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  • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    You're not understanding. A single destroyer with a helo attachment (meaning every single one Western destroyer/frigate since the 1960s) can clear any sealane mine field.
    Yes but that's a multi billion dollar warship being forced to do a job much smaller and cheaper vessels could handle. The US Navy doesn't have enough destroyers for their intended rolls as it stands let alone then being asked to peel of multiple hulls for mine clearing duties during the midst of a major naval conflict. In the scenario under discussion there will scores of potential ports and sea lanes that will likely need to be cleared and potentially hundreds in not thousands of mines (taking into consideration the potential for constant re-seeding operations by the Chinese).
    Last edited by Monash; 06 Oct 23,, 21:27.
    If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

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    • Originally posted by Monash View Post
      Yes but that's a multi billion dollar warship being forced to do a job much smaller and cheaper vessels could handle. The US Navy doesn't have enough destroyers for their intended rolls as it stands alone then being asked to peel of multiple hulls for mine clearing duties during the midst of a major naval conflict. In the scenario under discussion there will scores potential ports and sea lanes that will likely need to be cleared and potentially hundreds in not thousands of mines (taking into consideration the potential for constant re-seeding operations by the Chinese).
      You're joking me! A multi ship mine laying operation rendered useless by a single ship!
      Chimo

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      • Originally posted by Monash View Post
        potentially hundreds in not thousands of mines (taking into consideration the potential for constant re-seeding operations by the Chinese).
        I'd consider thousands a pretty low estimate.

        Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
        You're joking me! A multi ship mine laying operation rendered useless by a single ship!
        A few notes:
        • Virtually no ship smaller than a LPD can actually deploy a MH-53E, especially when taking into account carrying and deploying the MK-105 sled (basically a mid-sized catamaran boat) and the Mk-104 buoy as well. The squadrons are land-based and only sparsely used from LHDs, and if so the sleds tend to be deployed from the well deck.
        • It is very doubtful whether the Mk-104/Mk-105 combination (which is basically a 1973 design occasionally slightly updated and refurbished) is all that useful against modern naal mines with more complicated fuzing strategies developed since the mid-70s. China switched to combination acoustic/magnetic fuzes with complicated ship-counting functions and ultrasound-based remote de/-activation in the early 1980s, probably developed keeping in mind the US deployment of Mk-105 against North Vietnamese minefields in 1972/73.
        • Employing Mk-104/105 by MH-53E is a fairly hazardous operation in itself, as the helicopter has to fly at near stall speed. The helicopters are fairly old and maintenance-heavy, with operating costs supposedly approaching those of an F/A-18 - and a planned out-of-service date of 2025.
        • The whole minesweeping thing is not as fast as the helicopter usage would indicate. In operations in the Persian Gulf in 1990 deployed helicopters from these units basically cleared 150m-wide corridors through Iraqi minefields at a speed of about 2.5 km per flight hour.

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        • Little side note to this subject . Australia is purchasing an new class of OPV named the Arafura class based on the German built Darussalam class hull. 1640 tons, 80 meters long and a range of 4000 nmi with a crew forty to sixty man crew and 21 days endurance and a flight deck capable of sustaining unmanned drones using containerized equipment and fuel. Initial armament is only a 25 mm self stabilizing cannon and a couple of .50 cals. but there is space to upgrade later.

          The key point I found interesting though was that the LCS design developed to around a small number of specialized mission packages, particularity mine countermeasures and marine survey. As a result he ships will be replacing not just the current shorter range fleet of patrol boats we use for patrolling an exclusive maritime economic zones but also our one clearing and marine survey vessels via containerized systems like the mine countermeasure system developed by the Dutch. Currently though only 12 are on order. It will be interesting to see if we've learned any lessons from the LCS debacle. There's certainly no excuse for the RAN not learning those lessons.
          If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

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