Le Marin: Naval drones, a global mobilisation

Friday, June 23 2017
Read Le Marin article about ECA Group among the French key players of unmanned robotics systems for military applications.

Published on Le Marin, June 2017

Naval drones: General mobilization

Drones gradually join the Navy

  • Mine warfare will soon rely on a strategy based only on multi-drone systems
  • The French amphibious assault ship Dixmude must quickly deploy with a Serval unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)
  • The use of unmanned combat vehicles based on aircraft carriers is a long-term perspective

Within the French Navy that has lost some of its muscle over the years and that sometimes has a hard time recruiting, robots are a seductive response. But while the French Navy was a pioneer in the use of underwater robots for mine-sweeping with ECA’s self-propelled ROV (PAP), it relegated this technology to a position of secondary importance.

It was only very recently, spurred on by the French Armed Forces and Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) with a core of engineers obsessed by robotics, that the idea of using automated devices to carry out combat missions resurfaced.

This led to the French maritime mine counter-measures (MMCM) contract being awarded to a consortium in March 2015. This consortium is in charge of designing a naval drone system to replace the mine-sweepers currently deployed in both the French and Royal Navies. Two prototypes are scheduled for delivery in 2019 for evaluation. If sailors still remain in the loop, they will no longer be exposed to danger while they remain in command from behind their screens.

The DCNS Group also demonstrated in April that it was now technologically possible to integrate the use of unmanned surface, aerial, and underwater vehicles in a single mission for the protection of a military (or civilian) port. This enables the automation of routine tasks that prove to sometimes be demotivating for the men and women that perform them.

In Toulon, clearance divers from the French Navy prepare to launch an Alister 9-AUV manufactured by ECA.

Finally, the use of unmanned combat vehicles on board aircraft carriers is no longer a technological dream. Even if the French Navy has just, being only a dozen years late, switched completely to Rafale fighter planes

The disorganization of French leaders

Autonomous vehicles are already the heroes of the upcoming summer universities of the French Ministry of the Armed Services that will take place in Toulon this September. An entire workshop will be dedicated to them. The new, freshly-elected members of French Parliament will be able to become familiar with the French capabilities in this area… and assess its dire condition.

Expensive exports

ECA is already the leader in inexpensive solutions, filled to the brim with technology, that the group from southeastern France succeeded in selling abroad by self-financing its research and development since it wasn’t eligible for a single public contract in France. But its success abroad comes at a cost since the group must participate in professional tradeshows at an infernal rate of one event per week.

With additional means, Thales and DCNS have not always believed in unmanned vehicles, waiting to receive public funding, in vain. They finally crossed the Rubicon, seeing the indecent success of ECA, but only to offer an unmanned vehicle that looks almost the same: a sniffer that looks like a torpedo and hoists a periscope-type mast filled with sensors. 

ECA: a whole catalog of unmanned vehicles

ECA’s Alister 9-AUV autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is used to detect, classify and localize mines that are up to 100 meters deep.

An aircraft manufacturer since before World War II, ECA Group surfed the wave of dissuasion robotics in the 1960s. This is what led them to develop its self-propelled ROV (PAP) and a series of unmanned vehicles with each one being more bizarre looking than another.

Having anticipated the evolving trends, and thanks to the flexibility of this mid-sized company’s structure, ECA developed a multi-drone system that operates in a swarm.

Today, the group from southeastern France is the only French company who’s catalog offers the complete range of unmanned vehicles: unmanned aerial vehicles (thanks to its purchase of the company Infotron) as well as surface, underwater and land-based unmanned vehicles. ECA therefore has, in fact, a significant lead in tomorrow’s complex architectures that will combine the best of each model.

Its range of naval solutions includes unmanned vehicles designed for detection, surveillance and intelligence missions ( AUV A9-MA18-M and A27-M, and SEASCAN Mk2), as well as the K-STER that destroys explosive devices. The company has also developed a multi-drone system, the Inspector Mk2, that has already been deployed by its first customers.

 

Discover ECA Group's PAP solution

CLICK TO CONTACT US

Discover ECA Group's Unmanned Surface vehicles

Learn more about ECA Group's AUV solutions

More Defence & Security news ?
ECA_GROUP_UAV_IT180_surveillance
TEST WEBINAR POST INTEGRATION LIVESTORM DEFENCE & SECURITY

TEST WEBINAR POST INTEGRATION LIVESTORM

Read More
ECA GROUP - UAV - it180
TEST WEBINAR MAP DEFENCE & SECURITY

TEST DESCRIPTION

Read More
vignette-euronaval
Meet ECA Group at EURONAVAL 2020 |... DEFENCE & SECURITY

ECA Group participates at the EURONAVAL exhibition, October 19th– 25th 2020. Meet us...

Read More
VIGNETTE EVENT PACIFIC 2019
PACIFIC 2019 | 9 October | ECA Group... DEFENCE & SECURITY

Meet ECA Group at PACIFIC 2019, on Thursday October 9 to discover its innovative degaussing and...

Read More
ECA GROUP - NEWS - BIV
ECA GROUP performs maintenance works... DEFENCE & SECURITY

ECA Group provides support for French Navy's underwater measurement polygon, designed to...

Read More
ECA_Group_UGV_CAMELEON-LG
ECA GROUP awarded two new contracts... DEFENCE & SECURITY

ECA GROUP recently won two contracts to supply its new-generation ground robots, CAMELEON LG, to...

Read More
VIGNETTE EVENT DSEI
DSEI 2019 | 10 September | ECA Group... DEFENCE & SECURITY

Meet ECA Group at DSEI 2019, on September 10th 2019 at 3.00 pm at the South Theater to discover...

Read More
ECA-GROUP-EVENT-MARELEC
MARELEC 2019 | 22 October| ECA Group... DEFENCE & SECURITY

Attend ECA Group conference at Marelec 2019, on October 22nd 2019 in Woods Hole, USA. Let's...

Read More
Chilean-navy-Scopene-class-submarine-Chile
ECA Group to modernize Scorpene... DEFENCE & SECURITY

ECA Group was awarded by the Chilean Navy to upgrade the Steering Consoles...

Read More
ECA-GROUP-MIDS-ROV-K-STER-open spirit 2019
Open Spirit 2019: ECA Group... DEFENCE & SECURITY

ECA Group's K-STER MIDS ROV dedicated to mine neutralisation was deployed during the Open...

Read More
copyright 2021 eca group© all rights reserved - legal terms - privacy policy - sitemap - A Groupe GorgĂ© company