Published on Strategic intelligence Blog, September 2017
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The Navy partner is already renowned for being at the state-of-art in the field of mine warfare, is switching from mine hunters (50 meters-long boats managed by a crew of 40 people) to a new unmanned system, operated by only 3 people, allowing to cut operational costs as well as reducing significantly human exposure to risks.
This unmanned solution for MCM operations is the first completely automated underwater robot demining system, including a remotely pilotedEMDS (Expandable Mine Disposal System) and using a highly secured dedicated link for the neutralization sequence. This ECA Group system completes the integrated system with the Unmanned Surface Vessels (USV) built by a partner company.
The USV is equipped with an inspection function using the K-STER I and a destruction oneusing K-STER C. All the vehicles are launched autonomously with an automated Launch and Recovery System (LARS), remotely piloted via a radio or satellite link.
Onshore, far from any danger, crew launches and pilots remotely the inspection vehicle from the Control & Command Center .
If a mine is found a Disposal vehicle K-STER C is launched by a dedicated LARS system, to proceed to the mine neutralization.
This project is the result of a 20 year-long partnership between Southeast Asian nations and ECA Group and concluded with around 10 M€ contract back in 2015, the delivery of 2 complete systems in 2017 and expected service agreement in 2018. Sea acceptance tests of the first system are due for September 2017.
The training for maintenance and usage of this unmanned naval drones system has been conducted end of May on the in ECA premises in South of France.
With this ECA Group advanced solution of Expendable Mine Disposal System (EMDS) for mine countermeasure (MCM) integrated on their Unmanned Surface Vessels (USV), this navy reaches the mine warfare of the future!