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Japan to develop underwater drones to lay, remove sea mines

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I wish there was a better way than using mines to attain maritime defense

Defense not superiority !

The war of the machines.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

China is now a big importer of oil and food. Capabilities to block the country’s major ports with underwater mines would be a very effective way to counter Xi’s maritime expansionism.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Good!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

mines are the poor man's arsenal, they're cheap, won't discriminate between friend and foe and will remain deadly for decades. The only problem is to remember where they're set. I've seen drones that can swim, fly and run on land, but they're still in the testing phase.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The ocean is consist of million of square miles ,Pie in the sky

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Chinese actions there are offensive in nature when seen from a local perspective, but defensive when seen from a global perspective.

Regardless the CCP has no respect for international law. Anything past 12 nautical miles from shore are international waters any ship may use for transit. Period. Full stop. And while the 12 mile limit is relatively new, it used to be only 3 nm, the range of a typical 18th or 19th century naval gun, freedom of the seas beyond the territorial limit is a centuries old law of the sea. China's claims in the SCS are a gross violation of those laws and the other nations have very good reasons to push back, including the US as much US bound trade from Europe and the Middle East moves through the SCS.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Mines are not laid in deep sea mostly near the coasts in shallower waters. The Ukrainians are using autonomous underwater drones.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japanese military remembers how aerial mines laid by B-29s in the Inland Sea stopped Japanese merchant shipping.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The problem with underwater drone is that unlike aerial drones, communication is virtually non-existent underwater so it has to be a highly autonomous drone run by an AI.

But Japan's weakpoint is AI.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

A step into the future for the JSDF. Drones and automated equipment are the wave of the future. Wars will become even more "impersonal" than ever.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Capabilities to block the country’s major ports with underwater mines would be a very effective way to counter Xi’s maritime expansionism.

so you are saying one in six of the worlds population don’t have any right to do well at their business because they are not white and Christian?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As long as they are not offensive which is illegal under the Japanese Constitution, the the SDF should protect our country.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yes, I think @Yrral is right. The whole area to cover is much too big to handle this way and quite a number of those mines would be necessary to place. Also the argument that they are only or mostly placed on the official shipping routes, near coast or ports contradicts the intentions. A potential attacker will then easily avoid those known routes and places or just also sends beforehand some sacrifice drones or smaller unmanned boats to activate the mines and by doing such, paving easy way for the whole flotilla. Nice try, but nowadays an almost completely useless attempt.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Wil

Underwater communication is very much existent, nuclear submarines have been doing it for decades.

I clearly understand the context better than you do.

The low frequency radio you are talking about have enough bandwidth for 100 bits per second, enough for text messages but not enough to run drones.

So underwater drones can't be operated by human operators, it has be be autonomously run by an AI.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Underwater communication is very much existent, nuclear submarines have been doing it for decades. 

For submerged submarines, underwater communications at any depth is usually one way, from shore to the sub. A sub has no way to communicate directly with the shore submerged with a limited exception used by the US mentioned below. To send messages to shore a sub must rise and put an antenna above the surface, exposing it to detection. A buoy can be released on a cable that floats just beneath the surface that can receive some radio signals that are able to penetrate salt water but even that buoy exposes the sub to detection by anti-submarine sensors. By 1944 a German sub could not even poke a snorkel out of the water without being attacked by radar equipped US or RAF antisubmarine aircraft. Detection equipment has only gotten better in the intervening 78 years.

Extremely low frequency radio transmissions can reach down 120 meters or so depending on salinity and are used to give nuclear ballistic missile subs their "happy signal" that all is well. If the happy signal ceases then the subs have to come to a shallow depth at a specific location to receive firing orders from aircraft that will fly to that same location and trail a 3 or so km long wire with a basket on the end that looks like a giant badminton birdie. The basket has to submerge as the aircraft orbits and transmits the nuclear authorization codes to the still submerged sub. There are limited abilities to communicate underwater at very short ranges using sound waves.

The US had and maybe still has communications devices placed underwater in highly secret locations connected by cables to land. If a sub came close enough to one of these submerged communications devices it may communicate via acoustic signals, but at the risk of exposing it and the communications device to enemy detection.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So underwater drones can't be operated by human operators, it has be be autonomously run by an AI.

No. They can be operated by humans on ships or helicopters using fiber optic cables from the ship or helicopter to the submerged drone. Many such systems are already in service with the worlds navies for mine clearance. Adapting them to mine laying should not be difficult but I have to wonder what the advantage is over aerial mine laying.

Aerial mines are often adapted from normal aerial bombs. The most common way for the US to lay a minefield is from aircraft. The US has mines with wing kits and JDAM style guidance kits that allow mines to be released from aircraft several tens of kilometers from where the mine will land and the guidance kit assures the mine will end up in a specific pre-planned location.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The low frequency radio you are talking about have enough bandwidth for 100 bits per second, enough for text messages but not enough to run drones

Subs do not begin to have enough power or a large enough antenna to send VLF or ULF signals. All they can do is receive them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan to deploy underwater mines ?? Wouldn't that be in contravention to Article 9 ?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mines are weapons of defense, not attack.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Mines are weapons of defense, not attack.

They can be used both ways, defensively and offensively. Find out what CAPTOR was and maybe still is.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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