Empire’s Navy Has Nearly No Minesweeping or Minelaying Capability

Probably not enough money to be made for the military-industrial-congressional complex in a weapon so simple and effective

A clever enemy could close down the ports with mine-laying submarines

Given the near complete absence of mine countermeasure assets in the US Navy, the nightmare scenario in a war is an enemy that uses a few submarines to lay a handful of mines in mainland American ports and then has only to sit back and watch the Navy convulse in an effort to race back from the war front to clear and protect our ports.

Our entire MCM fleet – all 6-8 LCS (and the few Avengers and HM-53E helos that we might not have yet retired) – would have to be brought back from any overseas missions to conduct port clearance.

Even then, we’d only be able to clear and maintain a maximum of 8 ports even using the minimal, and inadequate, tasking of one LCS per port.

Unfortunately, the US has many dozens of ports.

While this mammoth convulsion was on-going, our commercial shipping would be brought to an abrupt standstill.  A clever enemy – and no one is accusing Russia or China of not being clever! – would be able to institute a total blockade of the entire United States via a handful of submarine laid mines.

How’s that for a return on investment in low cost mines and a few subs?

Such a move would have the added benefit, for the Chinese, of depriving the US fleet of its overseas MCM capability which means the fleet would be unable to go anywhere that mines were even suspected – which would be almost everywhere!  Thus, in one stroke, the Chinese could paralyze both our commercial shipping and our naval actions.

So, clearly a bad news scenario for us.

Fortunately, we are frantically working to build lots of additional dedicated minesweepers and new MCM helos. Oh wait … we’re actually not doing that at all. We’ll set aside the staggering stupidity of our non-existent MCM plan and force and press on to a related aspect .

Having recognized the catastrophic nature of this scenario, why can’t this scenario be turned around? Why can’t we use our subs to lay a few strategically placed mines in and around the Chinese Hainan base/port, for example? Why can’t we mine the various chokepoints around the South China Sea through which Chinese merchant shipping must pass?  hy can’t we mine the Taiwan strait?  And so on.

Theoretically, there is no reason why we can’t turn the scenario around. Of course, the reality is that we no longer have the capability or weapons to achieve such a scenario. Our mines are nearly obsolete and our subs almost never practice mine laying (see, “Offensive Mine Warfare – Operational Usage”).

The attractiveness of being able to apply against our enemies the same mine warfare that we dread encountering is so blindingly obvious that one can’t help but be stunned by our near total neglect of offensive mine warfare. What little mine awareness we have is directed towards the ill-suited and ill-conceived LCS MCM module.  We need to remember and regain our offensive mine warfare mindset and capability.

Source: Navy Matters

  1. Vish says

    Here’s the best response to this American bitch whining about the US Navy’s lack of mine assets.


    If America is delusional enough to provoke a war against China (or Russia), it will be the last war that the former United States of America ever fights, as the American entity simply will be torn to shreds from within and without.

    The American Empire will not only have its precious domestic ports rendered null and void, but the global American war machine will be broken into bloody pieces like it was in Vietnam… or for that matter in Afghanistan.

    Best like sleeping dragons and bear lie, America.

  2. Peter Williams says

    MCM/MW has always been the red-headed stepchild of any navy. It’s not glamorous work and the ships are small. The RN had so degraded its MCM capability that it had to requisition fishing trawlers to clear Port Stanley of mines during the Falkland’s War.

  3. John C Carleton says

    You have to understand, the last flag officer understood real war, who served in the US military, was murdered by Washington DC with help from Moscow, for not selling America out to Russian Communism.
    General George S Patton, 21 Dec. 1945.

    Any real warrior, served in the last few generations, can tell you horror stories, both sad and some down right gut wrenching with laughter, at the stupidity of Ring Knockers!

    If Patton had been around, he never would have allowed the invasion of Afghanistan.
    Because other than they did not attack America, it is known as the graveyard of Empires for a reason!

    But these butt kissing yes “men” who wear the stars, just threw those young Americans into an endless meat grinder.
    Expecting intelligence from the current crop of US military flag officers, is like expecting the Clintons to share the little girls with other DC pedophiles.
    Not going to happen!

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