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Naval Warfare

UK invests in Pulse Dart prototype

21st July 2021 - 15:38 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Pulse Dart in motion. (Photo: Dstl)

Innovative sea mine clearance system requires no human intervention or explosives.

UK defence R&D agency Dstl is developing new technology for sea mine disposal and is creating a working prototype by April 2023 with the help of £440,000 ($600,000) in funding from the Defence Innovation Unit in the MoD.

‘Subject to successful trials, a design could go to industry to tender around the same time,’ said Dstl scientist Peter Rushforth who created the Pulse Dart system.

Pulse Dart (comprising a spike and a tube) is delivered underwater via a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

‘The spike penetrates the hard outer shell of the ordnance, where an electrical charge is applied to initiate the ordnance with the operative a safe distance away,’ Dstl noted on 21 July.

An ROV-delivered mine clearance system would remove safety risks associated with deploying human operators in often poor visibility.

The Pulse Dart can also reduce overall costs compared to current EOD technology. As the system contains no explosive components, transport and storage can be undertaken ‘with minimal risk’, Dstl noted.

 

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