ECA Robotics has been contracted to build and supply unmanned vehicles for the Belgian and the Royal Netherlands navies.

The company will manufacture and deliver the unmanned vehicles for underwater mine countermeasures.

The contract has been signed as part of the renewal of the mine countermeasures capacity for the navies.

In 2018, French companies Naval Group and ECA Group entered a technological and commercial partnership to provide unmanned mine-hunting solutions for the Belgian and Dutch naval forces.

The programme will include the delivery of six new generation vessels, each for the Belgian and Dutch navies, as well as containerised systems.

Under the partnership, Naval Group and ECA Group will focus on developing and promoting an offer of military mine countermeasure (MCM) vessels integrating drones, sonars, mine sweep and remotely operated systems.

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As part of the latest contract, ECA Robotics Belgium will deliver the USV INSPECTOR 125-M and the USV INSPECTOR 125-S.

The contract also includes the sweep system equipped with magnetic and acoustic modules, the AUV A18-M, an underwater drone, towed sonar T18-M and MIDS system consisting of the SEASCAN MK2 and the K-STER C.

The Belgian counterpart will also provide the transfer and integration of the UMISOFT software, supply of UAV V200 Skeldar aerial drones that feature integrated payloads, as well as acceptance tests and trials, training and programme management.

The unmanned vehicles will be produced in a new facility, which will be built in Ostend, Belgium. The facility will be constructed early next year to enable the start of production the following year

Production is expected to take around ten years to complete and ECA Robotics Belgium will hire 70 people.

Additionally, the company can perform maintenance on drones upon delivery of the first set of drones.