U.S. Navy dolphins replaced with robots that detect underwater mines
The U.S. Navy said it will no longer occupy a fleet of specially trained marine mammals to detect underwater mines, which will be replaced by robots after 50 years of active duty.
During all this time the Navy occupied dolphins and sea lions to detect and destroy underwater mines occasionally (eg hitting them quickly and starting the explosion), as part of its Marine Mammal Program , which were deployed in wars like Vietnam and Iraq.
The program will close by 2017, but not for reasons of environmental awareness, but to be replaced by a cheaper alternative in the form of underwater drones as knifefish , a torpedo-shaped robot that uses sonar to detect underwater mines and with a range of 16 hours.
That if warned anyway animals could continue to occupy certain missions in post-2017 because even the most advanced robots fail to have a sound as refined as that of a dolphin. The animals will retire from active duty
Link: U.S. Navy to replace mine-detecting dolphins with underwater robots (The Verge)Tags: armada, dolphins, drone, mines, U.S. Navy