RUSI Defence SystemsVOLUME 21members only

Keeping Sailors Out of the Minefield


Main Image Credit BANNER IMAGE: T38 MANTAS unmanned surface vehicle during trials. Source: Author.


Naval mines constitute a constant threat to global shipping, and due to proliferation, cost-effectiveness and increasing technical sophistication are likely to play a significant role in many future conflicts. Unmanned mine-countermeasure solutions derived from commercially available technologies could be rapidly developed to provide the US Navy and others with a better response.

14 November 2019 saw the conclusion of a joint Historical Ordnance Disposal operation exercise organised by NATO's 1st Standing Anti-Mine Squad and the Baltic Minesweeper Squadron during which more than 50 mines were cleared. These mines, some of which were German WWII-era mines weighing almost 1000 kilograms each, should give pause to anyone inclined to discount the challenge that mines present to naval forces today. Few military professionals would disagree with

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