Russia’s fleet of Project 20380 corvettes will soon be equipped with mine-hunting underwater robots, Izvestia reported.
The addition will eliminate the need for a minesweeper to accompany the warship as an escort vessel, the Moscow-based outlet added.
Out of the seven active warships of Project 20380, also known as Steregushchiy-class corvettes, the Aldar Tsydenzhapov of the Russian Pacific Fleet will receive the upgrade first.
Military historian Dmitry Boltenkov told Izvestia that the corvette is likely to be equipped with the mine-hunting robotic system, “Diamant,” currently installed on minesweepers of Project 12700 Alexandrite.
However, Boltenkov added that the developers could also opt for a new mine-hunting system for installation on the warship.
“In the Soviet years, there were no modern robotic systems, and the equipment that minesweepers are equipped with were not mounted on other ships,” explained Boltenkov. “If in the end, the corvettes are able to carry out mine action, this will be a real breakthrough.”
More Efficient Corvette
According to Boltenkov, an in-built mine-hunting system will allow the corvette to move around in waters more quickly and perform tasks more efficiently.
Moreover, it will also free up current minesweepers accompanying the corvettes for other tasks.
The anti-mine system includes two boats equipped with underwater robots, hydroacoustic devices, and magnetometers, Izvestia wrote.
A hydroacoustic device monitors underwater physical and biological characteristics using sonar. The magnetometers, meanwhile, measure magnetic fields in order to detect submarines.
The device can diffuse explosives within a radius of 10 kilometers (6 miles) at a depth of up to 100 meters (328 feet).