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Australia to Buy ‘Smart’ Sea Mines as China Deterrence: Report

Australia will soon buy sea mines to help deter potential Chinese aggression.

The country’s defense department is accelerating the purchase worth up to 1 billion Australian dollars ($712 million), The Sydney Morning Herald revealed, citing sources.

The department has confirmed the upcoming purchase, the outlet wrote, adding that the mines will be procured from a European supplier. 

Italy and Spain are two of Europe’s biggest sea mine manufacturers.

To Secure Maritime Approaches 

Australia’s Force Structure Plan 2020 called for investing in modern, smart sea mines to secure the country’s maritime approaches. 

A year later, the department issued a request for proposals for the mines in September 2021. 

The mines can be placed in strategic maritime choke points, such as straits and harbors, to blast invading vessels.

‘Smart’ Sea Mine

The “multi-influence ground mines react to acoustic, magnetic and pressure influences of passing vessels,”  

They can be placed on the sea bed by ship, submarine, or from the air.

Unlike land mines, modern sea mines can distinguish military targets from non-military ones.

Moreover, the mines Canberra seeks to acquire allow for remote activation and deactivation, allowing friendly and commercial vessels to pass them over harmlessly.

Australia has been looking to increase its military spending over the past few years to guard against the rise of China, including a 2021 deal to buy nuclear-powered submarines from the US and the UK.

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