The French are experiencing the future minesweeper

The French are experiencing the future minesweeperToday in the waters of the Atlantic, which wash the most western part of French Brittany, you can see a strange-looking ship. It looks ridiculous and moreover - somehow clumsily, at first glance it seems that the water is floating just a huge coffin. This small ship is a completely new experienced minesweeper "Black Star" (Sterenn Du), which is undergoing planned tests in the area of ​​the naval base of the French Navy Brest.

But what is interesting: at the famous exhibition-salon of naval armaments and equipment Euronaval 2010, which was held in Paris in October 2010, no new information was provided about this new and unique French design, despite the fact that the construction of the Black Star "By that time it was already completed. At the same time, pseudo-innovative models were presented on the DCNS stands, like the “diving frigate” of the SMX-25 class, which were brainwashed by the public. But for some reason, a really useful concept was hidden from prying eyes.

On the right side of the unusual ship in the bow on a small hill is a small cabin. From it is the management of the vessel. But it is necessary to immediately indicate that Sterenn Du did not need a captain and crew at all. The main uniqueness lies in the fact that the minesweeper is remotely controlled and fully autonomous.

"Black Star" - a catamaran with a built-in hull-superstructure, which, in fact, resembles a coffin. But this is not the fruit of a gloomy and mysterious fantasy of designers. This form makes the ship almost invisible and significantly increases its seaworthy characteristics. This is important for a small aluminum vessel that does not have its own weapon, with a displacement of 25 tons, a length of 17 meters and a width of 7,5 meters. Soon the Sterenn Du will be equipped with a hydroacoustic station with a towed active antenna array and underwater detectors and mine destroyers will appear on its equipment. This is the essence of the miniature anti-mine ship.

The Black Star minesweeper was built at the Pech'Alu International shipyard in the town of Hennebont (Morbihan department) and is intended to become a stand for regular development of a completely new concept. Leading French naval companies such as ECA, DCNS and Thales are involved in the program.

Sterenn Du should become a prototype of promising minesweepers on the Espadon (Sword-fish) class telemanagement. Of course, these small boats do not have the ability to overcome significant distances. It is for this reason that they will be transported to the specified place of combat work by special base ships from which they intend to control crewless minesweepers. Each of the transporters and at the same time control posts up to 100 meters in length and a displacement of the order of 2-3 thousand tons will be able to take on board two “swordfish” and coordinate their actions at a distance within a radius of two to three miles. However, this distance can be significantly increased through the use of a helicopter or a BPL available on board the main vessel.

Today, controlled underwater vehicles, which are looking for mines ahead of the main ship’s course and undermining them, cannot be surprised. But their effective work is limited to 200-300 meters, which often puts minesweepers themselves in danger of being targeted by a powerful underwater explosion. There is a second way to destroy mines - divers-bombers, but this is no less dangerous option. It is for this reason that the French Naval Forces developed a new promising concept for combating mine threats SLAMF (Systeme de Lutte Anti-Mines Futur) with the help of remotely operated small minesweepers or working according to a previously compiled program in an independent mode.

The concept of SLAMF, undoubtedly, deserves considerable attention, because the ideas embodied in it when they are implemented will give a real opportunity to qualitatively increase the effectiveness of anti-mine warfare, while reducing the likely losses among military personnel to nil. Currently, the mine threat is still relevant, as in the past century. In peacetime, as a rule, it is forgotten, but for this loss of memory you have to pay a very high price during the war. Today, sea mines may well appear in the arsenals of terrorists.
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