Belgium Naval & Robotics press release
The new rMCM vessels will be provided with state-of-the-art robust equipment to combat various threats such as mines, piracy, terrorism, maritime traffic interception, and surveillance of territorial waters. These vessels equipped with drones systems are paramount for the future operations of both the Belgian and Dutch Navy to protect the Sea-lanes and to contribute to safer seas all over the world.
The shaft lines and the main components have been designed by BALIÑO and will be produced in our factory in Vigo (Spain). In addition, the propellers, designed by VICUS DT (Emenasa Group engineering company) will be forged in our foundry FUNDIVISA in Vilagarcia de Arousa (Spain). Baliño has 60 years of expertise in high-end propulsion systems for the marine industry and Navy, with over a thousand propulsion plants delivered worldwide.
“Thanks to the expertise of BALIÑO and VICUS DT and Emenasa Group’s facility, we have satisfied all Naval Group and Kership’s requirements. We are proud to fit out the 12 vessels of the Belgian and the Dutch Navies with our propulsion system, this contract is an additional strategic opportunity for the Baliño and the whole Emenasa Group to be part of this important European project and consolidate our position in the market.”
Carlos Alonso, CEO Emenasa Group.
About rMCM program
The Belgian Ministry of Defense officially notified the consortium Belgian Naval & Robotics (formed by Naval Group & ECA Group) on May 22, 2019, a contract to supply 12 motherships and associated equipment to the Belgian and Dutch Navies.
According to Commander Bultot, rMCM Project Leader, the first steel cut of the first-in-class ship is set to take place at the Kership (Piriou) shipyard in Concarneau, France, on 21 June 2021.
Designed by Naval Group, the MCM mothership has one port and one starboard LARS located slightly aft of midship, close to the ship’s centre of gravity. Each LARS consists of a pivoting A-Frame davit with the USV, weighing up to 18t, housed in a floating cradle. It allows the simultaneous launch of two USVs with maximal safety. For the Belgian-Dutch mine countermeasure (MCM) program, conducted by Belgium Naval Robotics – a Naval Group and ECA Group consortium -, they will be used to operate two ECA’s Inspector 125 USV.
The Inspector 125 USV has a length of about 12 meters, a beam of about 4 meters and a full load weight of 18.1 tons. According to ECA Group, the Inspector 125 is designed to receive a wide range of payload with easy and quick reconfiguration capability. It can carry, deploy and recover the A18 mid-size AUV, the T18 LARS for seafloor survey or MCM detection operation or 2x SEASCAN + 6x K-STER C for MCM identification and neutralization operations. The Inspector 125 has an endurance of 40 hours, a maximum speed of 25 knots and an operational range of 12 nautical miles (from the mother-ship).
The mothership itself is 82 meters long with a displacement of 2,500 tons and a crew complement of 30 sailors (total accommodation for 63 people). It is fitted with a Bofors 40Mk4 40m main gun system, FN Herstal’ Sea deFNder 12.7mm remote weapon stations, an NS50 radar by Thales, Sea Eagle EO/IR by Chess Dynamics, Saab TactiCall Communication System, and a platform for SKELDAR V-200 VTOL UAV.