Navy

Remote control mine neutralization delivery system

Provides a safer method to detonate mines

Military Technology

Common mine detonation puts humans in close contact with the explosive device

Though often overshadowed by anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles, sea-mines are amongst the oldest, cheapest and most dangerous anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) threats faced by the U.S. Navy and commercial shipping. Indeed, since the end of World War II, sea-mines have damaged or destroyed more U.S. Navy ships than any other type of threat. Iran’s several thousand naval mines, North Korea’s 50,000, China’s 100,000 or so, and Russia’s estimated quarter-million adds up to approximately 400,000 sea-mines in the hands of U.S. competitors and adversaries.

In light of this danger Navy researchers have developed a new safe and effective way to remotely detonate sea-mines.  The apparatus is a small remote controlled (RC) boat deployed from a larger vessel.  The RC boat has a boom jetting from its bow with a magnet.  The magnet is tethered to an explosive ordnance below the boat.  When the magnet touches a mine it detaches from the boom and attaches to the mine.  The RC boat is backed away and the tethered explosive is released alongside the mine.  From there the explosive is remotely detonated triggering the mine.

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