> our title:

France’s ECA Group Navalizes Its AT180 Aerial Drone

> original title:

ECA Group Navalizes Its Aerial Drone IT180 UAV

(Source: ECA Group; issued June 28, 2017)


ECA Group is expanding the use of its IT180 (<30kg) helicopter mini-drone to maritime applications and is partnering with DCNS, which, with its naval system expertise, is contributing to the studies needed to integrate this drone on ships.

The IT180 UAV is a compact, high-performance mini-UAV VTOL, complementary to the VTOL UAVs of the higher categories, to meet specific naval missions' requirements. An initial implementation within the framework of this cooperation took place at the end of May 2017.

ECA Group participated in the second edition of "Naval Innovation Days" in Ollioules (South of France), an event organized by DCNS bringing together its customers and innovative SME / ETI partners. On the occasion of this event, DCNS wished to associate ECA Group, to the multi-drones demonstration organized by DCNS by implementing its mini-UAV VTOL IT180 as part of an interception scenario in the Toulon harbor.

In addition, ECA Group has developed many other concepts for the use of the IT180 UAV mini-drone for naval defence applications such as mine detection, radio relaying and magnetic risk management. The latter, STERNA - the solution for measuring the magnetic signature of ships based on airborne drone - was awarded at the Euronaval Tradeshow in 2016. In 2017, an Asian Navy chose this solution to equip its ships.

This IT180 UAV mini-drone navalization project is one of the latest major and innovative developments by ECA Group, which is positioning itself as the first UAV system conceptor in the sector.

ECA Group has already delivered UMIS naval systems based on surface robots (USVs), submersibles (AUV and ROV) and aerial (UAV) to several customers in 2016. UMIS (Unmanned MCM Integrated System) consisting of AUVs, USVs, ROVs integrates a complete multi-drones mission control and command system, as well as a powerful data processing suite. The performance of this UMIS system has also been successfully demonstrated during the Industry Days event organized by the Belgian Navy.

By acquiring a "navalized" IT180 UAV, ECA Group becomes the first industrial company capable of providing a complete drones system for all types of environment (air-land-sea) and have them collaborate for mine-clearance missions, counter-terrorism or surveillance.

ECA Group has developed a versatile mini helicopter drone, the IT180 UAV. This drone is easy to use, even in harsh weather conditions. With an autonomy of up to three hours giving it a range of 30 nautical, it can carry payloads up to 5kg (IR, video, PIR). This aerial drone can be used to detect floating drifting mines in front of an expeditionary naval force in transit. Connected by umbilical to the mother ship, it can be used as trans-horizon radio relay with the other aerial drones and the naval surface drones implemented by the same ship.

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