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Accordingly, the civilian sector has generated a considerable number of requests, two-thirds of which concern exports, despite a limited number of export partners in this first year. This confirms the group's estimates of a civilian market (Industry and Services) that is more significant in the long term than the defense market.
The group has already recorded requests and orders for a wide variety of uses: nuclear for surveillance or intervention in times of crisis; mining for geophysical surveys; surveillance of forest fires; agronomy for the characterization of plots; surveillance of sensitive sites; coastal protection; and surveillance of marine animals; surveillance of construction sites, railway tracks, etc.
This first year of the UAV IT180 integration in ECA Group was marked by the following:
- industrialization and increased reliability of IT180 production: The integration in ECA Group was completed at the end of the first half of 2015 and the target, namely to reduce delivery time from 15 weeks to 6 weeks maximum, should be met in the second quarter of 2016.
- The continued development of the IT180 UAV range: The captive version (IT180-999, currently in the process of qualification), which will be marketed in early 2016, was presented at the MILIPOL trade show. Furthermore, the first copies of the long-range electric version (IT180-60) are currently being delivered to a first customer.
- The marketing position of the various USV’s IT180 versions and the strengthening of the sales network.
Drawing on the confirmed potential of IT180 in the industry and industrial services, the group is implementing resources to meet this high demand:
- The network of export partners and distributors will be expanded quickly with a view to making airborne drones available across all continents for presentations at customer level. In addition, the civilian sector requires support and logistics in close proximity to customers. Accordingly, the group will have to strengthen its capacity for customer support and repair services outside of France.
- Lastly, the group has recorded high demand from customers for support in implementing their UAV IT180: adapting payload to their requirements, perfecting operating procedures for a specific mission, performing operations in the field, etc. In the light of this need, the group is considering an organization dedicated to the civilian sector in order to absorb the demand. This structure, located in France, should be created before the end of 2015.
Moreover, the UAV IT180 of ECA Group has been selected for presentation in the temporary showroom of the Tech Conference organized by EnterNext, which will be held on Tuesday, December 8 in Paris. Some ten listed companies and a few non-listed companies will present their most recent innovations there.