NWI - Naval Warfare

Belgium Naval and Robotics receives minehunter contract

24th May 2019 - 08:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The Belgium Naval and Robotics consortium has received a contract to supply 12 mine-hunting vessels to the Belgian and Dutch navies, ECA Group announced on 22 May.

The consortium is composed of Naval Group and ECA Group.

Equipped with unmanned system toolboxes, six ships are destined for the Belgian Navy, while the other six will be delivered to the the Royal Netherlands Navy.

The contract is worth nearly €2 billion over ten years. Following a three-year design phase, the consortium will launch the production phase of the ships and USV systems with a first delivery expected in 2024.

The 2800t vessels will carry a mine-warfare mission system toolbox integrated into the ship's combat system. Each toolbox will include ECA Group's Inspector 125 USV which will act as a remote operational vessel for A18-M AUV, T18-M towed sonars and Mine Identification and Destruction Systems composed of Seascan and K-Ster CROVs. UAS and dredgers will also form part of the toolbox.

The USV systems will be integrated into a C2 MCM Umisoft system connected to the Naval Group's I4 Drone USV mission system within the ship's combat system.

The programme also covers the supply of UAS that can also be projected. Containerised and equipped with handling and communication systems, the mine-hunting UAS will be capable of being airlifted and deployed directly from the coast without a ship.

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