Brussels. 17 December 2018. The consortium Belgium Naval & Robotics has presented its industrial cooperation plan. Naval Group and ECA Group collaborate since the ‘70s on naval mine clearing and on the mine hunter programme (Belgian-Dutch-French tripartite programme) .

With its industrial cooperation plan, Belgium Naval & Robotics offers to accompany Belgium in the strengthening of its strategic autonomy and its leadership on international level and within the NATO, in the field of MCM activities. The growth of the Belgian industrial base related to high-tech and key products for this sector will help create jobs with high added value in a sustainable way.

Belgium Naval & Robotics will set up an industrial centre of excellence in Belgium, positioned on activities with very high added value. The main objective of this centre will be to ensure Belgium’s autonomy and strategic excellence.

The centre will also be able to accompany Belgium in the evolution of the systems in areas such as robotics, artificial intelligence or acoustic discretion and cyber security and this for the duration of the programme and beyond.

These structuring partnerships have already been signed in order to accomplish this project.

Belgium Naval & Robotics have already set up nearly forty Belgian partnerships around the key aspects of the programme and its future developments. The consortium now presents a plan to the Belgian authorities to create hundreds of jobs over 20 years.

The activity will generate significant added value related to the number of jobs but also on a technological level and will be evenly distributed over the three regions: Wallonia, Flanders and Brussels.

Flanders Ship Repair, a major partner of the project, will ensure 100% of the maintenance on the twelve vessels in Zeebrugge. Belgium will thus have full autonomy to maintain and develop its vessels and the mine warfare system for the duration of the programme.

ECA Robotics Belgium can carry out the maintenance of the drones (“Tools”) in Zeebrugge should the Belgian navy express this wish.