UMIS is ECA Group brand new Mine Counter Measure (MCM) unmanned system able to carry out any MCM missions, using a collaborative system of surface and underwater robots, thanks to an advanced Command & Control System.
Delivering the UMIS system to the first customers in 2016, ECA Group’s solution made conventional mine hunters obsolete. It has proven to be faster in fulfilling operations, more efficient, cost-effective and safe, as the crew is kept away from minefield.
Using conventional mine hunters on a minefield have indeed many drawbacks.
First, the high cost to reduce the ship’s magnetic signature to a very low level. Secondly, the ship detects mines using a Hull Mounted Sonar (HMS) of which mine classification depends, on its range and resolution. ECA Group sonar expert Dr. Marc Pinto explains that
“Physics of sonar dictates that you can’t have both range and resolution : Long range sonars have poor resolution. High resolution sonars have very limited range. With conventional mine hunters, it is either required to approach and manoeuver close to the possible mine for a good classification, which is risky and time-consuming, or, the minehunter stays far from the targets, leading to a low resolution and a high probability to miss some mines, which is also a high risk”.
In comparison, ECA Group’s UMIS deploys Autonomous Underwater vehicles (AUVs) carrying the sonar and Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs) which bring identification and disposal vehicles on the minefield, leaving the mothership away in a safe zone. UMIS manages a set of drones which cooperate autonomously into the dangerous area.
“It is proved that, operating in parallel, the UMIS system can divide by at least 3 , the time of missions, and comes with a higher efficiency and clearance rate.” reports VADM (Ret.) Christian CANOVA, FRN, Undersea Warfare Expert and former NATO Maritime Command Deputy Commander.
UMIS system uses SEASCAN MK2 for identification and the K-STER C mine disposal system for neutralization and can be used collaborately with the embedded Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) in A9-M AUV or A18-M AUV, to reduces the MCM Missions duration.
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