Following a call for tenders launched in the Summer of 2018, the Belgian navy has awarded the Belgium Naval & Robotics consortium, bringing together Naval Group and ECA Group, the supply of 12 mine-hunting vessels equipped with a total of 100 drones. Six ships are for the Belgian navy, the other six will be delivered to the Dutch navy. The final notification of the contract should take place in the coming weeks.
The ECA Group share of this contract represents around €450 million. The 10-year program will start with a design phase of about 3 years before the production and delivery phase of the drone systems. The contract should generate revenue starting 2019.
This contract will be, by far, the largest contract ever won by ECA Group, its amount being greater than 4 years of turnover for the group.
This success is the achievement of a strategy focused for many years on the development of drone systems composed of multiple and varied drones cooperating as autonomously as possible within the same mission. In this case, it is a mine clearance mission at sea.
The Belgian and Dutch navies are thus acquiring the latest generation of mine hunters designed by Naval Group and fully integrating ECA Group's naval drones capable of conducting submarine mine clearance operations autonomously in the minefield. The drone systems to provide are the latest generations of drones developed over the last 4 years. The drones, all integrated into ECA Group's C2 MCM system, are Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), towed sonars and Mine Identification & Destruction Systems (MIDS) composed of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) for the identification and destruction of mines, all of these drones can be implemented fully automatically from the USV (Unmanned Surface Vehicles). The naval drones also incorporate UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and sweeps.
The Belgian navy is a reference in submarine mine clearance within NATO, this contract is a major asset for export: as 40 years ago with the tripartite mine hunters program that had generated sales of PAP robots to dozens of marines in 20 years, this success in Belgium should generate many commercial export benefits in the coming years.
Several major navies including France, India or England will renew their mine hunting fleet in the coming years. In addition, ECA Group believes that most navies will also be equipped with transportable drone systems that can be used from the coast.
A significant part of the execution of the contract will take place in Belgium within ECA Robotics Belgium, as part of a cooperation plan that already includes 39 Belgian partners. The equipped surface drones will be designed and produced in Belgium and all underwater drones will also be produced there. Finally, these naval or air drones generate a logistic support, repairs, spares activities that can be done by ECA Robotics Belgium. These activities generate additional revenues as maintenance and support contracts throughout the lifespan of drones, generally greater than 20 years for naval drones.
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About Groupe Gorgé
Founded in 1990, Groupe Gorgé is an independent group that specializes in high-tech industries. Today, the Group is active in the fields of security and protection in extreme environments, as well as in the 3D printing sector. In its more than twenty-five year history, Groupe Gorgé has always developed and driven the latest technological and industrial innovations.
Smart Safety Systems:
Developing complete, innovative technological solutions for complex missions in hostile and confined environments.
Protection of High-Risk Installations:
Protecting people and ensuring the active and passive protection of installations for energy markets and industrial and tertiary sectors in France. Ensuring the maintenance of these protection systems.
Enabling major industry players to find new routes to successful innovation and production processes by providing 3D printers, premium material, software and 3D printed parts.
In 2018, the Group reported revenue of €296 million. It is backed by 2,000 employees and operations in over ten countries.
More information available on www.groupe-gorge.com
Groupe Gorgé is listed on Euronext Paris Compartment C
ISIN code: FR0000062671
Ticker code: GOE
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