Held near Salvador (BA), the MINEX-23 exercise will include an unprecedented test of Unmanned Maritime Systems
By Lieutenant Commander Felipe Paes Leme – Salvador, BA
As of today (23), the waters of Todos-os-Santos Bay will host military personnel and ships from the Brazilian Navy (MB) for Exercise MINEX-23, which will include the actual launching of sea mines without explosive charges. Participating in the exercise will be the “Atalaia” and “Araçatuba” Vessels, the “Caboclo” Corvette and the “Aldebaran” Beacon Warning, based in Salvador; the “Apa” Ocean Patrol Vessel (NPaOc), from Rio de Janeiro; vessels from the Bahia Port Authority; and, for the first time, Unmanned Maritime Systems.
The aim of the actions is to prepare the naval units subordinate to the 2nd Naval District Command (Com2oDN) with regard to mining operations and mining countermeasures. This year, six SH-60E anchor and contact mines will be launched from the “Caboclo” corvette, which will be “swept” by the sweepers in a double mechanical sweep mine countermeasures exercise.
“The ability to ‘sweep’ mines is exclusive to the sweepers, which have devices capable of towing long steel cables with their own shears and cutting the mines’ mooring lines, bringing them to the surface for later deactivation by divers specialized in Explosive Ordnance Disposal,” explains the Commander of the Mining and Sweeping Force, Frigate Captain Ricardo do Nascimento Leira.
In the planned mining countermeasures operations, unmanned systems will also be used in the search, classification and identification phases. This equipment allows people to move away from the area of danger posed by mines, making operations safer and more efficient.
In MINEX-23, the NPaOc “Apa” will support the exercise as the “Mother Ship” and base of operations and control for the Unmanned Surface Vehicle – Laboratory, developed by MB’s Center for Naval Systems Analysis (CASNAV). Also taking part will be the “SUPPRESSOR X” Unmanned Surface Vehicle, developed by the company Tidewise, which has a partnership with Empresa Gerencial de Projetos Navais (EMGEPRON), a public company linked to the Ministry of Defense, through the Navy Command.
“We are working on the development of an unmanned surface vehicle, which is a new technology, but which is already in use in several countries around the world. And obtaining this kind of technological knowledge within the Navy is very important for the country in the military area, but also in technological development. Using the system for military activity is very beneficial, because of the costs and the reduction in operational risks,” explains CASNAV Director, Captain Fabio Kenji Arakaki, who is on board the NPaOc “Apa”.
Last week, the military personnel involved in the exercise, which will take place until October 28, took part in several planning meetings so that MINEX-23 can be conducted safely and with the success expected for the development of this new technology, as stated by the Commander of the 2nd Naval District, Vice Admiral Antonio Carlos Cambra. “MINEX will serve to carry out exploratory tasks in order to perfect unmanned systems and provide parameters for doctrinal development. Unmanned Maritime Systems are a further step in the development of the defense industry, as we acquire autonomous and remote control technology, a situation we have seen in some conflicts around the world. In addition, we will make a great leap forward in the training and qualification of our personnel.”
Mining and Mine Countermeasures
Headquartered in Salvador (BA), Com2oDN is the leading Military Technical Guidance Organization in the area of knowledge of Mining and Mine Countermeasures in the MB. The Mining and Sweeping Force Command, subordinate to Com2oDN, is the MB’s operational component, responsible for Mine Countermeasures operations, aimed at keeping the lines of maritime traffic along our coastline, the maritime areas adjacent to ports, terminals and platforms, as well as the possible areas of operations of the Naval Forces, free from the threat of mines. This Command is subordinated to the Aratu, Atalaia and Araçatuba vessels, based at the Aratu Military-Naval Complex.
Com2oDN also has the Mine Warfare Assessment and Training Group, created on February 8, 2006, whose mission is to produce operational mine warfare information in order to contribute to the development, consolidation, dissemination and updating of doctrine, tactical procedures and the use of mine warfare equipment.
“The exercise is extremely complex, using as many activities as possible, which requires a high level of coordination and very well-established control and communication measures if we are to evolve in mine warfare,” adds Captain Marcos Paulo Beal, in charge of the Mine Warfare Assessment and Training Group.
Source: Agência Marinha de Notícias