ECA Group has received a contract from the Chilean Navy to upgrade the steering consoles of the Scorpene-class submarines.

Modernisation work falls within the framework of the Chilean Navy’s submarine maintenance programme.

Under the contract, ECA will update the supervision units, replace human-machine interfaces such as screens, trackballs, and control handle.

The contract also includes the upgrade of OPSYS calculators, which involve open real-time control and monitoring architecture.

In a statement, ECA Group said: “This project allows ECA Group to strengthen its long-time collaboration with Chilean Navy on its fleet of Scorpene submarines (in particular since the replacement of the static converters), while assuring to ECA Group a favoured partner’s position for future projects, such as the modernisation of the static converters of their U209-class submarines.”

The Chilean Navy operates four attack submarines that include two Scorpene-class vessels and two Type-209s. Scorpene-class submarines were commissioned in 2005 and 2006.

Through the modernisation programme, the navy intends to incorporate some features of the Scorpene-class submarines, including steering consoles and energy converter in Type-209 vessels.

The steering consoles are responsible for the management of the 3D motion of submarines. They perform this action by controlling diving planes and rudder.

Based on an open and modular architecture, the consoles are equipped with a numerical autopilot to enable control modes such as automatic, manual and mixed.

The consoles by ECA are also installed on submarines of French, Chilean, Malaysian, Indian and South Korean navies.

Last year, the company won a contract to provide steering console for the third Korean KSS-III submarine.