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Author: Subject: Mine warfare, all aspects
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[*] posted on 17-4-2018 at 04:27 PM


This remote controlled ‘naval mine’ attaches to ships, explodes on command

By: Burak Ege Bekdil   14 hours ago



VIDEO: WATTOZZ Silahlı İnsansız Deniz Aracı: https://youtu.be/fTDcb2nyzJk

ANKARA, Turkey — A leading Turkish drone manufacturer says it developed a “mobile naval mine” that can blow up warships of all types.

The Wattozz program has been jointly undertaken by Albayrak Savunma, a drone maker, and Karadeniz Technical University in Turkey’s Black Sea region. Wattozz is named after “vatoz,” which translates to stingray.

The Wattozz features the shape of a stingray and is made of titanium and aluminium. It has two cameras fitted into the eye sockets of the “stingray” and can cruise at a maximum speed of 5.5 knots for up to 12 hours. The drone features three integrated engines.

The mobile mine is an underwater drone that can be used for surveillance or assault missions. It can carry explosives and is controlled by encrypted acoustic sound waves.

The stealthy Wattozz cruises underwater and then sticks itself under the hull of an enemy vessel with electromagnetic magnets. The explosion is controlled from a remote station. It can stay inactive on the seabed while in sleep mode. It also features a self-protection system against predatory fish and other animals with its electromagnetic and ultrasound signals.

Mustafa Adnan Albayrak, chairman of Albayrak Savunma, said the company has been working on the Wattozz program for the past two years. He said the company will officially launch Turkey’s first indigenous armed underwater drone within three months.
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[*] posted on 17-4-2018 at 04:48 PM


Why is a Turkish company releasing a PR video of them attacking what appears to be dangerously close to a US carrier?



Repent!

The darkest hour of Humanity is upon us. The world
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new dark age. Repent your sins, for the apocalypse,
and the end, is extremely f@#king nigh!
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[*] posted on 17-4-2018 at 04:52 PM


Erdogan will get a kick from it............and he is the one has the say on whether they get funded for this.
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[*] posted on 17-4-2018 at 05:42 PM
hang on a minute !


“mobile naval mine” that can blow up warships of all types.

That is called a torpedo - right
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[*] posted on 4-5-2018 at 07:18 PM


Raytheon to develop USN’s Barracuda mine neutraliser

Richard Scott, London - Jane's Navy International

03 May 2018

Raytheon is to develop a new mine neutraliser vehicle to fulfil the US Navy’s (USN’s) requirement for an expendable ‘one-shot’ device able to identify and destroy bottom, near surface, and drifting mines.

The system, to be known as Barracuda, will be initially deployed from the Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MCM USV) forming part of the Littoral Combat Ship MCM mission package.

Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems was awarded a USD83.3 million contract by Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) in mid-April for the design, test, and deployment of the Barracuda mine neutralisation system. The contract includes options which, if exercised, will bring the value of the contract up to USD362.7 million.

(135 of 308 words)
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[*] posted on 7-5-2018 at 10:56 AM


UK Armed Forces Commentary

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Towards unmanned, stand-off maritime mine counter measures

The MOD has announced that the first unmanned minesweeping system has been accepted by the Royal Navy. This welcome development comes after years of tests, experiments and also delays. It is the result of 3 years of work following a contract announced in march 2015 and is just a step, however important, within a much larger enterprise.


RNMB Hussar in action, towing the Combined Influence Sweep package









UK-only development; Combined Influence Sweep replacement

12 October 2005 was an historic day for the Royal Navy, because the Hunt class minesweepers HMS Middleton and HMS Ledbury conducted the last evolution at sea involving sweep gear, both the Oropesa mechanical wire system and the combined influence sweep equipment. The Royal Navy at that point had already operated unmanned, remotely controlled sweep systems in 2003 during waterway clearance work in Iraq, notably the opening of Umm Qasr. Under a UOR, a number of Combat Support Boats with remote controls were used to tow the Mini Dyad System (MDS) produced by Australian Defence Industries (ADI) and Pipe Noise Makers. Called Shallow Water Influence Minesweeping System (SWIMS), they were sent ahead of the RN minehunters as precursor sweeps against ground influence mines. The future of MCM was taking the path of stand-off action through unmanned systems and it was felt that the more than 100 years of manned ships sweeping were at an end..........EDITED, see link below for the rest of this interesting article..............

LINK: http://ukarmedforcescommentary.blogspot.com.au/2018/05/towar...
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[*] posted on 1-6-2018 at 06:52 PM


France's MMCM Prototype



On 24 May, local media reported that Thales’ prototype of the Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) destined to the French Navy (Marine Nationale - MN), in the context of the France-UK Maritime Mine Counter Measure (MMCM) programme, has just arrived to Brest. Unreported elsewhere, the news signals that the prototype is ready for sea trials, which are scheduled to start in July. Another prototype for the UK will be tested by the Royal Navy (RN) from Thales’ new site in Turnchapel Warf.

Initiated in 2012 under a cooperation agreement between France and the UK, the MMCM programme develops a prototype autonomous system for detection and neutralisation of sea mines and underwater improvised explosive devices (UWIEDs). The MMCM contract was awarded to Thales in collaboration with BAE Systems by the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR - Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’ARmement) in March 2015, on behalf of the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA - Direction Général de l’Armement) and the UK MoD’s Defence Equipment & Support organisation. The contract also included the national partners, ECA Group in France and ASV, Wood & Douglas as well as SAAB in the UK. The same local source, however, mentioned that BAE Systems withdrew from the programme in the process.

The whole MMCM system has been defined and designed as a resilient non-USV centric systems architecture, which includes the USV equipped with a Towed Synthetic Aperture Sonar T-SAS/Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) - the Multi-Shot Mine Nutralisation System (MuMNS) developed by SAAB - and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) - ECA’s A27. It has been conceived so that its modular structure facilitates adaptation to different threats under different scenarios (e.g. seaport access, amphibious operation, choke point, homeland security) and allows future upgrades, making it future proof. Moreover, the MMCM will be rapidly deployable through modular containerised systems transportable by road, sea, train and air, and the assets will perform their tasks autonomously with control from a host ship or shore-based station via high-data-rate communication and over-the-horizon links.

