The British Royal Navy HMS Tamar has completed a series of mine-hunting operations at the Mine Warfare Exercise off the coast of South Korea.
During the drill, Tamar carried a Guam-based US Navy mobile diving/explosive ordnance disposal crew that launched Remus sub-surface drones 100 meters underwater to gather data for analysis.
“It was interesting to see how different roles can be adopted by the ship with the embarkation of different specialists,” UK Royal Navy Gunner Able Seaman Lewis Palin-John said during the exercise. “The US Navy personnel were very respectful and it seemed to go smoothly.”
“The embarkation gave a fascinating insight into how the US explosive ordnance disposal team work,” Midshipman Alex Taylor added. “We relished helping to project their capability using the ship as a host.”
Departure From Minehunting Ships
The demonstration is part of the navy’s plan to discontinue the deployment of dedicated minehunting vessels.
Instead, the navy will utilize specialist teams to operate “crane on/crane off” equipment and drone ships that could be launched from an offshore patrol vessel such as Tamar.
Capabilities developed for this initiative can also be integrated with City-class frigates (Type 26) and Inspiration-class frigates (Type 31).
According to the navy, all five River-class patrol vessels have already been equipped with the minehunting crane.
“Recognising that Tamar can bring real capability options to the table is an important part of our purpose in being permanently deployed here,” HMS Tamar Commanding Officer Comm. Teilo Elliot-Smith explained at the Mine Warfare Exercise.
“The US detachment was impressive and the ship’s company were great in ensuring that working together we became greater than the sum of our parts.”
“The tensions felt in this part of the world are very real and there will always be an essential role for mine warfare and its counter-measures.”