France’s ECA Group (Stand N7-312) has completed the development of an integrated unmanned mine countermeasures solution for an unnamed Southeast Asian navy. Sea acceptance tests are due to be undertaken this month, customer maintenance and operational training having been conducted in May at ECA’s facilities in the south of France. Two complete systems are being delivered this year, to enter service in 2018.
ECA’s system is based on an unmanned surface vessel (USV) that is controlled remotely from a command centre. The USV is equipped with two types of unmanned underwater vessels (UUVs) that are launched autonomously by an automated launch and recovery system. The K-STER I provides an inspection function and is equipped with a dual-frequency sonar to permit long-range target detection and accurate approach, and a colour video camera and searchlight. It has an endurance of two hours and an operational range of 2,000m.
When a mine is located, a K-STER C expendable mine disposal UUV is launched. It has a shaped-charge warhead in a tilting head that can be aimed at the target mine.