Military Review

"Without entering a minefield": Latvian minesweepers move to a new level

"Without entering a minefield": Latvian minesweepers move to a new level


As a result of the international competition, the French company ECA Group received a contract worth more than 20 million euros, which provides for the modernization of three minesweepers of the Latvian Navy. As expected, after the completion of the work, the mine action vessels of the Baltic republic will move to a completely new combat level.

We are talking about ships of the Alkmaar type. Five of them were purchased from the Netherlands in 2005. As it turned out in 2009, the minesweepers turned out to be of inadequate quality, a scandal broke out and the commander of the Navy was dismissed. Apparently, the modernization will bring anti-mine ships to the proper level.

As explained in the ECA Group, the pennants will be handed over in 2021, 2023 and 2024. Instead of a conventional detection system based on a housed sonar, they will receive a smaller system consisting of AUV A18-M underwater unmanned vehicles responsible for finding mines, and Seascan MK2 and K-STER C for their identification and clearance.

Upon completion of the contract, the Latvian Navy will be able to conduct underwater mine clearance operations without the ship entering a minefield

- declare in the company.

The AUV A18-M drone acts as a sonar carrier; able to work for 24 hours and dive to a depth of 3 km. He "combes" two square meters per hour. km of water area. Seascan MK is designed to identify objects located under water. K-STER, developed in 2008, is capable of clearing all types of mines - from those left in the waters from the time of the world wars to modern, so-called "smart" designs.

Alkmaar type

Seascan MK2

Photos used:
ECA Group:;
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  1. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 29 September 2020 05: 56
    Interesting. By the way, I have not heard of the scandal with the acquisition of minesweepers.
    1. Avior
      Avior 29 September 2020 07: 20
      The scandal was still in 2009.
      The Minister of Defense was replaced by a political opponent, the global crisis began, the money ran out, and they began to look for what the predecessors had screwed up.
      It turned out that there was no part of the documentation in English, only in Dutch.
      The new minister refused to buy 4 and 5 minesweepers.
      There were also complaints about the condition of the ships.
      The ships themselves are pretty good.
      During the two world wars, many mines were set in the Baltic Sea, and they are still being caught.
    2. Polite Moose
      Polite Moose 29 September 2020 07: 37
      Quote: Leader of the Redskins
      By the way, I have not heard of the scandal with the acquisition of minesweepers.

      The Baltic scandal is so-oh-oh-oh-th. Until we have not yet proved-and-a-ti-i-lsya.
  2. 7,62h54
    7,62h54 29 September 2020 07: 00
    We have received 5 minesweepers, 3 of them are being modernized. The remaining 2 will probably go for dismantling as donors.
  3. Yngvar
    Yngvar 29 September 2020 07: 04
    Why do they need minesweepers? To escape from Russian mines? When did we sketch them there?
    1. Snail N9
      Snail N9 29 September 2020 07: 48
      Minesweepers are probably the only ships that .... make money. Now, a lot of things are being laid and built along the bottom in the coastal zone and minesweepers are hired (for money) to search and neutralize mines and ammunition left over from the wars.
      1. Yngvar
        Yngvar 29 September 2020 07: 55
        Thanks for the info! And then minus, minus!
    2. Pete mitchell
      Pete mitchell 29 September 2020 09: 06
      Quote: Yngvar
      Why do they need minesweepers?

      They have created a joint squadron BALTRON and regularly clean the Baltic. And if I am not mistaken, NATO mine-action exercises are held in the Baltic every year. And it’s hard to believe, but every year mines from the Second World War are caught.
      The current situation in the Baltic is sad; in the already distant '96 -97, the Navy took part in such events. It's a pity of course, but this situation was created "partners"God forgive me
  4. Vladimir1155
    Vladimir1155 29 September 2020 08: 42
    Interestingly, do our minesweepers have such systems?
    1. Alex 2020
      Alex 2020 29 September 2020 10: 00
      If officially, yes. But in fact, not quite and not what you need. Even those who do not have analogues of Project 12700. In general, in this regard, we have where and what to strive for.