Thales' USV has been manufactured with composite materials and is 12m long. The sea trials for the USV prototype will be taking place in the second half of 2018 with the objective of reaching qualification of the system in 2019. The MN plans on acquiring eight MMCM systems (that is, 8 USVs, 24 AUVs, 8 T-SAMs and 8 ROVs), four of which before 2025, as part of the planned replacement for the MN’s 11 ‘Tripartite’ class mine hunters (which also includes the construction of four mother-ships).


MMCM System Architecture (Photo: Thales)
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[*] posted on 20-6-2018 at 01:57 PM


PLA Conducts Anti-Underwater Mine Warfare Drill to Protect Maritime Sovereignty

(Source: Global Times; issued June 18, 2018)

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy recently conducted its first competitive live-munition underwater anti-mine warfare exercise, with experts saying the training focused on future military scenarios.

Bombers, minesweepers and mine-hunting ships of multiple PLA theater commands participated in "back-to-back" tests in the East China Sea, which included covert installation of underwater mines by air units, navigational path clearance by surface ships, and mine detection and sweeping, the official website of the PLA Navy, navy.81.cn reported Friday.

Installation and clearance of underwater mines is an important naval battle capability that must be improved upon in preparation for possible future foreign interference in the Taiwan Straits, the South China Sea or the East China Sea, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Monday.

Some military powers could block China's key marine outfalls and navigation paths by installing mines to delay the PLA, Song added, noting that PLA Navy preventative strategy could help defuse such foreign threats.

PLA deterrence strategy of laying underwater mines could also effectively keep foreign forces away from China's coastal waters, he said.

Nearly 20 underwater mines were installed, detected and swept during the assessment.

"The simulation was very realistic because we didn't have any information about the mines related to quantity, model or location," Zhu Shizhai, commander of a Southern Theater Command anti-mine fleet, was quoted by the report as saying.

Zhu's fleet was the first to find and eliminate a navigational path mine in the assessment on June 12.

PLA officials simulated complex scenarios according to real battlefield rules and did everything possible to recreate realistic combat situations in order to reinforce troops' strengths and improve upon their weaknesses.

Mine clearance is a challenge not only for China, but also for militarily advanced countries such as the US and Japan, he said, adding that reinforcement of the capability better prepares militaries for future operations.

More than 40 experts and professors from PLA Navy training institutions and research institutes and colleges were allocated to different fleets to comprehensively evaluate ships' mine-sweeping operations based on tactical methods, maneuvering process, and combat effectiveness.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 27-6-2018 at 07:28 PM


UDT 2018: No firm offer of the Venari-85 yet

27th June 2018 - 09:00 GMT | by Beth Maundrill in Glasgow



Once again BMT brought attention to its Venari-85 mine countermeasure (MCM) platform although the company is yet to confirm that it will put the design forward for the Belgian and Dutch requirement.

Despite this a company spokesperson said that the vessel is a ‘good fit’ for the programme.

The company said that while the Venari-85 indicates a platform length of 85m this could change to between 70m and 100m depending on requirement. This also allows the platform to be flexible in terms of weapon systems and payloads.

Regarding the potential build of the Venari, Stephen Braham, head of business development at BMT, said: ‘We will always look at a partner whether that's the shipyard or a prime that is able to take it to market and that partner quite often depends again on what the customers requirement is.

‘Some customers want an indigenous build…Belgium and the Netherlands for example want it to be a European competition so they want a European build.’

The Belgian government approved the purchase of six new MCM vessels under a €1.1 billion ($1.36 billion) investment earlier in 2018.

Braham also highlighted that the Venari is a clean sheet design rather than being a modified OPV for MCM operations.

‘To actually fight the MCM battle properly you need to start and clean sheets of paper and designed from scratch,’ Braham said.

MCM now centres heavily around autonomous vessels so BMT has leveraged the experience of companies such as Qinetiq and their involvement in experiments such as Unmanned Warrior to influence the design.

Flexibility is also key, especially for the Belgians and the Dutch.
‘They want to be able to pick what they want and what they have on day one might be different from year five,’ Braham said.

He also said that the Venari would not be limited to MCM and could be used as a general mothership for unmanned and autonomous vehicles for operations such as ASW.

BMT also showcased its Wyvern small SSK design at UDT having initially launched the concept in 2017.

‘We are using [the Wyvern] as a means to display our capabilities and do more innovative research and development,’ said Ian Parker, senior principal engineer at BMT.

The company has moved the design on from the baseline example it showed in 2017 by integrating pressure hull capabilities and UUVs.

According to company literature the SSK is a cost-effective solution that covers a full spectrum of rolls from ASW, ASuW and ISR.
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[*] posted on 24-8-2018 at 10:46 PM


Toward a 21st-Century US Navy Mining Force

By Capt. Hans Lynch, USN
& Scott C. Truver

August 22, 2018


U.S. Navy / Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jakoeb Vandahlen

Standoff weapons and other initiatives promise a renaissance in U.S. naval mine warfare.

The world is awash with naval mines.By some estimates, the world’s navies possess about a million sea mines of more than 400 types, including perhaps 400,000 in the arsenals of potential U.S. adversaries. That’s not counting water-borne improvised explosive devices that terrorists as well as traditional navies can use to challenge military and commercial transit of maritime chokepoints and even the high seas. (In early 2017, Houthi rebels planted mines and WBIEDs—most likely provided by Iran—near Red Sea ports, sinking several vessels and killing and wounding civilians. It is not far-fetched to expect Russia or a Russian proxy to use WBIEDs in non-attributed “gray zone” maritime insecurity operations.)

By contrast, the U.S. Navy has fewer than 10,000 sea mines of three types, the latest introduced in 1983. This relatively dusty and threadbare portion of the arsenal at once belies the effectiveness and efficiency of naval mines, and reflects the Navy’s on-again, off-again embrace of these weapons that wait.

