Naval Group is in charge of the design and construction of the 12 vessels while ECA Group is in charge of the design, construction and integration of their associated mine warfare toolboxes.
The Belgian Ministry of Defense officially notified the consortium Belgian Naval & Robotics (formed by Naval Group & ECA Group) on May 22, 2019, to supply 12 vessels and associated equipment to the Belgian and Dutch Navies.
The Belgian and Dutch navies will start replacing their ageing fleet of MCM vessels from 2023. The Tripartite class vessels were built in the 1980s under a trilateral program between Belgium, Netherlands and France. Under the MCM program, the two navies are to be equipped with around 100 drones, constituting approximately ten drone systems (toolboxes). Six ships are destined for the Belgian Navy, while the other six will be delivered to the Dutch Navy.
After a three- year design phase, Belgium Naval & Robotics will launch the production phase of the ships and drone systems with a first delivery expected in 2024.