US Navy, Marines Test Next-Gen Mine Detection Systems

US Navy and Marine Corps teams tested a range of underwater mine detection systems during the 50th Baltic Operations (BALTOPS 50) military exercise.

The annual two-week exercise involving 18 NATO countries evaluated the effectiveness of mine countermeasures among the allied militaries utilizing cutting-edge technologies, a NATO statement said.

It also provided an opportunity for US teams “to integrate with NATO forces to train and learn tactics, techniques, and procedures that will enhance joint forces’ combined capabilities.”

Mine Countermeasure Systems

The US Navy’s mine countermeasure team tested systems such as the unmanned underwater vehicles Mk18 mod 2 and the REMUS 500 manufactured by Hydroid inc. during the exercise to detect and pinpoint buried undersea mines.

“This new technology allows EOD technicians the ability to remotely search for mines in shallow water and surf zones that previously were not available,” U.S. Marine Corps LEON Platoon Sergeant, Master Sgt. Ray Conard said. 

“In the Great Power Competition, this teaming of Navy and Marine Corps EOD better facilitates maneuver within littoral regions in support of many operations.”

Unmanned Systems

The US team also undertook maneuvers with the Magnetic Expeditionary Threat Locator and ground-penetrating radar Sky Glass for accuracy in detecting materials in shallow water.

“The systems being used transmit data back to shore to be analyzed and re-task other unmanned systems to take care of the threat,” said Commanding Officer, Mine Countermeasures Division MCMDIV 31, Capt. Robert Porter.

“One of the benefits of this new technology we are experimenting with is that it allows for unmanned systems to go into the minefield and do the work that used to have to be done by a person.”

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