This has pretty much been the case since 1776, when David Bushnell’s American Turtle used a limpet mine to attack, without success, HMS Eagle in the Hudson River. During the Civil War, sea mines were the South’s strategic anti-access/area-denial weapon of choice. Despised as “unchivalrous” by Union commanders, Confederate mines severely damaged or sank 35 Union ships — along with 11 of their own.

In the following century, the U.S. Navy laid many thousands of mines in World Wars I and II and the Vietnam War, at times with strategic effects. During the Cold War, a variety of advanced, sophisticated, multiple-influence bottom and moored anti-submarine and -surface mines were to be deployed in bastions, chokepoints, and gaps against a burgeoning Soviet fleet should the “balloon” go up.

The Navy last deployed mines in combat during the Persian Gulf War. In January 1991, four A-6E Intruder bombers planted a minefield of Destructor bomb-converted shallow-water mines at the mouth of the Kwahr Az Zubayr River to deny Iraqi access to the northern Gulf. One of the Intruders was lost and its crew killed by anti-aircraft fire, and there was no confirmation that Iraqi naval movements were affected.

Today’s USN Weapons that Wait

The oldest of the U.S. Navy’s trio of mine types was introduced in 1979: the Mk67 Submarine Launched Mobile Mine, a 2,000-pound bottom mine that attacks surface ships and submarines in shallow water. Launched from an attack submarine’s torpedo tube, the SLMM covertly transits to a predetermined location, and waits. It is particularly useful for mining areas that are not accessible to other mines, but few remain in service.

The other two types, introduced just four years later, are deployed by aircraft: the Mk65 thin-walled bottom mine and the Mk62/63 Quickstrike bottom mines. While the former is a 2,000-pound purpose-built mine, the latter are kits fitted onto the Navy’s ubiquitous 500- and 1,000-pound conventional bombs, allowing aircraft carrier air wings to conduct mining operations without carrying dedicated mines as additional ordnance.

The air-launched types are getting a major upgrade in the form of the Mk71 target detection device, a state-of-the-art firing mechanism that can sense multiple influences and be programmed with sophisticated target-processing and counter-countermeasures algorithms. This enables the Navy’s miners to optimize performance against different target classes and to respond to future threat targets. Continuing engineering development efforts include advanced algorithms for ship detection, classification, and localization against a wide variety of threats. The Navy has fielded the Mk71 TDD for the Mk65 mine and in 2018 is performing final qualification testing for using the Quickstrike Mk62/63 mines.

And new variants are in the works: standoff versions of the Quickstrikes designed to prevent a repeat of the 1991 loss of the mining aircraft to ground fire. In September 2014, the then-U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) demonstrated the extended-range Quickstrike-ER, a modification of the 500-pound winged Joint Direct-Attack Munition (JDAM)-ER. (INDO-PACOM remains very interested in a modern mining capability.)

Dropped from a B-52H strategic bomber, this was the first-ever deployment of a high-accuracy, precision, standoff aerial mine.

Subsequently, a parallel joint effort among PACOM, the Navy, and the Air Force had its first success in a 2,000-pound Mk64 Quickstrike-JDAM laid by a B-52H. Testing has continued, from the B-52, B-1, and F/A-18, demonstrating that the Quickstrike-J can be deployed from high altitudes and at great standoff ranges by any aircraft equipped to drop the GBU-31 JDAM. With GPS precision, bombers can lay an entire minefield in a single pass without even coming close to the minefield. There are two variants: The 2,000-pound weapon is the Quickstrike-J, called “Skipjack,” has only the JDAM guidance kit. The 500-pound Quickstrike-ER version, “Flounder,” has both a JDAM-ER guidance kit and a pair of folding wings. Development efforts are ongoing to demonstrate and field a 2,000-pound version of the Quickstrike-ER.

…and Tomorrow’s

In January 2015, Admiral James A. Winnefeld, then-Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, challenged the Navy’s mining experts to think broadly: “Within five years, how can our operating forces disrupt/deter an adversary vessel in international waters using mines that are smart, controllable, C2-enabled, mission adaptable, and payload—kinetic and non-kinetic—flexible?”

The Navy has taken up the admiral’s challenge and is pursuing several mine/mining initiatives that promise a renaissance in U.S. naval warfare. For example, Navy research and development labs are collaborating on a Smart Mine Initiative (SMI) that is a component development and prototyping effort to accelerate the fielding of an initial kinetic “encapsulated homing effector” capability for wider area coverage in deeper water than possible in 2018.

Moreover, these come in addition to the Navy’s improving the in-service shallow-water Quickstrike converted-bomb bottom mines with Joint Direct-Attack Munition (JDAM GPS guidance and wing packages that enable aircraft-launched mines with ranges and precision-accuracies unheard-of before now. Another near-term option includes repurposing excess Mk67 SLMM warheads to make Clandestine Delivered Mines delivered by unmanned undersea vehicles.

Importantly, this need to address modern, modular “smart” mines—capabilities well beyond the improved Quickstrikes and Clandestine Delivered Mines —dovetails with evolving concepts for seabed warfare. There is an incipient but growing demand for non-traditional mines that are delivered with accuracy and precision, controlled remotely, able to discriminate targets, able to deploy both kinetic and non-kinetic “effectors,” and cover wide areas. Thus, it is something that generates military “effects” well beyond a traditional explode-in-place high-explosive warhead mine. In short, the U.S. Navy is expanding the concept of the “mine.”

In addition to anti-submarine and anti-ship remote control mines, for example, this could include encapsulated seabed-to-air anti-aircraft missiles, drones or other warfare effectors.

Others see the deployment of encapsulated communications and command-and-control nodes. The new “mines” will be modular and deliverable from a wide variety of vessels. The sensors and effectors could be part of a distributed seabed network capable of multi-phase warfare operations. Thus, smart mining—a.k.a. “encapsulated effector”—capabilities will become part of a “kill web” offering flexible, scalable, distributed, forward, persistent, and autonomous lethal and non-lethal effects from the seabed.

