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Mines, anyone?

Let's face it: nobody cares about mine warfare. We're talking slow boring ships plodding around looking for submerged hunks of metal. No guns. ship 2.jpgNo missiles. No screaming fighter jets. No men in green facepaint slipping ashore in the dead of night. Even if mines are, historically, the biggest threat to U.S. warships, mine warfare is so unsexy that it's bound to get ignored until after a billion-dollar amphibious ship gets a hole ripped in it.But all that's about to change. In a radical move signalling serious commitment to mine warfare, the Navy is abandoning (slow, hard to deploy) dedicated minehunters in favor of (fast, easily deployed) mine-clearing drones aboard destroyers and Littoral Combat Ships. The service is also revamping its airborne minehunting fleet, moving from big, unwieldy Sikorsky MH-53E Sea Dragons to the smaller Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk carrying wide range of new systems. Finally, Mine Warfare Command is merging with the Navy's antisubmarine warfare office to create a new "undersea warfare center of excellence".Read the whole story at Military.com.--David Axe

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