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A18-M is the new-generation mid-size AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) developed by ECA Group to meet the challenging requirements of underwater mine counter measures. In compliance with STANAG 1364 norm, this underwater drone is dedicated to sea mines detection and classification. This AUV is able 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. This unmanned system is easy to integrate and operate from a MCM vessel, a non-dedicated ship or INSPECTOR 125 USV and is air-transportable for overseas missions.


High Performance Mid-Size AUV

The AUV A18-M performs autonomous missions up to 300 m depth with 21h endurance. A18-M is able to host high performance sonar payloads, such as synthetic aperture sonar (SAS), which provides unprecedented performance. Due to its very high area coverage rate of 2km2/hr, very large areas ( 20-40km2 depending on transit distance)  can be covered in a fraction of the time of legacy assets with far superior image quality, due to it's high stability which makes this AUV  much less affected by waves than a surface ship or a towed system.

The AUV A18-M adapts its operating depth to the environmental conditions, avoiding blind zones due to sound speed stratification.


Advanced Features Reducing Operations Downtime

Advanced embedded processing allows to process in real time the sonar image raw data and extract a list of contacts to be relayed back to the command center using an advanced communication network using unmanned surface vessel (USV) INSPECTOR or an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) such as IT180 acting as gateway.These contacts are then reviewed onboard a mothership or onshore by sonar operators who may task other assets for identification and disposal if required.


Fully Integrated into UMISTM ECA Group Drones System

AUV A18-M cand be integrated within a larger unmanned system, such as ECA Group’s UMIS (Unmanned MCM Integrated System) and benefit from common C2, communication network as well as data processing system UMISOFT.





  • 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

News & Events

ECA Group awarded Belgian-Dutch naval contract DEFENCE & SECURITY

The Belgium Naval & Robotics consortium, composed of Naval Group and ECA Group, were today awarded the contract...

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