The general concept of seabed warfare, particularly in the mine warfare community, is not new. Naval mines tethered to and resting on/beneath the seabed have been constants for America’s Navy for much of its history. What is new in is the coalescing of diverse technologies, modular systems, and platforms that can generate a variety of kinetic (in addition to the traditional high-explosive mine) and non-kinetic effects for seabed warfare missions throughout the undersea domain. The Smart Mine Initiative involves a suite of modular, flexible seabed-deployed encapsulated effectors that offer commanders a spectrum of options by facilitating the integration of existing sensors and weapon systems into a cohesive, networked seabed capability.

The Smart Mine Initiative has focused on prototyping viable concepts and capabilities for an offensive modular solution that can disrupt, deter, and/or disable an adversary vessel in a contested environment, as well as support distributed maritime operations. The operational concept is to give a commander the ability to select payloads with varying capabilities/effects that can be delivered to the theater and launched from a variety of undersea platforms.

Wait No More?

The continuing efforts in advanced mining development and improvements to the in-service mine inventory are responding to growing demands by the geographic combatant commanders for more and better mine-like systems to deal with burgeoning global maritime competition and different scales of conflict. The U.S. Navy is poised to achieve a strategic objective in making America’s adversaries worry about U.S. mines and creating our own asymmetric anti-access/area-denial advantage. The integration of these advanced capabilities into our evolving seabed warfare strategy creates an additional factor that must be taken into account by our adversaries’ decision-making. The service must continue to fund, develop, and deliver capabilities that will ensure strategic, operational, and tactical advantage within a challenging and dynamic undersea domain.

“The legal, technical, and conceptual challenges to developing and employing such a device are surmountable. It will not be enormously expensive to develop or procure,” Admiral Winnefeld and Captain Ahmad conclude in a 2018 essay that expands upon the admiral’s 2015 speech. “The only question will be whether cultural and programmatic challenges will continue to stand in the way. Of one thing we can be nearly certain: if the United States does not do this, another nation probably will … and probably already is.”

The views expressed in this article are the authors’ and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Navy, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.
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[*] posted on 6-9-2018 at 09:35 PM


Brazilian Navy plans to buy Swedish MCMVs

Victor Barreira, Istanbul - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

05 September 2018



The Brazilian Navy has plans to purchase two MCMV 47 Koster-class mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) from Saab Kockums through its Directorate of Naval Engineering, hoping to replace its existing maritime mine countermeasures (MCM) fleet.

A contract award to Saab Kockums is currently awaiting clearance by the top echelon of the navy, with the budget difficulties as the main obstacle for a rapid decision, a source told Jane’s .

At first, the navy had considered acquiring in-service MCMVs directly from other friendly navies for the project, known as the ‘Programa de Navios de Contramedidas de Minagem’, but no deal could be struck with one of the other services.

(131 of 324 words)
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[*] posted on 16-9-2018 at 06:08 PM


Marines want to use artificial intelligence to help find and neutralize sea mines

By: Todd South   1 day ago


The Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians launch an unmanned underwater vehicle from a Combat Rubber Raiding Craft. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Navy)

The Marines are looking for ways to leverage artificial intelligence and autonomy to find sea mines as they improve their ability to conduct littoral combat operations.

A recent posting on the government website fbo.gov shows that the Marine Corps Rapid Capability Office is seeking such technology as early as fiscal year 2019 to “detect, analyze and neutralize” explosive ordnance in very shallow water and the surf zone.

Chinese maritime doctrine and equipment development in recent years has included strategies to deploy scores of sea mines in key ocean chokepoints.

Rudimentary naval mines have dotted the waters off the coast of Yemen, planted by the Houthi rebels to shut off shipping and movements of the national Army and the Arab coalition.

There are existing technologies that could be brought on board soon, according to the posting.

Some of those include remotely operated vehicles, unmanned underwater vehicles and aerial drones combined with sensors to detect and analyze ordnance.

Officials want three prototypes for the office to evaluate. They must be able to seek out and handle the ordnance at depths from less than 10 feet in the surf out to shallow water depths at the 40- to 200-foot range.

The technology will help personnel identify those items from short distance, stand-off ranges to see if it’s hazardous or nonhazardous.

Once it identifies the item it must then be able to render it incapable of firing or detonating.

The remote-control portion can run either tethered or with radio signals. It must also accurately send back geolocation information to ‘mark’ the ordnance.

It must also be man-portable and can be launched and recovered from a small boat, like a combat rubber raiding craft. Initially, it must be a two-man launch but the goal is to have a one-man launchable device.
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[*] posted on 9-10-2018 at 08:25 PM


MAURIC & ECA Group unveil OCTOPODA range of MCM motherships carrying unmanned systems

Posted On Tuesday, 09 October 2018 10:32

To meet the increasing demand from navies and other professional maritime operators, in 2016 ECA Group and MAURIC joined forces to combine their respective areas of expertise, and have developed an innovative product range enabling drones and robots to be integrated on board naval vessels. This is how OCTOPODA came to see the light of day; a range of ships with specifications similar to those of patrol boats or OPVs, but specifically adapted for mine clearance missions at sea using drones and robots systems.


OCTOPODA 500 – Mine clearance in the high seas with a drone system that is operational in heavy seas

For these developments, ECA Group and MAURIC defined typical configurations for unmanned systems dedicated to mine warfare, based on the different components of ECA Group’s UMISTM system. This is a complete system of different drones that can collaborate within the same mission to carry out each step of a mine clearance mission: detection, identification and destruction. Each robot has a different role to play in the zone to be secured. They are deployed and controlled by a small team of operators on the OCTOPODA vessel, which remains in a secure zone.

OCTOPODA operates outside the minefield, so that it does not have to comply with demanding specifications relating to acoustic and electromagnetic signature, and shock resistance.

