ECA GROUP has announced the fulfilment of the first milestone within the modernization programme of 3 mine countermeasures (MCM) vessels belonging to the Latvian Navy, 8 months after winning the contract for the modernization of the Navy’s MCM capabilities.
This first milestone consists of disassembling the legacy equipment of MCM vessels. Following this successful phase, and the Critical Design Review of ship architecture, teams will begin installing the new, upgraded equipment in October 2021.
ECA GROUP will install and configure its Unmanned Mine Countermeasures Integrated System (UMIS) on the 3 vessels. The UMIS Toolbox is a comprehensive suite of state-of-the-art technology for unmanned mine clearance operations, while removing the need for the ship to enter the minefield (stand-off concept).
For the Latvian Navy, ECA GROUP will replace the vessels’ conventional mine detection systems based on a hull sonar with a more compact, mobile and evolutive unmanned system UMIS, consisting of autonomous underwater vehicle A18-M drones fitted with the latest generation ECA GROUP synthetic aperture sonar UMISAS for detection, and several underwater robots, the Seascan MK2 and K-STER C for mines identification and neutralisation.
The new Ultra Short Baseline positioning system installed in place of hull sonar enables tracking and acoustic communication, replacing the previous acoustic modem which had to be launched from the deck.
ECA GROUP will modify the vessels to accommodate the new equipment with the support of its subsidiary MAURIC in order to install these new generation MCM systems.
Several Latvian companies have been consulted for the supply of equipment and coordination of on-site activities and works, and for procurement of racks, trolleys, launch and recovery systems of drones.
An integral part of the upgrade by ECA GROUP and MAURIC will be the complete renewal of the Combat Room to integrate cabinets and consoles necessary for operating the new navigation systems (WECDIS, USBL positioning system and Inertial Navigation System by iXblue), new Autopilot (by SIREHNA), and ECA GROUP’s UMISOFT software suite for Mission Management, Data Management and Drone Control.
A new Iridium and Wi-Fi antenna will be installed on each ship for communicating with the A18-M drone at the surface.
By upgrading mine warfare equipment on existing vessels, ECA GROUP brings state of the art capabilities to navies while enabling them to prolong the life of their fleet already in service.