July 12 2016 - ECA Group was recently awarded a new export contract for the delivery of three Mine Counter Measure unmanned systems. This contract, around 10M€, includes the supply of three INSPECTOR Mk2 Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV).
These Inspector Mk2 will be fitted with the most recent subsea robotic system developed by ECA Group in 2015:
TOWSCA which will significantly increase the survey capability of INSPECTOR Mk2 for this customer. TOWSCA, is a high resolution Towed Side Scan Sonar remotely deployed from the aft deck of the USV. With its automatic seabed follower, it can operate in medium water from 10 to 100m depth and shallow to very shallow waters. It completes the Interferometric Sonar fitted on the bow mast of the USV Inspector MK2. All Seabed data gathered by TOWSCA are real time transmitted to the control station through the USV high data rate radio link.
Each of these USVs is also equipped with two SEASCANs. The SEASCAN is the new generation of identification vehicle in the ECA Group ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) range. SEASCAN is deployed with a compact launch and recovery system (LARS) and is able to operate up to 3h in a range of 1000m around the USV and in water depth down to 300m. The USV’s radio link is used to operate the SEASCAN and to recover in real time sonar and video data. This Mine Counter Measure system can be operated autonomously or remotely from a distant control station. The first system will be delivered by the end of 2016 followed by two others in 2017 and 2018.
These two new developments complete the USV INSPECTOR Mk2 capability as well as the entire ECA Group range of solutions dedicated to Mine Counter Measures missions. Inspector Mk2 USVs together with ECA Group Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (A9, A18...) and IT180 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle constitute the basis of Robotics Unmanned Mine Countermeasures systems. Various payloads and equipment can be fitted on each of these drones. This makes ECA Group capable to provide customers all over the world the set of robots fitting the best with the operational requirement and the ECA Group fully integrated mission management system (UMIS).
ECA Group is the only Mine Countermeasures Systems manufacturer with a range of robots and drones including AUVs, USVs and UAV.