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Naval Mine Warfare: Operational and Technical Challenges for Naval Forces
Refines ship vulnerability to various mine types within sensitivity setting ranges of the weapon, and
Provides on-scene insight into the miner’s plan, providing employed sensitivity settings, ship count settings, and so on.
With the infusion of microprocessor-controlled influence mines, exploitation by traditional means does not work. Hacking into these microprocessors to retrieve critical exploitation information, especially on-scene to support ongoing operations, is an area ripe for S&T initiatives and may be a logical companion to mine development initiatives recommended in Chapter 3. Currently only limited information is available and will become even more problematic with the growth in microprocessor-controlled influence mines.
Recommendation: Naval intelligence should give mine exploitation efforts greater priority to ensure support for operations and to provide insight to ensure fielding of adequate minesweeping capabilities. Emphasis should be placed on developing approaches for exploiting microprocessor-controlled influence mines, both in the laboratory and in the field.
It is clear that a number of S&T programs now under way will provide new technology in the future. This continuum of new ideas and system concepts is a critical component of MCM. It is important to the effectiveness and credibility of the Navy’s overall mine warfare plans that such S&T developments lead to significant performance improvements in the fleet.
Recommendation: The Department of the Navy should ensure that S&T programs have valid transition paths to the fleet (i.e., more numerous and more timely transitions).