Naval Group Belgium has launched the Mine CounterMeasures (MCM) research and development (R&D) centre of excellence (CoE).

Located in Brussels, the lab is the third CoE built by the company overseas.

The new CoE will work jointly with Belgian partners in a collaborative laboratory, dubbed ‘MCM Lab’.

It is a collaboration between ECA Robotics, ECA Robotics Belgium, Naval Group, Naval Group Belgium, Anglo Belgian Corporation, Belgian Advanced Technology Systems, DotOcean, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), Space Applications Services, and the University of Ghent.

The MCM Lab is part of the industrial cooperation plan related to the Belgian and Dutch replacement of the mine countermeasures vessels programme (rMCM).

Awarded in 2019, the programme is being led by Belgium Naval & Robotics, a Naval Group and ECA Group consortium.

This consortium is responsible for the construction of 12 new vessels and a toolbox comprising nearly 100 drones for the Belgian and Royal Netherlands Navy.

Naval Group Belgium chief technological officer and MCM Lab director Christian Lainé said: “The MCM Lab is a collaborative structure where industries and academics share their ideas and develop solutions, made in Belgium, to answer the challenges of mine warfare of today and tomorrow.

“The ambition is that the label ‘MCM Lab’ becomes the international reference for technical solutions covering the different domains of Mine Warfare.”