OBR CTM S.A. (CTM), a part of the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ), is currently carrying out the first stage of work within the European Defence Agency (EDA) project, entitled “Modular Lightweight Minesweeping II” (MLM II). The work is the result of an agreement signed in Brussels in March 2018 by the Consortium consisting of: Norwegian institutions and companies, i.e. Forsvarets Forskningsinstitutt (FFI) – the leader, Thales Norway AS, Finnish Patria Aviation and Finnish Naval Academy Research Center (FNRC), German WTD-71 and CTM representing Poland. The aim of the project is to bring the previously developed, within the EDA projects, modular minecountermesure systems from the level of technology demonstrators to the prototypes level.
CTM has been involved in EDA’s work on unmanned maritime platforms for a long time, including projects under the “Unmanned Maritime Systems for mine counter-measures and other naval applications” programme.
The purpose of the first project tilted “Modular Lightweight Minesweeping” (MLM), implemented in 2011-2014, was to build an element of an autonomous system for countermesure the non-contact sea mines. The Centre developed a technology demonstrator of the modular lightweight minesweep, ultimately towed by an autonomous surface platform. The minesweep is designed to countermeasure the non-contact mines by generating physical fields capable to activate recognized mine fuses or to protect vessels with known physical fields distributions, simulating the passage of these vessels through endangered waters with the use of minesweep.
Another project, tilted „Buried Mines” (BURMIN), was carried out in 2013-2017, and was directed to eliminate technological gaps in bottom and buried sea mines detection and neutralisation systems, as well as at establishing common standards for future unmanned systems performing these tasks. Within the framework of the project, CTM was responsible for development of a sensory platform stabilised at a set altitude over sea bottom, equipped with magnetometers and vertical rudders in relation to the underwater bottom, equipped with magnetic and electromagnetic sensors, which was also prepared for installation of other types of sensors, including hydroacoustic. The platform, towed by an autonomous unmanned unit, enables the detection and classification of mines, including mines buried in bottom sediments.
Currently, under the MLM II Project, which is a continuation of the MLM Project, CTM is working on the further development of a modular lightweight non-contact minesweep. As a result, a new version of the minesweep, with variable towing depth, working from a few to several meters below the water surface, which will provide much wider possibilities of operational use of the mine countermeasure system.