to insure the ventilating on the said submarine, and had to prepare the ground by :

  • Localizing both tampions
  • Lifting up the latchs

Combined with the Newtsuit (automonous diving suit), it allowed to complete the mision within an hour, while the Remotely Operated Vehicles alone would have taken 15 hours due to surfacing multiple time for proceeding tool changes.The fact to use collaborately the H1000-INS ROV while the Newtsuit is being prepared enable to gain time. However it is important to note that the Newtsuit depth intervention is limited, thus the need to have a ROV contributing.

Learn more about the ECA Group's H1000-INS ROV used for the French Navy trainings

A long-lasting relationship between ECA Group and the French Navy

Since the early 80’s, ECA Group have built solid relationships with the French Navy, and particularly with its Toulon based Cephismer department (previously known as "Gismer") specialized in human diving and underwater interventions.

For many years, ECA Group supplied equipment to the French Navy, typically for underwater TV systems for divers, and associated underwater lightings. It also included the supply of Autonomous Underwater Vehicules (AUVs).

ECA Group's early stages with Remotely Operated Vehicles 

The first design and sales experiences of ECA Group in ROVs , date from the early 90’s with offshore oil/gas operators, alongside the French major Scientific Institute Ifremer (also based in Toulon) ; these first ROVs were limited to shallow waters (less than 300m) and to inspection missions.

Cephismer 's 2003 Tender : A challenge for the company

ECA group’s decision to participate to the Cephismer’s international tender for a 1000m work class ROV in 2003 constituted a real challenge, due to several facts :

  • The depth, requiring all individual equipment to be pressure-tested at 120 bars,
  • The handling of a 1000m long umbilical cable imposed the use of a cage into which the ROV, together with its own 125m tethered umbilical, could be descended to the appropriate depth (TMS), and of a dedicated launching system (LARS), two major pieces of equipment on which at that time, the Group had no previous experience with,
  • The incorporation of two remotely controlled manipulator arms was very complex

ECA Group won the tender despite the presence of more experienced in the field of 1000m work class ROV’s companies, in UK and USA.

Among success-driving factors were :

  • The ability of ECA's engineering department to build a comprehensive and high quality technical proposal,
  • The level of confidence gained for the previous delivery of equipment,
  • the strategic geographical proximity with Toulon, an asset for the customer in terms of qualification trials, staff training, technical support and technical services.

Since its official delivery in 2004, this work class H1000-INS ROV  (named "Ulisse" by its user) has made more than 350 successful missions.

Cephismer’s satisfaction had certainly contributed, a decade later, to grant ECA Group with the contract for a 2000 m work-class ROV : “Diommède’’ which was successfully delivered in 2014.

These two prestigious references have been an asset since then, for numerous tenders, successfully gained for deep water work-class ROV.


Discover ECA Group ROV Solutions

Learn More about ECA Group's H2000-SUR work-class ROV

Learn more about H1000-INS ROV 


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