Australian Defence Force to purchase smart sea mines
Following evaluation of market options last year, Defence selected RWM Italia to provide the capability under a multi-million-dollar contract.
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) will purchase new, smart sea mines, which will reinvigorate Defence’s maritime mining capability, and are deployable from submarines, ships and aircraft.
RWM Italia was assessed as the market leading solution, demonstrating the ability to produce the quantities of sea mines needed, and the technical capability to meet ADF strategic objectives.
Rapidly deployable and technologically sophisticated, the smart sea mines will provide a new level of deterrence to potential adversaries.
The contract includes provision for the transfer of technology and expertise to Australia to enable local manufacturing and maintenance of the sea mines.
This includes potentially providing electronics services and recurring maintenance; and potentially filling the sea mines with Australian-made explosives and assembling them in Australia.
Delivery is expected to commence in 2023.
The quantity and types of sea mines that Defence will acquire remain classified.
Quotes attributable to Air Marshal Leon Phillips, Chief of Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance:
“The reinvigoration of a maritime mining capability for the ADF will increase its ability to deter through denial any adversary’s attempt to project power against Australia through our northern approaches, and protect Australia’s economic connection to our region and the world.
“We are providing the ADF with the capability it needs for the 21st century. Rapidly deployable and technologically sophisticated, smart sea mines will provide a profound step-up for the defence of Australia. The level of technology involved in this acquisition will take our forces to the cutting-edge of modern military hardware. The sea mines will be maintained in Australia and some elements may be manufactured here, potentially including the explosive fill.”