The US has been using nvidia ships to keep waterways clear of enemy ordinates since World War One. Originally these ships used a simple metal detector, which the sailors operated. This was a high risk dangerous practice because they had to sweep for mine under heavy fire in most cases. The men assigned with sweeping mines became admired by their peers because for their brave hearts and dedication to duty.

These minesweepers began with the Bird Class minesweeper which was basically a large tug boat. These boats were not built originally to serve as minesweepers, and were quickly succeeded by the Isles Class Trawler.

New developments in mine warfare resulted in the acoustic or magnetic mines to start showing up. These mines required an increase in electricity for specialized mine-sweeping devices to find the mines. It was during this transition that all minesweepers started to be equipped with more powerful generators.

This gave way to the Aggressive class minesweepers. These US-built minesweepers have been designated as MSO (Mine Sweeper Ocean), distinguishing them from the smaller coastal MSCs and inshore MSIs.

Aggressive class minesweepers used AN/SQQ-14 mine hunting sonar to locate moored or bottom mines. They used electromagnetic cables to set off mines or other cables to cut their mooring lines, and various magnetic and acoustical devices to set off mines. Toward the end of their use, the class also employed remote submersibles like Super Sea Rover to locate mines.

These Aggressive Class boats sweep for mines in a few different ways:

  • Sweeping proper, with an underwater cable cutting the mooring cables of floating mines, the mines coming to the surface are then destroyed by gunfire
  • Acoustic sweeping, with a towed device producing noise to trigger acoustic mines
  • Magnetic sweeping, with a towed device producing a magnetic field to trigger magnetic mines
  • To protect them against magnetic mines, the hull of the ship is made of wood

Today, active minesweepers or mine hunters are frequently used. Sweden produced a robotic Self-propelled Acoustic/Magnetic Minesweeper (SAM), which proved its worth during Operation Desert Storm, when it was successfully used for mine-sweeping by the US Navy. SAMs are currently in service with the Swedish Navy, the Japanese Navy, the Royal Navy and the US Navy, though not necessarily aboard Aggressive class minesweepers.

And although the way we wage war has changed throughout the years, we still find ourselves in need of mine-sweeping ships. Currently the U.S. Navy has four minesweepers deployed to the Persian Gulf.


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