Home Europe Latvia contracts France’s ECA Group for minehunter modernization

Latvia contracts France’s ECA Group for minehunter modernization

Latvian Navy mine countermeasure vessels
Photo: ECA Group

The Latvian Naval Forces have selected France’s ECA Group for the modernization of its mine countermeasures vessels.

Worth more than 20 million euros, the contract is for the modernization of three mine countermeasures vessels acquired from the Royal Netherlands Navy in 2006. These vessels require a modernization of their mine hunting system and will be delivered with a mine warfare data center successively in 2021, 2023 and 2024.

This new contract for ECA Group follows the agreement from 2019 in consortium with Naval Group, Belgium Naval & Robotics, for the supply of the unmanned system (Toolbox) UMISTM (Unmanned Mine Countermeasures Integrated System) to the Belgian and Dutch navies for an amount of approximately 450 million euros.

ECA Group will provide the Latvian Naval Forces with an innovative solution for the modernization of its existing mine countermeasures vessels, replacing the conventional detection system based on a hull sonar for mines with a smaller unmanned system consisting of the underwater drones AUV A18-M for detection and underwater robots Seascan MK2 and K-STER C for identification and clearance of the mines.

ECA Group will modify the vessels with the support of its subsidiary Mauric, specialized in naval architecture, and Latvian partners, in order to install the new mine countermeasures systems.

The company said the scalable UMISTM toolbox can also be installed on other models of conventional mine countermeasures vessels or on ships that are not used for mine countermeasures. It added it intends to offer this modernization solution to all navies that intend to keep and optimize their conventional mine countermeasure vessels or consider the acquisition of pre-owned vessels.