After several successful A9* orders in 2013 and 2014, this export sale is a first for the ECA Group’s latest autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). The sale was made shortly after the vehicle was marketed in October 2014, even before the end of the development stage.
It confirms customers' growing interest in long-range AUVs that are more compact due to the miniaturisation of sensors and embedded equipment.
The A18D robot is able to travel underwater for more than 24 hours and up to 3,000 metres in depth. Equipped with next-generation sensors and with the latest software technology in terms of missions, the robot has the best operational capacity for hydrographic surveys, oceanographic research, exploitation of the natural resources of the seabed, and even search and rescue operations.
The ECA Group's range of AUVs
The ECA Group has a full range of AUVs, spanning from the most compact A9 to the largest versions of A27** and ALISTAR3000. They all share the same IT architecture, autonomous software and supervision interface.
The A9 range is a recent line of small AUVs of between 50kg and 120kg. Available since the end of 2012, they can be put into operation by two people without any particular method of launching the vehicle. The French Navy has been equipped with an A9 AUV since 2013. Three other countries purchased one in 2014. They are well suited to coastal and harbour surveillance. The catalogue price for A9 vehicles ranges from €0.5 million to €2 million.
The new A18 range comprises robots of 350kg to 650kg that can operate at depths of up to 3,000 metres. They represent ECA Group's new mid-range AUVs. The A18 is sufficiently effective for our key customers' requirements. They can be deployed from a light naval platform from 12m, using different launching and retrieval systems also offered by ECA. The catalogue price of A18 AUVs ranges from €1.5 million to €5 million.
The A27 and ALISTAR3000 AUVs are the ECA Group's standard range. Developed between 2003 and 2013, they have substantial dive endurance (more than 30 hours) and great sensor-carrying capacity. They can be used in the most demanding operations. The French Navy uses the A27 AUV for hydrography and long-range underwater surveillance operations. The catalogue prices of these large AUVs range from €3 million to €9 million.
* formerly Alister 9
** formerly Alister 27