RAN to roll out unmanned MCM capability
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is introducing deployable mine counter-measures (MCM) capabilities under Project Sea 1778.
Under Project 1778 Phase 1, Australian Mine Warfare Team 16 (MWT 16) will take up the role of operating a suite of AUVs, USVs, expendable mine neutralisation systems and MCM support craft.
The first equipment to be rolled out will be the man-portable Bluefin-9 AUV. MWT 16 is currently undergoing pilot training for the system on at Sydney’s Pittwater area.
MWT 16 will officially begin receiving its new technology suite later this year which will include four Bluefin-9 AUVs, three Bluefin-12 AUVs, two USVs for remote influence minesweeping, three MCM support boats, and the Seafox expendable mine neutralisation system.
The new MCM capability aims to provide tactical capabilities to reduce the hazard of mines in the littoral maritime domain for the RAN’s deployed fleet, allowing the navy to search for, classify, identify and dispose of sea mines more safely and efficiently and limit the danger factor presented when personnel are directly involved in mine removal and destruction.
Lessons learned from the introduction and use of the Project 1778 Phase 1 equipment will help inform development of future Australian Defence Force MCM capabilities
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