Deployable mine countermeasures increase

Photo: Royal Australian Navy

The Royal Australian Navy is forging ahead with new technologies to counter the threat of sea mines to military and commercial vessels.

The Head of Navy Capability, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, said the prevalence and increasing sophistication of sea mines means the Royal Australian Navy must continue to improve the way it finds and disposes of these mines.

“New autonomous and remote-controlled technologies deployed from within the maritime task force provides the opportunity to find and dispose of sea mines more safely and efficiently,” Rear Admiral Mead said.

“In the 2030s, Defence will seek to replace its specialised mine hunting and environmental survey vessels with a single fleet of multi-role vessels embarking advanced autonomous and uninhabited systems.”

Rear Admiral Mead said these newly introduced systems are the first step in realising a future capability which would allow the Royal Australian Navy to clear sea mines with minimal risk to its people and assets.

“Thales Australia Ltd will deliver and support the new equipment over the next 15 years,” Rear Admiral Mead said.

The new capability will primarily be based and sustained at HMAS Waterhen in Sydney, New South Wales.

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