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Yes. But it is a complicated job. And the RN / HMG would only want it done on the cheap.

The Koreans have two ships. And the Poles have some large landing craft type vessels for the role.

Not a job that can be done from a shipping container with a couple of pedalos.

Supportive Bloke

The very dated RN instructional video below filmed on board Abdiel gives an insight into the techniques used to lay tethered mines and the basic nature of the ship.”

Am I being particularly blind or is there no link?


I think it’s the “instructions” tab of the imbedded media.

Supportive Bloke


Found it now.

It is a hilarious film TBH.

I am waiting for someone to say we should have kept Abdiel in reserve.

IRL she wouldn’t pass any Llloyds rules and probably shouldn’t have been in service even in the 1980’s – I’m actually not quite sure how she was in service post Corporate as crew safety and ship survivability were tightened up.


Arrghhh…RN Training Videos on Youtube. I just disappeared down a rabbit hole for a couple of hours.


Article a bit waste of space. Mines are yesterdays weapons for third world countries at best. Today you need proactive tools, including surveillance and preemptive. We should be concentrating our focus on drones and unmanned monitoring systems and an article about these would be much more useful.


Yet Korea and China and other navies are actively developing the weapons.

Drones? The panacea to all our problems!!!!

Last edited 1 year ago by X

Until you get a task force sunk and damaged in a minefield because you think it is beneath you considering it…


Thats countering mines , not laying your own


Which is evidence that they can be of value isn’t it?



comment image


Mine damage to USS Tripoli from 1990s operations in Gulf as a flagship for mine countermeasures operations- US uses Seadragon helicopters for the minesweeping


The LUGM-145 was an Iraqi produced naval moored contact mine. The mine had a 145 kilogram explosive warhead.[1] In February 1991, during the Gulf WarUSS Tripoli (LPH-10) struck a LUGM-145 mine, losing a third of its fuel, and sustaining damage that would cost 3.5 million US dollars to repair.[2]

Maybe did not even cost to produce 1000$.


What only cost $1000s, the one mine that hit Tripoli or the thousands of mines than didn’t?


Good point.


Yes but that’s effectively an indiscriminate contact mine…we would never ever use that type of mine…it’s essentially a weapon of those trying to disrupt sea lanes. Not those trying to keep them open..and the sides with the biggest navy’s and requirement for merchant marine want the sea lanes open. Personally I think it would be better the RN keep its present focus on mine counter measures.


I agree. There’s also the issue that loitering munitions which actively persist beyond when you can be certain of their target are an ethical as well as a physical minefield.

Doesn’t Hammerhead fall under the category where we’d want man-in-loop even if the US doesn’t? I understand that it can be positioned in peace time in an unarmed state and then armed remotely when you want the interdiction to start. And that brings up even more ethical issues. The idea that you could just switch off a minefield when the war is over (assuming you win) is appealing, but I don’t believe it answers all the questions.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jon

That was the damage of 145kg explosive, now imagine 500 or 1000kg

Mr She

The Communist Party of China says yes… you really should. Peace through strength… and also through weapon sales to allies, both overtly and covertly… at profit or cost…


But communism china has a vast expanse of seas which it would wish to deny to an enemy that has huge capabilities to challenge any sea denial. Mines are an intrinsic part of how china would secure the strait of Taiwan. We don’t and there is no real likelihood of the UK needing to undertake sea denial using for the UK it would be offensive mine laying…and that’s SSNs or other high end capability…what would the RN rather be using its SSNs for in time of general war….penetrating the Russian bastion moving close in to bases to lay mines or actually hunting what the bastion is trying to protect ( Russian SSNs and SSGNs)

Last edited 1 year ago by Jonathan
Mr She

Even Taiwan has mine laying ships to defend its ports and shores from communist invasion, though they may do better to have robots do that job… Things may escalate as no-one wants to be ruled by CPC, not even the people that it controls. CPC is trying to construct a blue water navy….


Yes and Taiwan has very good reason to have mines…basically the navel conflict around the strait of Taiwan would become as close to land warfare as any navel conflict ever has and both the Chinese communist party and republic of China will shape and close off most of the strait…communist China will close the strait to stop the U.S. forcing the strait ans attacking its amphibious units, the ROC will be closing access to its coastline.


The thing to ask is what use would mines be and are you talking about offensive mine laying, defensive mine laying or area denial. Each type of mine laying operation requires a different capability.

Offensive mine laying
Will the navy actually undertake any of these..offensive mine laying requires a platform that is able to penetrate defences and lay mines literally in your opponents home bases…this would require the use of exquisite platforms such as SSNs or very advanced and quite AUVs with a large payload…is the RN really going to be sending an SSN through the Russian bastion to lay mines in a harbour or will it be after something else…like Russian SSNs active in the bastion.

defensive mine laying…..OK but what are we defending….is Russia going to be sending amphibious groups into our waters…or are we better off having platforms that are less passive and more offensive in nature…

Interdiction/area denial….is that the UK really, are we going to close sea lanes ?


Defensive anti submarine minefields around important naval bases would be one of the options. Offensive can be in places that the enemy usually sends it patrol submarines.
You can make traps, channel enemy ships and submarines towards a minefield etc.
There are many options in mine warfare it is just people are not used to think about it.


I don’t think it’s our style. Look at the Falklands. The threat of a single attack submarine (along with evidence of intent) pretty much bottled up the entire Argentinian Navy. If you have an SSN available for covert minelaying, would you really need to lay the mines?


I would say that since RN have less submarines now mines make more sense since they can cover places that the lower number of submarines can’t.


The article makes it sound so easy. We don’t have to spend as much as the Australians. Really? Why? Do they go to Fortnums while we’ll get ours from Costco? Maybe we buy fewer mines, smarter mines, right? Keep procurement costs down. Except it’s never just about procurement costs. There’s always other things, such as the delivery mechanism costs, maintenance, training, storage infrastructure, developing a new Conops, etc etc. For the smart mines, expect programme costs over a billion quid.

For the USN’s deployment, the minelaying is supposed to be done by XLUUVs. I think Orca is purpose designed to lay the Hammerhead minefields. However their 2017 programme is years behind schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget. They cobbled together a single demonstrator platform, but the real thing is yet to materialise. Next year maybe, with platform procurement costs alone exceeding $650m.

Even if we get ourselves a few mine delivery modules to stick on the back of our frigates and adapt the ships to safely carry tons of extra explosives they weren’t originally expected to carry, all the other training, operational and maintenance costs over the project lifetime will mount up. I doubt there’s a cheap “asymmetric” solution that leads to decisive warfighting advantage. After all, those pictures of USS Tripoli ignore the fact that after a day of damage control Tripoli resumed operations until relieved (hats off to the crew). Also that the RN sank two thirds of the escaping Iraqi fleet from the air.


In peer to peer where every side is equally competent or incompetent any advantageous position matters. In those kind of wars it is a cumulative effort.

Argumentum about Iraq has no point because i am not advocating that country like UK(with US as allies) should have naval mines to fight a country like Iraq.
Mines gives problems to the enemy, the enemy for a start have to invest in anti mining effort.


uk would need ability to counter measure smart mines, would seam unethical to pre position mines in peacetime