Navies around the world need to perform a variety of missions from Maritime Security Operations in territorial waters to Power Projection including interventions on external theaters of operations, and from coastal environments to the deep sea.
MCMV’s or Minehunters who coming in support to naval combat operations are generally used in systematic operations, for example to explore a channel periodically or before the passage of a High Value Unit, or occasionally to identify doubtful objects. They are essential to open safe routes through a potential minefield.
Conventional MCMV’s are very specific ships, designed to feature very low acoustic, magnetic and electrical signatures and as such are costly to build and maintain. They use highly specialized sonar systems, usually hull-mounted or variable depth. They may also tow Side Scan Sonars to map the details of the seabed.
Of a different nature, Minesweeping techniques involve towing equipment that simulates the acoustic, magnetic or electrical signatures of ships in order to detonate any mines that may be present, but this "blind" approach does not guarantee that the area is free of sea mines.
With more than 300 Mine Hunting sonar systems ordered or in service today, Thales Mine Countermeasures products are praised by the leading MCM Navies in the world for their unique performance and reliability. They consist of:
- Hull Mounted Sonars: TSM 2022 MK3 or S2193.
- Variable Depth Sonar: S2093.
- Towed Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS): TSAM that integrates the SAMDIS Multi-aspects SAS payload.
- MCM Control & Command system: M-CUBE.
- Image processing & display system: Mi-Map.
Thales offers "turn-key MCMV regeneration solutions" in order to greatly extend the service life of the ships and to upgrade in a scalable manner its operational capabilities. Thales has already completed several such projects on hulls of various origins.
In a world where Navies are facing growing and sometimes unexpected threats and challenges, Mine Warfare remains a key discipline and Thales offers the best solutions to ensure Navies effectiveness at sea.