Maritme Mines Countermeasures Update

The Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) has announced five shortlisted candidate companies to enter the next stage of the harmonised UK/French maritime mines countermeasures programme.

For the French, it is the Système de Lutte Anti-Mines – Futur (SLAM-F) and the UK, Mines Countermeasures, Hydrographic, and Patrol Capability (MHPC). Although the two programmes have differences there is enough commonality for a joint approach, managed by OCCAR and agreed during the recent Anglo French defence accord. Both are concentrating on creating a system of systems that will support offboard detection, classification and neutralisation of a range of mines.

The shortlisted companies will now enter the ‘invitation to participate in dialogue’ phase.

The shortlist (click to visit their websites)

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The Other Chris
The Other Chris
October 4, 2012 8:30 am

Presuming the plan is still to initially operate the system of systems from existing Hunt and Sandown’s.

October 4, 2012 2:44 pm

THE RN has no mines of its own (no live ones) anymore.

I suppose it takes a lobby for their lethality (naturally to come from minelayer folks) to have a fine chance at deploying and maintaining fine MCM.

October 4, 2012 3:38 pm

Minelayers were fast. In the 1950s often they were used as opfor on exercise masquerading as Soviet cruisers.

Chuck Hill
October 4, 2012 8:28 pm

@x says: October 4, 2012 at 15:38


“Minelayers were fast. In the 1950s often they were used as opfor on exercise masquerading as Soviet cruisers.”

Loved it, lots of wonderful old iron mongering.

Not all minelayers were fast, but the WWII Abdiel class cruiser minelayers certainly were, about 40 knots. They also kept Malta supplied running in essentials during darkness.

I believe the ship in the video was a later HMS Abdiel N-21, used primarily for training, completed in 1967, 1460 tons (fl) and 16 knots. max speed.

October 4, 2012 8:40 pm

Yes it is N21 in the film. Those were the days when the RN could afford one of ships for odd tasks.

Nice photo of N21,

Shame it is portrait and not landscape as it would make a nice desktop wallpaper. Her lines are finer than I expected; she certainly isn’t Dutch built.

Mines are fired. Torpedos are shot. :)

October 4, 2012 9:25 pm

Worth noting that the UK still has plenty of MCMV command capabiltiy in the survey vessels and Bay class, which are far more useful than Abidel. Also worth noting there are plenty of minelayers out there, they just fly the SD flag…

October 4, 2012 9:51 pm

@ Chuck re fast mine layers

I should really have made mention that mine fields could be “offensive”, so fast layer, as well as the more accepted or understood “defensive” field.

October 4, 2012 10:08 pm

@ Sir H

I don’t think anybody said Abdiel was the last word in MCMV support and command. In fact neither of those were mentioned. We were talking about laying mines not countermeasures.

October 4, 2012 10:20 pm

On a side note, it’s really sad to let marketing get their hands on military programs. You end up with all the catchy acronyms and an inflated price tag for the extra work coming up with the “name”. “We’ll call it SLAM-F. That’ll be another 20k please.”

Swimming Trunks
Swimming Trunks
October 4, 2012 11:01 pm

Wiki says Stonefish was supplied to Royal Navy… Likes like a serious system:

October 5, 2012 5:25 am

Uses a combination acoustic/magnetic/pressure trigger and replaces earlier British mines. Can be launched by plane, ship or submarine for use in depths of 100-660 feet (30-200 m). Weight of 2,180 lbs. (990 kg) with a 1,320 lbs. (600 kg) Torpex warhead. Shelf life is 20 years with a 700 day operational lifetime. The Mark 2 is shorter and lighter with a 1,100 lbs. (500 kg) charge of PBX and a much simpler firing circuit (over 30 components were eliminated). Never purchased by the Royal Navy, this mine has only been produced for export.”
Same claim here:
(Interesting reference to a possible combination of Quickstrike with JDAM included.)

I knew I remembered “1992” in this context:
“The Royal Navy does not have any 65W mine stocks and has not had since 1992.”

Btw, the part about acoustic mines here is interesting:
The technology involved is certainly not beyond the capabilities of many civilian individuals any more.

Chuck Hill
October 5, 2012 9:36 pm

@x says: October 4, 2012 at 21:51

“@ Chuck re fast mine layers,I should really have made mention that mine fields could be “offensive”, so fast layer, as well as the more accepted or understood “defensive” field.”

The US had a number of destroyers converted for minelaying and had some successes, but now offensive is much more likely by air or sub.

At one time I believe our buoy tenders were tagged as defensive minelayers.

October 5, 2012 10:56 pm

@ Chuck

Sometimes submarine mines were dropped from the casing and not pushed out of tubes. All sounds a bit perilous.