Ośrodek Badawczo-Rozwojowy Centrum Techniki Morskiej (CTM), which is a part of Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ), is currently working on the first stage of the works falling under the European Defence Agency’s (EDA) project entitled “Modular Lightweight Minesweeping II” (MLM II).
The ongoing works are the result of a contract signed in Brussels in March 2018 by a Constortium consisting of: Norwegian institutions and companies, i.e. Forsvarets Forskningsinstitutt (FFI) – leader, Thales Norway AS, Finnish Patria Aviation and Finnish Naval Academy Research Center (FNRC), German WTD-71, and, representing Poland, CTM. The goal of the project is to turn the technology demonstrators of modular minesweeping systems, developed previously as part of EDA projects, into prototype level.
For some time now, CTM has been involved in EDA works dedicated to unmanned naval platforms by working on, among other things, projects forming the programme entitled ”Unmanned Maritime Systems for mine counter-measures and other naval applications”.
The goal of the first “Modular Lightweight Minesweeping” (MLM) project, carried out during the years 2011-2014, was to construct an element of an autonomous system for destroying non-contact naval mines. Under this project CTM carried out tasks consisting in developing a technology demonstrator for a light, modular non-contact trawl that ultimately would be towed by the autonomous water platform. The trawl is designed for destroying non-contact mines by generating physical fields capable of activating recognised mine detonators or protecting naval vessels with known distributions of physical fields by first using the trawl to simulate a passage of such vessels through dangerous waters.
Another project, operating under the name “Buried Mines” (BURMIN), completed during the years 2013-2017, was aimed at eliminating technological gaps in systems used for detecting and neutralising bottom and buried naval mines, and also at defining common standards for future unmanned systems performing these tasks. Under this project CTM was responsible for developing an underwater sensor platform stabilised with respect to the sea bottom that was equipped with magnetic and electromagnetic sensors, and was also ready for installation of other sensors, including hydro-acoustic sensors. This platform, towed by an autonomous unmanned vessel, enables detection and classification of mines, including mines buried in bottom deposits.
Currently, as part of the MLM II project which is a continuation of MLM, CTM is carrying out works aimed at development of a light, modular non-contact trawl. As a result a new trawl version will be created with variable towing depth, operating in the range between a few and a few dozen metres below water surface, which will provide much more extensive minesweeping capabilities for this system.
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