Inspired by MAURIC’s patrol boat and OPV range, OCTOPODA vessels are based on sea-proven hulls, with ideal seaworthiness characteristics for launching and recovering USV surface drones, UAV aerial drones, underwater autonomous AUVs and remotely operated ROVs.

The first results of this work are two vessels: the 30 m OCTOPODA 300, and the 50 m OCTOPODA 500.

To design the first vessels in the OCTOPODA range, MAURIC’s naval architects focused specifically on two fundamental aspects concerning integration of naval drones: the integration of launch and recovery systems that are effective even in high sea states, and the ergonomics of the drone deployment zones on board the vessel. So the OCTOPODA vessels have been designed around these zones (aft deck, drone storage and maintenance hangar, drone system control centre).


OCTOPODA 300 – A comprehensive and compact solution for robotised mine clearance

OCTOPODA 300 – A comprehensive and compact solution for robotised mine clearance

The OCTOPODA 300 makes it possible to deploy a naval drone system from a vessel that is just 30 metres in length. The system consists of two A9-M AUVs, identification robots and destruction MIDS (Mine Identification and Destruction System) consisting of 2 SEASCANs and 6 K-STER Cs. These underwater robots can be deployed from OCTOPODA 300 or a 7m Rhib nested in an aft ramp.

The OCTOPODA 300 also comprises a small landing platform making it possible to deploy a IT 180 UAV lightweight drone. The design incorporates a specific hangar with direct access to the aft deck and a control centre with a bird’s eye view of the deployment zone, the objectives of which are to simplify handling of the robots and optimise operability of the entire UMISTM system.

OCTOPODA 500 – Mine clearance in the high seas with a drone system that is operational in heavy seas

For navies wishing to deploy a more sophisticated configuration of the UMISTM system, MAURIC has developed a 50 m vessel, the OCTOPODA 500, making it possible to launch and recover a 12 metre INSPECTOR 120 USV from an aft ramp. By adding this USV it is possible to deploy AUVs (two A9-Ms, two SEASCANs and ten K-STER Cs) in autonomous mode, and therefore penetrate further into the minefield. The UAV landing platform is larger and therefore makes it possible to land the IT 180 in more difficult sea states.

With the development of the OCTOPODA range, MAURIC and ECA Group are proposing completely integrated solutions comprising motherships and UMISTM systems dedicated to mine warfare. MAURIC thereby demonstrates its capacity to integrate any type of naval unmanned system (underwater, surface or air); today for mine warfare, but tomorrow for other missions such as surveillance, bathymetry, search and rescue, surveys for offshore industries or scientific missions.

The OCTOPODA 300 and OCTOPODA 500 will be on show at the ECA Group stand at the EURONAVAL trade fair taking place in Paris Le Bourget from 23 to 26 October 2018.
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[*] posted on 10-10-2018 at 09:23 AM


Pakistan receives decommissioned MCMV from Belgium

Gabriel Dominguez, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

09 October 2018

Shipping company Peters & May Ltd has transported a decommissioned mine countermeasures vessel (MCMV) from Belgium to Pakistan.

The UK-based company announced on its website that the 540-tonne ship, along with three 40 ft containers containing additional parts, had been delivered to the South Asian country by mid-2018.

No further details about the identity of the ship were provided. However, Jane’s understands the vessel in question is the ex- Aste r (ex-M 915) MCMV, a decommissioned Belgian navy Flower-class (Tripartite) MCMV.

It is unclear whether the ship will be operated by the Pakistan Navy (PN) or used for spares. Pakistan currently operates three similar Tripartite-class ships acquired from France, known as the Munsif (Éridan) class in PN service.

(142 of 191 words)
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[*] posted on 10-10-2018 at 04:58 PM


Naval Group and ECA Group Offer An Innovative Mine Hunting Solution to Belgium and the Netherlands

(Source: Naval Group and ECA Group; issued Oct. 08, 2018)

Naval Group and ECA Group recently established a technological and commercial partnership in the field of unmanned mine warfare. The first practical application was completed as part of the response to the consultation launched by Belgium for a Belgian-Dutch cooperation for the supply of 12 mine hunters.

Mine hunting practices are being revolutionized through the massive use of unmanned systems operating on the surface, in the air and in the sea. This paradigm shift will lead to transformations that will affect naval forces as a whole. The future mine warfare capability should be established, and then develop, based on threats and technological progress in the areas of staff, equipment, interoperability and organization, concepts and doctrine, infrastructures and logistics.

In preparation for this near future, Naval Group and ECA Group recently established a technological and commercial partnership in unmanned mine warfare, aimed at developing and promoting an offer of military mine countermeasure vessels (MCM) integrating drones, sonars, dredgers and remotely operated systems.

As partners in a consortium formed for this call for tender, Naval Group and ECA Group are offering an innovative solution for robotic mine warfare, which is fully integrated on board an MCM military vessel. The two partners have combined all their most effective and robust sea-proven solutions, already in mission with other clients, to provide the Belgian and Dutch naval forces with a comprehensive, integrated and cyber-secure solution at a cost-effective ownership cost.

In addition to these solutions, the two partners have formed a project management team based in Belgium, which will rely on various local partners, with whom alliances have already been established.

This partnership brings together the skills of Naval Group, European leader in naval defense, responsible for designing, supplying and maintaining military vessels carrying drones, with those of ECA Group, a robotics specialized Group with expertise in mine warfare developed over several decades, responsible for designing and providing resources that may be launched onto minefields (drones, sonars, etc.).

This extension of a collaboration born 60 years ago aims to integrate UMIS unmanned systems on board Naval Group vessels to offer launching and recovery systems guaranteeing a high level of availability of these resources at sea, and to integrate them into the vessel's warfare system to manage their mission from end to end.

Naval Group is the European leader in naval defense. A high-tech company, Naval Group uses its exceptional know-how, unique industrial resources and ability to establish innovative strategic partnerships to meet its clients’ requirements. The Group designs, produces and maintains submarines and surface vessels. It also provides services for naval shipyards and bases. In 2017, the Group generated revenue of €3.7 billion and had 13,429 employees.

