Local firm helping clear mines

 - December 1, 2006, 6:10 AM

As a choke point, the Malacca Straits must present a difficult challenge to those who may be tasked with finding mines, but the Mark 8X expendable mine destructor exhibited by ST Dynamics in the Singapore Technologies’ pavilion would ease the task of minehunters wherever they may be.

Claimed to be the fastest most effective way to destroy mines, the device has been developed by L-3 Communications and is offered for deployment from vessels as well as helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. The sequence of deployment is made clear by a video presentation showing a four-shot mine destructor container being lowered into the sea from a helicopter.

After a single shot is launched from the container, it approaches the target zone to begin a search sequence, and as it homes toward the target, a video camera and light is energized so that an operator may make a visual inspection of objects on the ocean bed down to a depth of 30 meters.

After swimming around the target and with a positive identification made by the operator, the “destroy” command is executed and the waters made safer for shipping.