ECA Group's MCM Solution successfully tests by the Latvian Navy

According to a press release published by ECA Group on August 23, 2022, the firm welcomed the Latvian Navy to carry out the Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT) for their modernized ship’s Command and Control (CC) system and Mine Identification and Disposal systems (MIDS).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 ECA Group's team with the Seascan mine identification vehicle and the K-STER mine disposal system (Picture source: ECA Group)

These systems will be soon integrated onto Latvia’s Tripartite-class Mine Hunter vessels (IMANTA Class). The Latvian Navy will be the first to be equipped with a comprehensive drone solution from ECA Group, specifically designed to be fitted during modernisation programmes of previous generation Mine Hunters.

Selected in 2020 following an international tender, ECA Group is in charge of the modernisation of the MCM capacity of the three Latvian MCM vessels. The traditional mine warfare system is completely replaced by a new command and control system and a full set of drones, all designed and manufactured by ECA Group: the A18-M AUV fitted with ECA Group’s UMISAS Sonar, the SEASCAN mine identification vehicle and the K-STER mine disposal system.

ECA Group is also responsible for the ship modification and the upgrade of the navigation system, composed of W-ECDIS warship electronic chart display and information system, Gaps M7 USBL positioning system and Phins C7 compact Inertial Navigation System by iXblue, as well as a new Autopilot by SIREHNA.

During the FAT, the ship’s command and control with W-ECDIS and Autopilot, the sensors’ functionalities and interfaces were successfully tested. In addition, during the acceptance tests, the Latvian Navy successfully performed a scenario of mine identification with the SEASCAN and firing simulation with the KSTER for mine disposal.

This program builds on the long-standing partnership between the Latvian Navy and ECA Group. The Navy has been operating ECA Group’s A9 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) for several years.

With this modernization contract, 10 K-STER mine disposal systems, 2 SEASCAN mine identification systems and a A18-M mid-size AUV with their common software suite will be delivered for each of the 3 ships to be modernised.

By upgrading the mine warfare equipment on existing vessels, ECA Group brings state-of-the-art capabilities at a cost-effective price to navies while enabling them to extend the life of their fleet already in service.

This toolbox can be installed on any conventional mine countermeasures vessels or on non-dedicated ships. ECA Group offers this modernisation solution to all navies that intend to keep and optimise their conventional mine countermeasures vessels or consider the acquisition of pre-owned vessels.

About the Tripartite class

The Tripartite class is a class of minehunters developed from an agreement between the navies of Belgium, France and the Netherlands. A total of 35 ships were constructed for the three navies.

The class was constructed in the 1980s–1990s in all three countries, using a mix of minehunting, electrical and propulsion systems from the three member nations.

In 2007, the Latvian Naval Forces acquired five ships from the Netherlands which had been taken out of service at the beginning of the decade.

The ships were originally of similar design to the Belgian and French versions, with a standard displacement of 520 tonnes (510 long tons) and 553 tonnes (544 long tons) at full load.

The displacement later increased to 571 tonnes (562 long tons) standard and 605 tonnes (595 long tons) at full load and then 630 tonnes (620 long tons) standard and 660 tonnes (650 long tons) at full load. The 20 mm gun that was initially mounted was removed, leaving only three 12.7 mm machine guns.