ECA Group is an expert in naval drones and unmanned systems and one of the global leaders in this sector for the last 50 years. Moreover, the beginnings of ECA Group in naval robotics took place alongside Naval Group: ECA Group had been tasked with creating a free submarine model at the end of the 60s, which was implemented by Naval Group in St-Tropez. Today, ECA Group masters underwater drones just as well as surface or air drones, enabling it to offer a very wide and complete range of UMIS drone systems suited to all types and sizes of military vessels.

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[*] posted on 8-11-2018 at 09:27 PM


Indo Defence 2018: Luerssen offers variant of Frankenthal class for Indonesia’s MCMV replacement programme

Ridzwan Rahmat, Jakarta - Jane's Navy International

08 November 2018


Frankenthal class

Key Points

- Luerssen has offered a variant of the Frankenthal-class minehunter that is currently in service with the German Navy to Indonesia
- Company has indicated its commitment to build the ships in-country, in collaboration with a local shipyard

Luerssen has offered a variant of the Frankenthal class for Indonesia’s Pulau Rengat (Tripartite)-class mine-countermeasure vessel (MCMV) replacement programme, a representative from the company confirmed with Jane’s at the Indo Defence exhibition in Jakarta.

Like the Frankenthal class, which has been in service with the German Navy since the early 1990s, the variant that is being offered for the Indonesian Navy’s (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut, or TNI–AL’s) requirements also features non-magnetisable hull, and the ability to launch remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), said Peter Kneipp, regional director of sales for Luerssen Asia.

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[*] posted on 18-12-2018 at 09:48 PM


Danish Navy to deploy with SitaWare HQ command-and-control software for MCM role

Giles Ebbutt, Plymouth - Jane's International Defence Review

17 December 2018

The Royal Danish Navy (RDN) will deploy with Systematic's SitaWare Headquarters (HQ) command-and-control (C2) software in early 2019, as the service takes command of the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1), which is one of four groups that comprise the core of the maritime component of NATO's Very High Readiness Joint Task Force.


HDMS Thetis will be equipped with SitaWare HQ C2 software to provide command support tools and the Recognised Maritime Picture while flagship for SNMCMG1. (Royal Danish Navy)

SitaWare HQ will be installed in HDMS Thetis , an ocean patrol frigate that is acting as the flagship for the MCM group. "In addition to providing advanced command-and-control and planning tools for the MCM mission, the software will present a comprehensive Recognised Maritime Picture to commanders," said Stig Meyer, product manager and maritime domain expert at Systematic.

The RDN has been conducting trials using SitaWare, which have involved combining operational data from multiple sources with a number of standards, primarily MIP, OTH-Gold, NVG, JREAP, NFFI, and geospatial data. SitaWare HQ is being fielded across the majority of the RDN's combatants, as well as at two shore-based sites. The RDN is also in the process of examining the utility of the tactical-level SitaWare Frontline and has deployed it with platforms patrolling arctic waters.

For this deployment the capability will be provided on a standalone terminal using a multi-classification domain arrangement, but Meyer noted that there is the potential for SitaWare HQ to be integrated within a ship's command system architecture at a later stage.

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[*] posted on 19-12-2018 at 03:16 PM


Northrop Grumman Demonstrates AQS-24B Mine Hunting and Undersea Surveillance Capability at Autonomous Warrior 2018 - Jervis Bay, Australia

(Source: Northrop Grumman; issued Dec. 17, 2018)


Northrop Grumman demonstrated its AQS-24B mine hunting and undersea surveillance system at Autonomous Warrior 2018; the company says it detects mines at nearly twice the towing speed of any other minehunting system on the market. (NG photo)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. and JERVIS BAY, Australia --- The Northrop Grumman Corporation AQS-24B mine hunting system demonstrated the benefits of performing mine warfare from a high-speed, unmanned surface vessel (USV) at the Royal Australian Navy-sponsored Autonomous Warrior 2018 exercise in Jervis Bay, Australia.

The Northrop Grumman remote controlled Mine Hunting Unmanned Surface Vessel (MHU), with the AQS-24B mine hunting sensor, demonstrated a safe standoff mine hunting and undersea surveillance capability targeted at addressing three key aspects of the mine warfare challenge: reducing the mine clearance timeline; accurate detection, localization, classification and identification of undersea objects of interest; and improving crew safety by keeping the sailor out of the minefield.

The AQS-24B system includes the world’s first combined operational High-Speed Synthetic Aperture Sonar and an optical laser line scan sensor, which provides complete coverage out to maximum range on a single pass. The real time analysis capability demonstrated how unmanned systems can augment manned mine warfare operations.

“The demonstration highlighted Northrop Grumman’s leading role in proving the operational utility of unmanned maritime systems in the mine warfare domain,” said Alan Lytle, vice president, undersea systems, Northrop Grumman. “At operational speeds significantly higher than other mine hunting systems on the market, the USV/AQS-24B combination successfully completed a number of scenarios and challenges that were set by the Royal Australian Navy’s exercise command task group.”

The MHU was outfitted with L3 ASV’s ‘ASView’ unmanned control system. The system provided the capability to control the vessel from a remote location with minimal human oversight. ASView’s situational awareness displays provided the remote captain full control and awareness to safely execute dynamic demands of mine warfare missions.

“L3 ASV is excited to be supporting Northrop Grumman’s mine hunting system with our unmanned surface vehicle technology,” said Larry Karl, vice president and general manager, L3 ASV. “This operation has demonstrated the flexibility of the system which will enable it to support future mine hunting and defense applications.”

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, space, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide.

