France and the UK need a fleet of minesweeping robotic ships
The most important menace to America’s Navy over the previous 60 years hasn’t been China’s quickly modernizing army, North Korea’s nuclear saber rattling and even Russia’s arctic overtures — it has been underwater mines. They’ve broken 15 of our ships since 1950. Positive, you possibly can disarm these explosive hazards manually however meaning risking the lives of Navy seamen in an underwater Harm Locker. As an alternative, the UK and France are teaming with European protection contractors Thales and BAE to develop a totally automated minesweeping system that retains sailors out of hurt’s method.
The Thales-BAE Maritime Mine Counter Measures (MMCM), due for preliminary testing in about two years, is definitely extra like a fleet. The system revolves round an unmanned floor vessel towing a Artificial Aperture Sonar array to find mines. This floor ship, upon discovering a mine, will then deploy an autonomous underwater drone (like, say, the SeaFox UUV) which can then neutralize the menace, sometimes by affixing sand detonating an explosive cost to the aspect of the mine. In fact, these robotic vessels will nonetheless report back to close by people. Actually, the whole system will deploy from a bigger, manned naval vessel and keep open communication and knowledge strains all through the course of the operation.