BAE Systems has been awarded a contract to adapt a new mine disposal system using Archerfish for Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI), as part of the development of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy’s new anti-mine helicopter fleet.
Already in service with the US Navy, Archerfish is a remote-controlled underwater mine neutralizer that is launched and operated from surface ships, underwater vehicles and helicopters.
Under the £7.4 million contract, BAE Systems will provide a complete mine countermeasure capability along with engineering expertise and support to Korea Aerospace Industries and Republic of Korea Navy.
A spokesperson for Korean Aerospace Industries, said: “The Republic of Korea Navy is investing in the introduction of a new and complimentary means of carrying out mine countermeasure missions with a new development program to obtain a helicopter mine neutralization operation fleet to be operated by ROK Navy.”
Dr Brooke Hoskins, Director of Products and Training Services for BAE Systems Maritime Services, commented: “We are proud to be working with Korea Aerospace Industries to develop the Republic of Korea Navy’s future helicopter mine neutralization capability. This builds on Archerfish’s proven credentials for mine clearance operations with the US Navy. Archerfish helps to keep sailors safe, increases the efficiency of mine clearance missions, and is small and lightweight making it ideal for integration into airborne and surface platforms.”
Archerfish reduces the time needed to identify and neutralize targets and eliminates the need to put divers into the water.
Under the new contract, new features will be developed for the technology including a lightweight launcher and a new data connection link between the aircraft and Archerfish vehicle. Archerfish is manufactured in the UK at BAE Systems’ Broad Oak facility in Portsmouth, Hampshire, and Hillend facility in Dunfermline, Fife.