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Danish Navy to equip Holm-class mine countermeasures vessels with new Light AUVs


The Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization (DALO) (Forsvarets Materiel- og Indkøbsstyrelse, FMI) has recently signed a framework agreement for the acquisition of six autonomous underwater drones of the type Light Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (LAUV) from the Portuguese company OCEANSCAN.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The first three LAUVs will be received in the first quarter of 2022, where various tests and operator courses are planned. The drones are expected to be ready for use by summer 2022 (Picture source: FMI)


The underwater drones must be used by the Navy Command's Mine Counter Measure unit (MCM) on the Holm-class mine countermeasures vessels (MSD).

The new LAUVs are used when the MCM unit has to search for and blast mines on the seabed. The underwater drones can sail up to eight hours at a time and must primarily operate at a depth of 4-10 meters, but can operate all the way down to a depth of 100 meters. When the unit has to search for mines, all six LAUVs can be set up at the same time, after which they themselves calculate how to search the seabed within a given area.

Five of the drones have side scan sonar modules, which are used to scan the seabed and locate any mines. In addition to this sonar, the latest drone also has a so-called ID functionality, which can take high-resolution photos as well as laser scan any finds on the seabed.

When the underwater drones are put into the sea, they communicate with each other so that if one finds something, it can even summon the LAUV who can take a photo of the object.

The underwater drones are 2.1 m long, 15 cm in diameter and weigh 30 kg each.

The first three LAUVs will be received in the first quarter of 2022, where various tests and operator courses are planned. The drones are expected to be ready for use by summer 2022.


Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001

Five of the drones have side scan sonar modules, which are used to scan the seabed and locate any mines. In addition to this sonar, the latest drone also has a so-called ID functionality, which can take high-resolution photos as well as laser scan any finds on the seabed (Picture source: FMI)