Germany calls for increased European MCM cooperation
European nations must encourage increased cooperation in the procurement and operation of mine-countermeasure (MCM) technology, according to a senior officer in the Federal German Navy.
Speaking to delegates at the Undersea Defence Technology (UDT) conference in London, RAdm Jurgen Mannhardt, deputy commander and director of specialist divisions, described how European navies had the chance to 'procure autonomous operated vehicles, interchangeable between nations and inexpensive'.
Announcing 'numerous challenges' in the MCM arena of operations including how Europe's capability was being reduced, Mannhardt said: 'The Federal German Navy is interested in any cooperation to make MCM faster, arriving on scene more quickly and accomplishing MCM missions more quickly.'
Mannhardt added that the Federal German Navy was adopting a strategy of operating mine-hunting vessels allied with autonomously operated vehicles (AOVs) which could be 'quickly transferred to any vehicle of opportunity', although he conceded such a move was expensive.
In addition, he called for the world's navies to maintain 'protective and defensive' anti-submarine warfare (ASW) skills, describing how more and more nations and organisations were becoming more capable of building military and non-military submarines even though some did not reach the highest levels.
'Small [and] deployed submarines pose threats to expeditionary forces. They are hard to detect and may become more important in the future. Larger ocean-going submarines can operate close to the coast and there is a requirement for sensors for shallow and deep waters,' Mannhardt concluded.
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