Germany, US work on improving mine countermeasure technologies

German and U.S. Navy mine warfare experts are preparing to take their technology to the Baltic Sea, including acoustic and magnetic sensors, to operate side by side and see the differences and to learn from one another with the goal of advancing technologies and techniques for the detection, classification, and mapping of bottom and buried munitions.

According to the U.S. Navy, this will be the first major milestone of the two countries’ joint Allied Munitions Detection Underwater (ALMOND) project.

NSWC PCD is partnering with Bundeswehr Technical Center for Ships and Naval Weapons, Maritime Technology and Research in Northern Germany for ALMOND via the Coalition Warfare Program and the Naval International Program Office.

The ultimate deliverables expected from the project are a detailed technical report on Sea Trials, sensor/test bed, signal and information processing techniques, hardware and software developments and transition recommendations.

“There is a significant worldwide capability shortfall in reliable techniques for mapping underwater munitions for unexploded ordnance remediation and hunting buried and stealthy sea mines in complex environments,” said Dr. Jesse Angle, NSWC PCD physicist. “We are seeking to bring together the best of our unexploded ordnance (UXO) detection capabilities and merge them with those of the Germans, so that both countries can learn and benefit from developments ongoing in the other country.”

The evaluation of novel foreign and domestic unmanned autonomous survey concepts allows for increased capability for mapping underwater munitions. This also gives the warfighter increased capability for hunting submerged and silent sea mines in intricate environments.

ALMOND, which began in January 2015, seeks to develop, test, and evaluate novel unmanned autonomous survey concepts through international sea trials and workshops. Additionally, the goal is to develop and deliver a mature system concept design to Naval Sea Systems Command Expeditionary Missions program office, SEA 06XM (PMS 408) for transition into the U.S. Navy’s fleet.

PMS 408 is the U.S. Navy program management office for explosive ordnance disposal, counter radio controlled improvised explosive device electronic welfare, and anti-terrorism afloat systems.