In June 2022, ECA Group invited the Latvian Navy to carry out the Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT) for their modernised ship’s Command & Control (C2) system and Mine Identification and Disposal systems (MIDS). These systems will be soon integrated onto Latvia’s TRIPARTITE class Mine Hunter vessels (known as the IMANTA class in Latvian service). During the FAT, the ship’s C2 system, W-ECDIS warship electronic chart display and information system, Autopilot, as well as the sensors’ functionalities and interfaces were tested by the Latvian Navy. On 22 August 2022, ECA Group announced that these tests had been successful. The manufacturer also stated that during the acceptance tests, the Latvian Navy successfully performed a simulated mine identification scenario with the SEASCAN and mine disposal simulation with the K-STER disposal.
Improved Latvian Capability
The Latvian Navy will be the first to be equipped with an unmanned solution from ECA Group, specifically designed to be fitted during modernisation programmes of previous-generation Mine Hunters. In 2020, ECA Group was selected to modernise the Mine Countermeasure (MCM) capabilities of the three Latvian MCM vessels. The traditional mine warfare system will be replaced by a new C2 system and a set of unmanned vehicles developed by ECA Group. These include:
- the A18-M autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) fitted with ECA Group’s UMISAS Sonar
- the SEASCAN mine identification remotely operated vehicle (ROV)
- the K-STER expendable mine disposal system(EMDS).
With this modernisation contract, ten K-STER mine disposal systems, two SEASCAN ROVs and one A18-M mid-size AUV, along with their common software suite will be delivered for each of the three ships to be modernised.
ECA Group is also responsible for the upgrade of the ship navigation system, and the new systems will include the W-ECDIS warship electronic chart display and information system, GAPS M7 ultra short saseline (USBL) positioning system and PHINS C7 inertial navigation system (INS) by iXblue, as well as a new Autopilot by SIREHNA.