Surface Forces: March 29, 2000


The US Navy, long uneasy about how well prepared they are to deal with naval mines, has come up with a new solution. Instead of relying on specialized mine clearing units as in the past, starting in 2005, mine clearing equipment. This will consist of mine detecting sonars that can be mounted the hundreds of SH-60 helicopters used throughout the fleet. The new equipment is still untried and there is the fear that warship commanders will give low priority to training with the mine hunting gear. This has long been the problem with mine warfare, as only rarely does the navy have to deal with mines. But when they do, as happened most recently in the 1991 Gulf War, there were problems (two ships knocked out of action and lots of mines that could not be quickly dealt with.)


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