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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Australia wants smart sea mines to put China in check

Canberra hopes improved mine warfare capability will deter China where its fanciful nuclear submarine plan has not

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Australia is set to buy smart sea mines with a hard eye on China, a procurement most likely driven by changing notions of sea control, unclear prospects of acquiring nuclear submarines under AUKUS and renewed interest in having indigenous mine warfare capabilities.

This week, Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reported that Australia will spend up to US$698 million to purchase an unspecified number of smart sea mines from an unnamed European unmanned weapons supplier; Italy and Spain are Europe’s leading sea mine manufacturers.

The report states that the Australian Department of Defense (DOD) intends to purchase sophisticated multi-influence seabed mines that are triggered by acoustic, magnetic and pressure signatures of passing warships and can be turned on and off to allow the passage of friendly ships.

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