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Britain Gets Its First Unmanned Minesweeping System, Announces Minister Guto Bebb

Easily transported by road, sea and air, the high-tech design means a small team could put the system to use within hours of it arriving in any theatre of activity, added Bebb.

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Easily transported by road, sea and air, the high-tech design means a small team could put the system to use within hours of it arriving in any theatre of activity, added Bebb.
Guto Bebb, Defence Minister (Britain), wikimedia commons

Britain’s Royal Navy has taken delivery of its first unmanned autonomous minesweeping system, Defence Minister Guto Bebb said on Saturday.

Bebb said the system, capable of safely clearing sea lanes of mines, could go on to be used in the future to defeat the threat of modern digital mines following a period of successful trials.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) said the system has been designed and manufactured by Atlas Elektronik in Dorset, England, under a $20.3 million contract.

“This autonomous minesweeper takes us a step closer to taking our crews out of danger and allowing us to safely clear sea lanes of explosives, whether that’s supporting trade in global waters and around the British coastline, or protecting our ships and shores,” Xinhua quoted Bebb as saying.

Britain's Royal Navy has taken delivery of its first unmanned autonomous minesweeping system, Defence Minister Guto Bebb said on Saturday.
Flag of Britain with Navy, wikimedia commons

Easily transported by road, sea and air, the high-tech design means a small team could put the system to use within hours of it arriving in any theatre of activity, added Bebb.

The sweeper system, which features a sense and avoid capability, could also work together with other similar autonomous systems for the common goal of making our waters safer, said the MOD.

The project, designed to be operated from a land or ship-based control station and can be deployed from a suitable ship or port, also aims to demonstrate the viability of an unmanned system that can safely and successfully clear mines.

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Brigadier Jim Morris from the Royal Marines who is senior responsible officer for the Mine Counter Measures and Hydrographic Capability (MHC) programme said: “The mine sweeping system is the Royal Navy’s first fully autonomous capability demonstrator and paves the way for the introduction of this technology across the full range of maritime capabilities.”

“This autonomous system will restore the Royal Navy’s sweep capability, enabling it to tackle modern digital mines that may not otherwise be discovered in challenging mine hunting conditions.” (IANS)

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Terrorist Safe Havens Should Be Eliminated: Rajnath Singh

Rajnath Singh said in Bangkok that the international community should come together to disrupt terrorist networks

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in Bangkok on Monday that the international community should come together to eliminate terrorist safe havens. Wikimedia Commons

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in Bangkok on Monday that the international community should come together to eliminate terrorist safe havens and disrupt their networks and financing in order to thwart cross-border movements for achieving sustainable regional security is achieved.

Singh was addressing the sixth ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) in Thailand, which holds the rotating chairmanship of the regional framework this year. Describing terrorism as the most heinous cross-border crime, Singh said some states have been using terror to pursue their political goals.

“It is so much worse when terrorists are aided, abetted, armed, financed and sheltered by States. The interplay between states and non-state actors, used as proxies to foment violence, has worsened this menace. The persistence of State-sponsored terrorism is not just a painful cancer, it is also the leading reason for unsustainable security,” said Singh.

Rajnath Singh
Rajnath Singh says that The persistence of State-sponsored terrorism is the leading reason for unsustainable security. Wikimedia Commons

The theme of the meeting this year is ‘Sustainable Security.’ Singh said there is a need for a more cooperative, equitable and consultative paradigm to deal with the broad and complex security challenges to find sustainable solutions.

Singh further said that India’s Indo-Pacific vision is based on the idea of sustainable security as it focuses on a free, open, inclusive and rules-based region in which there is respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all natikons.

“Our region must remain open and welcoming to the interests of all, those who live in it and others whose interests are in it. In short, our approach to security in the Indo-Pacific is sustainable by definition because it emphasises Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR),” added Singh.

On negotiations for a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea, Singh said the outcome of these talks will be in keeping with all relevant international laws, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. He said the forum promotes freedom of navigation, overflight and lawful commerce and also emphasised the need to protect the rights of States that are not party to these negotiations.

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Singh emphasied that India looks forward to the progress made through dialogue in addressing all related issues, including the proliferation trail that links South and East Asia on the issue of denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. “As dialogue remains on the table, we hope missile launches and such destabilising activities will cease”, he said.

During the course of his address, Singh said India is eager to co-chair the India-Indonesia Expert Working Group on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the next cycle. (IANS)