How does a minesweeper work

"Seefuchs" drone

"Penguin": Mine-hunting boats of class 332 have a sonar system for locating mine-like objects, a command and information processing system (SATAM) and two mine-hunting drones of the "Penguin B3" type. The drones are equipped with a high-resolution short-range sonar and a video camera and are also remotely controlled via a cable. You can optically identify the previously located underwater objects. To destroy the sea mines, two remotely detonable mine destruction charges hang under each of the drones. In contrast to the Seefuchs, the penguin is not only larger and heavier, but also designed as a reusable drone.

"Sea Fox": Mine hunting boats of classes 333 and 352 have an underwater location system (sonar) that tracks down mine-like objects and identifies them through the use of a new, very compact and light mine-hunting drone, known as the sea fox. The drone is guided to the mine-like object via the boat's sonar using a fiber optic cable. It also has a close-range sonar and a built-in video camera with which the object on the ocean floor can be precisely identified. Designed as a disposable drone, the sea fox can then fight the mine with a built-in explosive charge. This also disconnects the fiber optic cable and thus the contact with the boat. In this way, mines of all types and ignition mechanisms can be combated effectively.


Remote controlled drone Seefuchs


The result of "Open Spirit 2005"

Within a week, 31 mines and two torpedoes from World War II were discovered and blown up in the area of ​​the important Irben Strait - the third-best single result since the start of Operation Open Spirit or its predecessor, Baltic Sweep, nine years ago.

Successful mission
The area of ​​operation for the Open Spirit maneuver is around 40 square nautical miles or an area of ​​70 square kilometers. The entire area is now considered mine-free.

In addition to the search for the sea mines, the international association (participating countries are Germany, Sweden, Belgium, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Great Britain, Denmark, Poland, Russia and the Netherlands) also conducts naval exercises. This includes the supply in the sea, towing and being towed, sea target shooting or association trips.