Electronic systems provider ATSA Defence Services has used the sinking of South Korean warship, the Cheonan, to push for boosting the mine hunting capabilities for the Australian Navy.
"The recent sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan, a 1,200-tonne corvette that sank off Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea, is a timely warning that mine clearance is a critical activity for nations' navies," said ATSA operations director, Neil Hodges.
Reports suggest a drifting sixty-year-old sea mine may have caused the explosion, sinking the ship and leaving 46 of the ship's crew missing.
"Danger presented by either positioned or drifting mines highlights the need for the Australian Navy to ensure its readiness by having the latest equipment and technology capable of preventing further disasters of this kind.
"The Korean incident is a graphic example of the rapid and devastating effects of sea mines which are difficult to detect unless ships deployed for mine detection and disposal are kept at a high state of readiness," Hodges said.
The Australian Navy boosted its mine warfare capability in 1993 when six Minehunter Coastal Class ships were constructed in Newcastle, Australia, representing a leap to third generation mine hunting capability. The ships are equipped with the sophisticated BAE Systems Tactical Data System, the Thales 2093 Variable Depth Sonar and the Saab Underwater Systems Double Eagle MK II Mine Disposal System.
ATSA provides Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) support and services for systems including the Saab Double Eagle operated by the Royal Australian Navy.