A18-M is the military configuration of ECA Group A18 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, AUV, family. STANAG 1364 compliant, it is dedicated to underwater mine warfare. This system can be delivered with a LARS allowing automatic underwater recovery. Data post processing can be made with Triton Imaging applications. It performs autonomous mission up to 300 m depth with 21h endurance, and is easy transportable by plane for overseas missions.

A18-M is an autonomous underwater vehicle developed by ECA Group for large area mine and classification in all water depths up to 300m.

Due to its large endurance and payload capacity it is able to host high performance sonar payloads, such as synthetic aperture sonar, which provide unprecedented detection and classification performance.

Due to the high stability of the AUV, which is much less affected by waves than a surface ship or a towed system, very high image quality is obtained.

The AUV can also adapt its operating depth to the environmental conditions, avoiding blind zones due to sound speed stratification.

Advanced on-board processing allows to process the image data to extract a list of contacts which are relayed back to the command center using an advanced communication network, with a unmanned surface vessel acting as gateway. These contacts are then reviewed by expert sonar operators who may task other assets for identification and possibly disposal.

Due to the very high area coverage rate, of the order of 2km2/hr, very large areas, of the order 20-40km2 depending on transit distance, can be covered in a fraction of the time of legacy assets, with far superior image quality, and with reduced risk to personnel.

More generally, the AUV is able also to detect any kind of hazard such as improvised explosive devices, pollutants, as well as provide very accurate maps of the seabed which allow the environment to be assessed with high fidelity.



  • AUV with Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Sonar (ISAS)
  • Large area coverage
  • Rapid environment assessment
  • Automatic Target Recognition (ATR)
  • Easy launch and recovery in bad sea state condition
  • STANAG 1364 compliant system

Applications for Defence & Security Sector

  • Organic underwater mine warfare: MCM Mission module for large multipurpose vessel and Mission module for oceanic mine warfare
  • Conventional underwater mine warfare: Detection and classification

Operational Performances

  • Endurance: up to 24 hours
  • Max speed: up to 6 knots
  • Nominal speed: 3/4 knots
  • Operational depth: 5-300 m
  • Max area coverage rate (ACR): >2km² / h
  • Frequency: 300 kHz
  • Max swath: 2x265 m
  • Along track resolution: 3cm up to 220 m


  • Body diameter: 18 inches (46.5 cm)
  • Length: from 3.8 m
  • Weight: from 370 kg
  • Energy section: 10.6 kWh
  • Navigation: Inertial Navigation System (INS), Doppler Velocity Log (DVL), Global Positioning System (GPS)
  • Communication: WiFi, Ethernet, Acoustic, Satellite
  • Safety: Emergency pinger, Strobe light, Fault and leak detection, on request: Obstacle Avoidance System, Iridium, Local Remote Control for surface recovery
  • STANAG 1364 compliance (submitted to French export regulations)
  • Payload: Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Sonar, Video, Forward Looking Sonar, CTD, ADCP, Turbidity
  • Air transportable according to UN38.3 standard


  • USBL or LBL external tracking system
  • LARS for RHIB, large ship, or containerized
  • Surface ship integration
  • Containerized C2
  • Additional sensors on request (VSS, environmental)
  • Military GNSS
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