By Chaitali Halder Bag
Abu Dhabi. 01 March 2017. If you are one of key players for mine detection and destruction in the Defence sector, there are some industry majors who are working day in and day out to meet your needs. ECA Group equips with its robotic solutions nine of the 10 largest armies in the world combining its expertise in designing drones operating on water – USVs, under water – AUVs, ROVs , on land – UGVs and in the air, and in developing integrated systems, in order to develop a comprehensive range of solutions adapted to the needs of the armed forces of the world.
“We are setting here a subsidiary in order to be closer to our customers, to understand their requirements better and to meet those needs in a better way, especially by support,” said Guenael Guillerme, Director General- CEO, ECA group in an exclusive interview to Aviation & Defence Universe(ADU) at IDEX/NAVDEX 2017.
“ We have been providing both French and UK navies with MCM subsea robots for nearly 40 years We are proud that our wide and unique experience in Autonomous Underwater Vehicles is recognised by these two navies in MMCM program, he added.”
“We integrated ECA group with Bureau Mauric, is a naval architect and their offer is present in our NAVDEX booth. This company is able to design any ship and integrate it with our naval drones on these ships in better way. This was very important for our future and its very important to have this company in order to be able to have range of USVs (unmanned surface vehicles) so that we will be able to propose our customers other surface drones that we had in past, we are now able to design specifically for our customers,” stated Guenael .
ECA is developing a research programme on robotics systems of the future. Its aim is to improve the capacities and performance of all the robotised solutions made available to the group’s customers. Drawing on its strong presence of more than 20 years in the Aerospace industry, together with the fields of robotics and automation enable it to meet the needs of aeronautics manufacturers, airlines, repair and maintenance centres and air defence. ‘We partner with Prodways and complete the Additive Manufacturing / 3D printing offer for the Aerospace sector for production, inspection and maintenance tools. It gives us an edge of offering end-to-end solutions to the customers,” he elaborated.
ECA’s CBRN (chemical, biological radiation and nuclear) products are also popular amongst the forces of the world. “ We have sold these kind of robots to several customers in France and out of France. The customers are using them to detect potential strikes in terms of nuclear and chemical. Customers are spread all over the world,” Guillerme informed.
ECA Group provides a complete range of operation and training simulators for missions using the latest technologies. “With its expertise in drones and robots, the ECA Group creates a Training Simulation Department in order to train tomorrow’s operators, sailors, pilots and drivers. Yes there always have been a support system to all our products. Air maintenance systems for aircraft, ship engine rooms, submarine control systems, etc., the expertise of the Group in terms of integrated systems and simulators enables the company to meet customer requirements for either naval or maritime vessels as well as aircraft for the education and training of personnel in the maintenance of facilities and equipment,” he added.
Answering a question on the company’s operations in India he said, “we sold different kind of solutions in the past. We have several proposals as well from this country and we are hopeful that there will be a time when support and sales shall require more presence in the country. Moreover there is the Make in India program in the country and this will make some solutions to settle in India although I don’t know when.”
He was happy with the company’s presence and response of customers at IDEX/NAVDEX. “Lot’s of things are new at IDEX. We have integrated some capacity for AUV to select within all the images. The one which are most interesting are the operators so that when we download data from the AUV we have much less data to be recovered so that it is much quicker to classify by the users. It is a very big exhibition with lot of people coming and we are able to raise the ability to meet all the military of the area which is very important for us so it remains very important exhibition. We are present on NAVDEX and IDEX for different customers,” Guillerme informed.