South African Navy Seeks Mine Countermeasures System

July 26, 2012 - via Janes Defence Weekly

PRETORIA -- The South African armaments acquisition agency, Armscor, has issued a request for information (RfI) on behalf of the South African Navy for an "organic core sea mine warfare" system that will provide a full range of capabilities and can be expanded.

The requirement is for a system that does not require dedicated mine countermeasures vessels and can be carried aboard other naval vessels or craft of opportunity.

The system must comprise man-portable (maximum two operators) units that can be deployed to where they are needed by air transport (C-130 or smaller aircraft) or overland and loaded on to small vessels from a quay without using a crane.

The system would include a similarly transportable shore-based operations room that is self-contained in respect of its power supply requirements.

Required capabilities include route-clearing and lead-through missions using forward-looking, side-scan and bathymetric sonar, influence sweeping (signature emulation), mine-hunting and remote neutralisation of influence mines using remotely positioned hard-kill systems.

It must also include the equipment for diver detection of mines and mine-like objects, with divers able to operate in an environment where they may face "sensor activated explosive devises or mines". In addition, the system must have the capability to develop data on the underwater environment around key ports.

The shore-based facility would be used for planning and analysis of missions and must be able to import data from deployed units to develop a mine-warfare database.

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Author:Helmoed-Römer Heitman

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