France-based ECA Group has successfully completed the sea trials of its UMISAS sonar for both autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and Towed Sonars of the mine countermeasures vessels (rMCM) programme.

As a next step, UMISAS sonars will undergo production for integration in the A18-M AUV and T18-M Towed Sonar.

The integration is expected to take place between October this year and March next year.

The rMCM programme seeks to build 12 new vessels for the Belgian and the Royal Netherlands Navy.

It is being led by Belgium Naval & Robotics, a Naval Group and ECA Group consortium. It will lead the production phase and Kership will execute it.

In 2014, ECA began development of its own range of Synthetic Aperture Sonars.

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The UMISAS is an interferometric synthetic aperture sonar (InSAS) developed by ECA for MCM applications at sea. It is an innovative underwater imaging technology for seabed surveys.

ECA Group Naval Robotics scientific advisor Marc Pinto said: “This combination of resolution, area coverage and accurate positioning is what makes UMISAS unique.

“It allows for a high detection and classification probability, even of stealthy mines, which are a challenge for other sonars.”

Last June, ECA Group won a contract to supply steering and diving consoles (SNDC) for the South Korean Navy’s 1st submarine of JANGBOGO III- Batch II Class.