The U.S. Navy has ordered several dozen more expendable SeaFox UUVs (unmanned underwater vehicles) [PHOTO]. These are used to destroy bottom mines (which sit on the seabed). These UUVs are being sent to the Persian Gulf to deal with potential Iranian use of naval miles. The new Seafox UUVs will be used on additional Avenger mine hunting ships being sent to the Persian Gulf.
SeaFox is a small (1.4x.4x.2 meters/55x16x8 inches) battery powered sub that weighs 43 kg (95 pounds) and has a fiber-optic cable connecting it to a surface ship or hovering helicopter. There the controller can move the SeaFox close to a suspected mine (using a small sonar unit to assist navigation), then turn on a spotlight for a video cam to examine the object and determine if it is a mine. If it is SeaFox gets closer and detonates a shaped charge explosive, sending a shaft of hot plasma through the mine destroying it (and the SeaFox).
SeaFox has an endurance of about 100 minutes, a top speed of 10 kilometers an hour, and can dive as deep as 300 meters (930 feet).