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Euronaval 2022: iXblue & ECA Group to be operating under a new common brand: Exail.

| 2022

Following the acquisition of iXblue by Group Gorgé end of September, ECA Group and iXblue announced that both companies will be operating under a new common brand: Exail.

Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Drix Unmanned Surface Vessel at Euronaval, Le Bourget. (Picture source: Navy Recognition)

With this alliance, Exail becomes a global high-tech industrial champion specializing in cutting-edge robotics, maritime, navigation, aerospace and photonics technologies.

Combining complementary technological expertise and geographical footprint with a strong legacy of innovation, Exail provides its global base of customers with cutting-edge in-house manufactured technologies ranging from components and sensors to products and complex systems.

The new company took the opportunity of the defense exhibition Euronaval 2022 to exhibit its Drix Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV).

DriX highly hydrodynamic monohull and drop keel provide exceptional stability and balance to the platform. The USV will pierce waves and cannot capsize, even in high sea states. Keeping movements to a minimum, the USV ensures high stability. Thus widening the onboard sensors operation window.

DriX shape and stability allows for very high-speed capabilities (up to 14 knots), reducing transit downtime and providing high survey speeds with optimal data quality, harvested in a fraction of the usual times.

As far as endurance is concerned, DriX can sail for 7 days at 7 knots. At its top speed (14 knots), DriX can maintain continuous operations for 24 hours, while a speed of 4 knots will be required for a 10-day mission.

All sensors are embedded within a gondola located 2m below the surface, in a highly reduced-noise and bubble-free environment. This offers optimum conditions for high quality data acquisition.

Exceptional acquisition conditions are further induced by DriX outstanding line keeping, including in high sea states (up to sea state 5) and cross current situations. It also has been noted that the post-processing phase of a project using DriX was reduced by half thanks to the very high quality of the collected data.

DriX is made out of composite material. This means the USV is lighter than its Marine Steel or Aluminum counterparts. It also means it is not submitted to corrosion. DriX lightweight also enables the USV to be powered by smaller engines for the same level of performance.

DriX is a versatile USV able to work in both shallow and deep water, enhancing its working domains. With a draft of 2m, DriX is able to conduct missions in coastal shallow waters down to 4-meter depths with all types of shallow water MBES.

The USV can also operate in deep offshore thanks to its AUV tracking and communication capabilities allowed through iXblue’s Gaps USBL and Canopus LBL systems. Existing third-party systems can also be implemented.

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