Twenty-two months after the acquisition of Infotron, ECA Group is seeing orders soar for its airborne drones UAV IT180. Eleven of these drones have been sold since the beginning of the year with contracts totaling over €3 million. All these drones are deliverable during 2016. These orders have solidified the objective of 30 to 40 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles - UAVs for 2016.
In addition, four UAVs have been delivered since the beginning of the year based on 2015 orders. From a geographic standpoint, these orders originate from Europe and the Near and Middle East.
Eighty percent of these orders represent sales to the defense sector and 20% to the civilian sector. Sales of these systems are growing rapidly in the defense sector. They are already being used by the French army and are a standard component of short-range surveillance and intelligence operations.
The ECA Group aims to progressively increase IT180 sales in the civilian sector, which will represent 50% of sales in the future. Nowadays, the most promising sectors are the surveillance of sensitive facilities, civilian security (surveillance of fires, missing person searches, etc.) and land geophysics. ECA DRONE, a service-sector company created at the beginning of the year (see press release), is signing its first services contracts in France and for exportation. This work, closely matching the client's needs, is key to the IT180's growth in the civilian sector.
These successes confirm the demand in the civilian and defense markets for airborne drones whose performance bears no relation to the limited performance of the dozens of models that can be had for a few thousand euros as developed by a large number of companies worldwide. Their current proliferation, coupled with the media's occasionally excessive fascination with these drones used in leisure activities or freelance work, is starting to work in favor of the market for industrial and reliable unmanned aerial vehicles - UAVs providing a high level of security, performance and autonomy, thus ensuring a guaranteed return on investment for customers. Just like all technological solutions developed by the Group over the past decades, the ECA Group is adopting exclusive positioning in this sector.