The Belgium Naval & Robotics consortium, composed
of Naval Group and ECA Group, won the contract to supply 12
minehunting vessels to the Belgian and Dutch navies. Equipped
with around 100 drones, constituting approximately 10 drone
systems (toolboxes), six ships are destined for the Belgian Navy,
while the other six will be delivered to the Dutch Navy.
The 10-year contract is worth nearly $2.3B. After a three-year design phase, Belgium Naval & Robotics will launch the production phase of the ships and drone systems with a first delivery expected in 2024.
The Belgium Naval & Robotics consortium as well as the Naval Group and ECA Group teams are honored by the confidence of the Belgian and Dutch navies and look forward to this upcoming collaboration.
The consortium offers a 2800-ton militarized ship specialized in mine warfare with military characteristics (acoustic and electromagnetic discretion, shock resistance) adapted to the operational use targeted by the Belgian and Dutch navies. In particular, this vessel incorporates an implementation and recovery system for ECA Group's Inspector 125 unmanned surface vehicles (USV).
The drone systems on board these vessels are the latest generation of drones developed by ECA Group over the past four years. They are integrated into the C2 MCM Umisoft system connected to the Naval Group's I4drones system to form the mine-warfare mission system integrated into the ship's combat system.
The solution includes A18-M autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), T18-M towed sonars and Mine Identification & Destruction Systems (MIDS) composed of SEASCAN and KSTER-C remotely operated vehicles (ROV). All these drones can be operated autonomously from the USV Inspector 125. The drone system also includes unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and dredgers.
The program provides for the supply of drone systems that can also be projected. Containerized and equipped with handling and communication systems, mine-hunting drone systems can be airlifted and deployed directly from the coast without a ship.