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[*] posted on 19-12-2018 at 03:20 PM


Elbit Systems' Seagull USV Completed Intensive Sea Tests with Kraken's KATFISH Sonar

(Source: Elbit Systems Ltd.; issued Dec 18, 2018)


Elbit Systems' Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) recently completed a series of sea trials operating the Kraken Robotic Systems Inc.'s Katfish Synthetic Aperture Sonar towed system, seen here loaded on board. (Elbit photo)

Elbit Systems' Seagull multi-mission Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) recently completed a series of rigorous sea tests operating the Kraken Robotic Systems Inc.'s KATFISH Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) towed system. These tests are an addition to a successful series of Mine Counter Measures (MCM) tests and exercises conducted by the Seagull over the past two years, including trials and exercises in participation with Western and other Navies.

Actively controlled, KATFISH is an intelligent towfish platform that was specifically designed for high-speed hunting of naval mines and underwater improvised explosive devices. The system produces ultra-high definition seabed imagery and mapping for a variety of military and commercial applications and is capable of transmitting the sonar data in real time. Integrated onboard the Seagull, it provides a high-performance sensor contributing to an end-to-end, unmanned, mine hunting capability.

KATFISH is deployed and recovered by the same Launching and Recovering System (LARS) that the Seagull operates for its Side Scan Sonar (SSS), which can be installed upon customer demand. KATFISH is an addition to a long list of sensors and effectors that have already been successfully integrated in the Seagull further enhancing its modularity.

Seagull offers endurance of 4 days and mission sea-keeping of up to Sea-State 5 and is capable of executing SAS search missions, stand-alone or as part of an MCM toolbox. Seagull is operational with the Israeli Navy and is fully compliant with the COLREGs International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

Kraken Robotics Inc. is a marine technology company that is dedicated to the production and sale of software-centric sensors and underwater robotic systems. The company is headquartered in St. John's, Newfoundland with offices in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia; Toronto, Ontario; Bremen, Germany; and Fairfax, Virginia.

Elbit Systems Ltd. is an international high technology company engaged in a wide range of defense, homeland security and commercial programs throughout the world. The Company, which includes Elbit Systems and its subsidiaries, operates in the areas of aerospace, land and naval systems, command, control, communications, computers, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance ("C4ISR"), unmanned aircraft systems, advanced electro-optics, electro-optic space systems, EW suites, signal intelligence systems, data links and communications systems, radios and cyber-based systems.

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[*] posted on 28-12-2018 at 04:04 PM


Are robot swarms the future of destroying sea mines?

By: Kelsey D. Atherton   13 hours ago


This important work is present done by humans, who often have to physically place detonation charges on the mines they find. Some day, autonomous robots could perform the same task with less risk of loss of life. (Alfred A. Coffield/Navy)

A sea mine is a promise of tragedy in the future. Built for the immediate demands of a naval conflict, deployed for some once-pressing strategic end, and now left in place for decades, sea mines are an enduring risk. Clearing the sea from the dangerous refuse of the past can be a high-stakes proposition. Why not, then, let robots do it?

In August 2018, a loose mine was spotted off the coast of Washington state, and then detonated without harm (or secondary explosion, indicating that it was an inert training mine). This detonation work is typically done by human divers, and while the mine spotted in Washington was luckily inert, there are plenty of sea lanes where live weapons of dead wars persist. In the Baltic, for example, NATO estimates there remain 80,000 sea mines, a number that’s been unchanged for nearly a decade.

On Dec. 21, Thales and Aquabotix announced a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on the research and design of autonomous robot minesweepers. Formally described as a “rapidly deployable Mine Counter Measures (MCM), Rapid Environment Assessment (REA) and Military Hydrographic autonomous system mission solution,” the robots the companies hope to collaborate on will be an alternative to sending humans immediately into the danger of aquatic unexploded ordnance. Acronyms aside, this robot has a much simpler, clearer title: the Swarm Diver, named because it will do just that.

As described, a sort of mothership surface drone or underwater drone will release swarms of smaller autonomous underwater robots to scout, identify and ultimately neutralize discovered mines in littoral waters. Autonomy is key here, as communicating underwater is difficult and communicating with above-water assets from underwater especially tricky without an intermediary.

Should the Swarm Diver project work as intended, swarms of autonomous robots could be the long-awaited answer to the enduring threat posed by autonomous explosives, new and old alike.

Watch a video about the Swarm Diver project below:

VIDEO: Aquabotix Swarmdiver:https://youtu.be/fe407dRWge8
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[*] posted on 16-1-2019 at 11:49 AM


Surface Navy 2019: Raytheon prepares to demonstrate its Barracuda MCM in 2019

Geoff Fein, Washington, DC - Jane's International Defence Review

15 January 2019



Raytheon is seeking to test an early prototype of its Barracuda mine neutralisation system later in 2019 as well as demonstrate aspects of the system during the US Navy's (USN's) 2019 Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX).

"We have early prototypes to demonstrate the autonomy and propulsion, and the different aspects of the [what the] production unit will do," Randy Brandenburg, senior director, strategic initiatives for Raytheon told Jane's .

The company is now developing the overall design of the Barracuda effector, he added.

Barracuda is a low-cost expendable, autonomous, unmanned mine countermeasure system designed to identify and neutralise bottom, near surface, and drifting sea mines.

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[*] posted on 20-1-2019 at 06:31 PM


Project 12700 minesweeper Ivan Antonov finishes state trials

POSTED ON FRIDAY, 18 JANUARY 2019 15:28

The newest minesweeper Ivan Antonov of project 12700 (Aleksandrit) has finished state trials. The ship’s crew is getting ready for a ceremony of hoisting the St. Andrew’s flag of the Russian Navy scheduled for January 26. All the acceptance documents on the completion of state trials were signed earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said.


The first Project 12700 Alexandrit-class MCM vessel (Picture Source : Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard)

"The Ivan Antonov minesweeper was built at the Sredne-Nevsky shipbuilding plant in St. Petersburg. It will join the mine-sweeping forces of the Russian Navy under a plan of retooling them with new equipment. The serial construction of dozens of project 12700 minesweepers will be launched in the interest of the Russian Navy in a short-term perspective," the ministry’s press service said.

The experience of operation of the lead project 12700 ship - the Alexander Obukhov - has shown that ships of this project can be used both as standard and ocean minesweepers.

