On 14 June 2022, Naval Group has laid the keel for the second of the twelve mine countermeasure platforms of the Belgian-Dutch rMCM program, the HNLMS Vlissingen, meant for the Royal Netherlands Navy. The keel laying ceremony befell in Lanester, within the presence of Vice Admiral René Tas, Commander of the Royal Netherlands Navy, Commodore Harold Boekholt, Director of Initiatives of the Netherlands Defence Materials Organisation, Lieutenant Normal Marc Thys, Belgian Deputy Chief of Defence and Main Normal Ivan De Tender, Belgian Materials Sources Public Procurement. This programme was awarded in 2019 to Belgium Naval & Robotics, the consortium shaped by Naval Group and ECA Group, following a world competitors. It gives for the availability to the Belgian Navy and the Royal Netherlands Navy of twelve mine countermeasures platforms and round 100 drones built-in inside a toolbox that can equip the vessels. Kership, a three way partnership between Naval Group and Piriou, is answerable for the manufacturing of the twelve platforms that are assembled in Concarneau and Lanester. They are going to be then all armed afloat by Piriou in Concarneau.

Pierre Eric Pommellet, CEO of Naval Group mentioned: “I’m more than happy to welcome our prospects right here in Lanester to take this new necessary step within the programme. The rMCM programme is a good story of cooperation between European companions, but additionally between industrial companions. Additionally it is the story of a shared imaginative and prescient for the way forward for mine warfare and naval defence. Collectively, we’re getting ready the way forward for mine countermeasures by sharing a typical game-changing defence resolution”.


Naval Group lays the keel for the second mine countermeasure platform of the Belgian-Dutch rMCM programme.

Dominique Giannoni, CEO of ECA Group added: “We’re very joyful to be current at this ceremony alongside our associate Naval Group. All ECA Group groups are mobilised for the success of this extremely modern program: it goals at an unprecedented stage of automation of mine warfare operations, with the coordinated implementation of underwater, floor and aerial drones.”

Chief of the Royal Netherlands Navy, Vice Admiral Rene Tas stresses the significance of those platforms for the long run proofing of mine counter measures and subsequently, the security of (business) vessels at sea for the Netherlands and our NATO Companions.

Naval Group, is answerable for the design of the ships, the general integration, and the testing and commissioning of the mission system (fight system and mine countermeasures system). ECA Group, as co-contractor, is answerable for the unmanned drones’ system. The drones might be produced in ECA Group manufacturing facility (Ostend, Belgium). The upkeep of the ships might be carried out in Belgium in shut collaboration between the Belgian Navy and Naval Group Belgium, with the help of its associate Flanders Ship Restore. These specialised mine countermeasures (MCM) platforms are the primary to have the potential to embark and launch a mix of floor drones (themselves 12-metre, 20-tonne vessels), underwater drones and aerial drones. The mine countermeasures platforms will use a primarily autonomous system for detection, classification and neutralisation of mines. They will face up to underwater explosions and have very low acoustic, electrical and magnetic signatures, in keeping with the missions to be carried out.

Naval Group lays the keel for the second mine countermeasure platform of the Belgian-Dutch rMCM programme
Naval Group lays the keel for the second mine countermeasure platform of the Belgian-Dutch rMCM programme