Surface Forces: Naval Mines Loom Larger


November12, 2006: The growing potential for naval mine warfare by China, North Korea or Iran, or even terrorists, has caused the U.S. Navy to rethink its plan to retire its 14 Avenger-class minesweepers. These 1,400 ton ships are to be replaced by mine clearing equipped LCS ships, and similar gear carried on some destroyers. The current schedule called for the first Avenger to retire in 2017 (after 30 years of service), and all of them to be gone by 2025. Now the thinking is more towards keeping the Avengers for as long as they are serviceable, and increasing the use of special mine clearing kits for the LCS and other ships. In a decade, it is believed hostile nations will have a lot of very capable naval mines.


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