Project 12700 minesweepers have the biggest fiberglass hull in the world. It is highly durable against steel hulls and ensures better survivability of the ship in mine sweeping. The service life of monolithic fiberglass hull is longer than low-magnetic steel and the hull weight is considerably smaller. The displacement of project 12700 minesweepers is close to 900 tons, the length is over 60 meters and the width is 10 meters. The speed is 16.5 knots and the crew comprises 44 men. It can use various flails, remotely guided and autonomous unmanned underwater craft to sweep mines. Project 12700 minesweepers have comfortable conditions for the crew.

© Copyright 2019 TASS. All rights reserved.
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[*] posted on 27-1-2019 at 05:04 PM


Mine Countermeasures Mission Package Completes Integration Testing of Unmanned Vehicles

(Source: US Naval Sea Systems Command; issued Jan 24, 2019)


The Littoral Combat Ship Mission Module Program tests the in-port launch and recovery of the Unmanned Surface Vehicle during integration testing of the Unmanned Influence Sweep System off the USS Independence (LCS 2) in San Diego. (USN photo)

SAN DIEGO, CA. --- The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Mission Module Program successfully completed shipboard integration testing of two unmanned systems on board USS Independence (LCS 2) Jan. 14.

The two systems - the Knifefish unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) and Unmanned Influence Sweep System (UISS) - are part of the Mine Countermeasures Mission Package (MCM MP), which uses a system-of-systems approach to target specific portions of the water column and segments of the MCM detect-to-engage sequence.

During these integration events, both the Knifefish and UISS successfully verified the communications link between Independence and the unmanned systems as well as executed multiple launch and recovery evolutions from the ship. These test events mark a critical milestone for the LCS Mission Module Program, having now successfully tested each vehicle in the MCM MP (that is, an MH-60S helicopter, MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter, UISS and Knifefish UUV) on board an Independence-variant LCS.

In addition to UISS and the Knifefish UUV completing integration tests, the program has certified all the aviation modules for the MCM MP for deployment on Independence-variant ships. These airborne MCM systems provide combatant commanders the ability to rapidly deploy systems that can detect near-surface mines as well as neutralizes mines in the water and on the bottom without requiring Sailors to sail into the minefield.

Additionally, the Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis system, which is a vertical-take-off unmanned aerial vehicle payload, provides a much-needed beach zone mine-detection capability in support of the amphibious assault mission.

These tests are a subset of a comprehensive test program that encompasses shore-based system testing to characterize individual systems prior to completing final integration on an LCS. The LCS Mission Module program office will continue to incrementally deliver MCM MP systems to the fleet in advance of the formal MCM MP initial operational test and evaluation events beginning in 2021.

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[*] posted on 31-1-2019 at 06:47 PM


Naval Group Wins the Call for Tenders for the Maintenance of the Ten French Mine Hunters (CMT)

(Source: Naval Group; issued Jan 24, 2019)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)


The French Navy operates a fleet of ten Eridan-class composite-hulled minehunters, developed jointly with Belgium and the Netherlands in the 1980s, and they will now be maintained by Naval Group, which was awarded a five-year contract in December. (NG photo)

The Naval Group Services Department was awarded by the French Navy at the end of December 2018 the 5-year maintenance and service contract called "CMT 19".

As part of the tripartite mine hunter program (CMT), jointly conducted by Belgium, the Netherlands and France, Naval Group built ten of these minehunters for France in the 1980s.

This new contract covers all the technical stops to be carried out on ten French CMTs, seven of them home-ported in Brest and three in Toulon, for a total of eight 8 major technical stops and 34 intermediate technical stops. All technical stops will be carried out at the Brest and Toulon naval bases.

The contract also provides for several developments during technical shutdowns: electric factories, air fridges, PAP self-propelled underwater drones (supplied by ECA Robotics), refurbishment of diesel fuel bunkers etc.

Finally, it will also include the retirement from active service, in a few years’ time, of two of these vessels: FS Orion in Toulon and FS Cassiopée in Brest.

Maintenance at the core of Naval Group innovations

Naval Group accompanies its customers to ensure the availability of ships throughout their life cycle.

With its ability to sustain (or maintain operational condition, MCO) complex military vessels, in France for its Navy or for other naval customers, Naval Group innovates and is generalizing I-maintenance.

Thanks to the implementation of this "smart" maintenance (IMS) approach aboard ships, predictive maintenance activities will allow a continuous optimization of support services. Data is structured and stored and provides a history of in-service facility monitoring, before being subjected to powerful algorithmic systems highlighting anomalies and monitoring points.

The FREMM Aquitaine is the first to have benefited from this new approach in November 2018 in Brest.

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[*] posted on 1-2-2019 at 09:50 PM


Indonesia selects 62 m vessel from Abeking & Rasmussen for MCMV replacement

Ridzwan Rahmat, Singapore - Jane's Defence Weekly

31 January 2019


An artist’s impression on the Indonesian Navy’s new MCMV that will be designed and built by Abeking & Rasmussen. Source: Abeking & Rasmussen

Indonesia’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a contract with Abeking & Rasmussen to design and construct two mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) for the Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL).

The 62 m vessels will be an evolution of the German Navy’s Frankenthal class, and will replace the TNI-AL’s ageing fleet of two Pulau Rengat-class MCMVs, both of which were commissioned in March 1988.

Abeking & Rasmussen has not given details of specific systems that would go onboard the vessels, but indicated that MCM payloads would include a mine hunting sonar as well as unmanned vehicles.

MCM mission systems that can be deployed from the German Navy’s Frankenthal class include the Seafox I and Seafox C anti-mine maritime drones, and the Pinguin B3 ROV. The non-magnetisable platform can also accommodate one 4 m rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB) for intervention duties.

The Indonesian government approved a sum of USD215 million in 2016 for the replacement programme, but the allocation was subsequently reduced to USD204 million in line with latest requirements submitted by the TNI-AL.

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