Belgium, Netherlands sign minehunter contract

The defence ministries of Belgium and the Netherlands have signed a €2 billion (US$2.27 billion) contract with a consortium formed by Naval Group and ECA Robotics for the supply of six new mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs).

The Belgium Naval and Robotics consortium will provide the two signatory countries with six MCMVs each under the contract, which was originally announced in March of this year.

Each 2,800-tonne vessel will be able to launch and recover autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), towed sonars, and unmanned surface vessels (USVs). The USVs themselves will be able to launch and recover remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) equipped with mine identification/destruction systems.

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