New Wrinkles in Maritime Warfare | The Diplomat

Last year, the Air Force achieved a little-noticed aviation milestone: the first-ever drop of a winged, precision guided aerial mine. Almost fifty years after Texas Instruments slapped a laser guidance kit on a M117 dumb bomb, the Air Force added a guidance kit to a dumb mine, and greatly expanded the potential for aerial mining. The late arrival of precision capabilities to the antiship mine is no less revolutionary than it was for the advent of precision bombs in the first place, allowing precise placement of mines and improving the survivability of the employing platform. This development has the potential to revitalize aerial mining and add immeasurably to joint countermaritime operations.

Source: New Wrinkles in Maritime Warfare | The Diplomat

Read the whole thing. Our own Spill gets a linkback on his post on Operation End Sweep. And the author has some interesting ideas on stealthily mining inland waterways.

2 thoughts on “New Wrinkles in Maritime Warfare | The Diplomat”

  1. What you have here is aerial mine laying; although the concept of an aerial mine is interesting, it is only likely to work in low visibility conditions.

  2. “Precision placement” is a loose term. A mine has three positions: a) Where you aimed to place it, b) where you actually placed it, and c) where it is now. New tech closes the a-b gap, which is good. It’s the a/b-c gap that is such a pain when cleanup time rolls around.

    That said, a stand-off delivery is an excellent and much-needed option. Now, we just need the wherewithal to actually use mines, and practice it. The best / most feasible way to deal with a submarine threat is to mine ’em into port. We have the best mine-hunting capability/capacity in the world, and we suck at it. Anyone else (read: PRC) has no hope to counter the threat short of running low-value triggers (F/V etc.) ahead of the higher value warships/subs.

    The plan is even better when you know how MANY mines a B-1 or B-2 can truck into the area.

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