Naval mines are designed to destroy ships andsubmarines, as well as to make it difficult for them to navigate. In particular, they are used to block ports. Surely everyone has heard that mines in the Black Sea are now more common than dolphins. Of course, this is exaggerated, but in the news you can only hear that another mine has landed on the coast of Odessa or is drifting towards Turkey. And there are even stories on the net that the mine sailed to the Bosphorus or even the Mediterranean Sea. But what is this weapon? What types are there, and how does demining take place in general? We will try to further understand all these issues.
- 1 When did the first sea mines appear?
- 2 Why are mines at sea so important?
- 3 Types of modern mines
- 3.1 Bottom mines
- 3.2 Delayed bottom mines
- 3.3 What mines are used in the Black Sea
- 3.4 How the sea is cleared
When did the first sea mines appear?
The first naval mines, or rather their predecessorswere described as early as the 14th century in the Chinese military treatise Holunjing. Also, Chinese mines are described in the 16th century, they were used in the fight against Japanese pirates.
The mines were carefullysealed wooden boxes or barrels with explosives and a long cord that ran to an ambush on the shore. That is, they were delayed action. A man on the shore sharply pulled the cord and thereby set in motion a steel wheel lock with flint, as a result of which a spark arose and the mine exploded.
The first contact mine was invented by the inventor David Bushnel
during the American Revolutionary War(1775-1783). It was the same barrel of gunpowder that exploded on impact with the ship. Since then, many varieties of mines have been invented, which are widely used to this day.
Why are mines at sea so important?
At sea, mines are much more important thanon the land. They quickly became strategic weapons, displacing artillery and other types of naval weapons. It's all about the value of the ships and their significance. Agree, losing a ship is not the same as losing, for example, a tank.
The number of ships is always limited.Even the loss of one ship can sometimes affect the operational situation at sea. The ships have great firepower and a large crew. This means that the explosion of just one mine under a ship can be much more important than the explosions of hundreds of mines on land under tanks.
Types of modern mines
Most people think of a mine asa large black ball that floats on the surface of the water or is held under water by an anchor. If a ship hits such a mine, it will explode and the ship will sink. Such mines are called galvanic impact mines, they are really the most common. But they have one drawback - they are clearly visible and easily eliminated. As a result, designers have developed many other types of mines that do not have these drawbacks.
For example, the bottomnon-contact mine. Unlike galvanic impact mines, it lies peacefully at the bottom until a ship floats above it. Operation can occur on sound, a change in the magnetic field or water pressure. That is, the explosion does not require direct contact with the ship.
It is much more difficult to defuse such mines, and whenthey are completely invisible. Their only drawback is that they cannot be used at great depths. Therefore, such mines were widely used by Germany during the Second World War. They allow you to drastically reduce the mobility of the enemy fleet.
Delayed bottom mines
Underwater mines deserve special attentiondelayed action. During World War II, the German LMB/S mine became famous. She was dropped from the plane by parachute. After touching the water, the clock mechanism was activated, and the mine exploded if during this time it did not appear at a depth of 4.7 meters. This protected her from falling into the hands of the enemy.
At a depth of 5.18 meters, another hydrostat launchedclocks wound up from 30 minutes to 6 hours or from 12 hours to 6 days. After this time, the explosive device was brought into combat position. Prior to that, it was absolutely safe for ships. As a rule, another hydrostatic device was built into these mines, which activated the explosive mechanism in the event of an attempt to remove the mine from the water.
Bottom mines are also currently useddelayed action, but they do not use a clock mechanism, but magnetic field sensors. If a ship floats over a mine, it does not explode, but counts one step. A mine can have from 1 to 12 such steps. This complicates the work of magnetic minesweepers for demining, because no one knows how many steps a mine is wound and when it will explode. Perhaps, after the passage of the minesweeper, warships will blow up on the mines.
As a rule, for greater reliability, modernmines have not only magnetic sensors, but also acoustic ones that respond to the noise of the ship. Some models, as mentioned above, respond to changes in water pressure. Due to this, they do not react to small boats. There are also induction fuses that respond to changes in the strength of the ship's magnetic field. They only work on ships that have a move.
In a separate class, guided mines can be distinguished, which are controlled from the shore or next to a passing ship. Control can be carried out both by wire and wirelessly.
What mines are used in the Black Sea
International Warning Servicemeteorological and navigational situation in the world's waters, as early as March, it began to report the presence of drifting self-exploding contact mines in the North-Western, Western and South-Western parts of the Black Sea. As a result of spring storms, they were torn off their anchor chains. Thus, the presence of contact mines in the Black Sea is a reality.
According to experts, we are talking about oldSoviet sea mines NM and YRM. According to retired captain 2nd rank Alexander Kryshtob, NM is a powerful bottom mine, which was produced back in the days of the Second World War. It has a charge of 28 kg, as a result of which it can damage even a cruiser.
Since these mines are very old, they representserious danger - self-detonation may occur. But, on the other hand, an expired mine may not explode at all. Why then are they used? A minefield made up of even non-working, it would seem, weapons, is dangerous. After all, no one can say for sure whether the mine will work.
Sometimes the military does not use mines at all, but onlydefiantly pretend that something is thrown into the sea from ships and aircraft. After that, the enemy will not sacrifice a warship to find out if the minefield is real or fiction. In addition, as mentioned above, the successful passage of one ship does not yet indicate the absence of a real minefield.
As for the NRM, these are high-explosive contact mines,designed to counter amphibious assault. They are compact, so they are usually installed by hand from ships. A storm almost all such mines either throws it ashore or takes it to the depths.
How the sea is cleared
To eliminate mines, special ships are used - minesweepers. They are both contact and non-contact. In addition, there are special search anti-mine devices.
To get rid of contact mines, usespecial trawls that cut the minrep, causing the mine to float. Then she is simply shot with a firearm. Sometimes helicopters and airplanes serve as minesweepers instead of ships. It is quite possible that even drones, which are considered the most promising type of weapons of the future, will be able to perform this task in the future.
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To eliminate bottom mines, trawls are used,which create physical fields that trigger fuses, a certain sound, or simulate the passage of a ship in some other way. If it is known where the mines are located, special demolition charges can be installed to eliminate them, which cause detonation.
Finally, we recommend that you readstrategic naval Russian weapons, which are still in development. In the United States, it was immediately called the "weapon of doomsday." Why it deserves such a name, read here.