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rMCM launch and recovery system undergoes tests

21st January 2022 - 17:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London

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An ECA Group Inspector 125 USV (right) and launch and recovery system (LARS) fitted to the chartered VN Rebel. (Photo: Belgium Naval & Robotics.)

Tests continue under the autonomous mine clearance vessel programme for the Belgian and Dutch navies, with the latest focus being on launch and recovery systems.

Belgium Naval & Robotics on 13 January conducted live testing of a launch and recovery system (LARS) with an ECA Group Inspector 125 USV in Toulon for the Belgian-Dutch rMCM programme.

The Belgium Naval & Robotics consortium including Naval Group and ECA Group said the demonstration showed the ‘relevance and reliability [of LARS] in real conditions.’

The system was tested on the chartered vessel VN Rebel in the presence of the Belgian and Dutch naval representatives.

The trials brought together four components of the rMCM project for the first time; the LARS, a floating dock cradle for USVs, a security system to lock USVs into the floating dock, and the Inspector 125 USV – itself capable of deploying and recovering a range of subsystems for mine identification and neutralisation.

On 30 November, Naval Group laid the keel for the first of the 12 mine countermeasure vessels (MCMVs) in the rMCM programme, which are being produced by the Naval Group-Piriou JV Kership in Concarneau, France.

Belgium Naval & Robotics was awarded a contract for the rMCM programme in 2019.

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