Announced 12 June, BAE Systems has been awarded a contract worth £7.4m ($9.46m) to provide Korea Aerospace Industries and the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy with a comprehensive Archerfish mine countermeasure capability, as well as engineering expertise and support, including a new helicopter mine neutralisation fleet.
BAE Systems has been contracted to modify a novel mine disposal system that employs Archerfish technology for Korean Aerospace Industries.
This initiative will enhance the ROK Navy anti-mine helicopter fleet by developing the technology to include a light-weight launcher and a novel data connection link between the aircraft and Archerfish vehicle..
The Archerfish, a remote-controlled underwater mine neutraliser, has been deployed by the US Navy and can be launched and operated from surface ships, underwater vehicles, and helicopters. The system has been developed to streamline target identification and neutralisation, while also eliminating the need for divers to enter the water.
The Archerfish is a military product produced in the United Kingdom at two BAE Systems facilities: the Broad Oak facility located in Portsmouth, Hampshire, and the Hillend facility situated in Dunfermline, Fife.
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According to a spokesperson from Korean Aerospace Industries, the ROK Navy is set to enhance its mine countermeasure capabilities through the acquisition of a new fleet of helicopter mine neutralisation operations. This development programme is aimed at providing a complementary means of carrying out such missions and will be solely operated by the ROK Navy.
According to Dr Brooke Hoskins, Director of Products and Training Services for BAE Systems’ Maritime Services that are collaborating with Korea Aerospace Industries to create the Republic of Korea Navy’s upcoming helicopter mine neutralisation capability, Archerfish use with the US Navy proved to enhance the safety of sailors and improve the efficiency of mine clearance missions, and its compact size makes it an ideal candidate for integration into both airborne and surface platforms.