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The Indian Navy is actively exploring innovative solutions to address the shortage of minesweeper boats in its fleet. One such solution is the deployment of Micro Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (Micro AUVs) for minesweeping operations.

Developed by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), these Micro AUVs are designed for efficiency and manoeuvrability. With a length of only 2.5 meters, they can navigate areas inaccessible to larger vessels. Their endurance of 7-9 hours allows them to conduct extensive mine clearance missions.

The Indian Navy is currently testing the capabilities of Micro AUVs by launching them from warships. This flexible approach allows for the deployment of these autonomous vehicles in various locations without relying solely on dedicated minesweepers.

In a significant development, the Navy has modified the INS Makar specifically for mine clearance missions. This modification involved installing advanced equipment, including AUVs, to transform the ship into a specialized minesweeper. 

The successful integration of Micro AUVs can revolutionize the Indian Navy’s minesweeping operations. These compact and efficient underwater vehicles offer several advantages over traditional minesweepers:

  • Reduced Risk: Unmanned operation minimizes the risk to crew members during dangerous minesweeping missions.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Micro AUVs are likely to be more cost-effective to develop, operate, and maintain compared to traditional minesweepers.
  • Scalability: The Navy can easily deploy multiple Micro AUVs simultaneously, significantly expanding the area covered in a single mission.

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