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    HomeUnited StatesU.S NavyFor 60 Years, the Navy Has Been Training Dolphins and Sea Lions...

    For 60 Years, the Navy Has Been Training Dolphins and Sea Lions to Keep Rivals Away From Its Most Sensitive Hardware

    For 60 Years, the Navy Has Been Training Dolphins and Sea Lions to Keep Rivals Away From Its Most Sensitive Hardware

    Read the original article on Business Insider.

    Since 1959, the U.S. Navy has trained a small of bottlenose dolphins and sea lions to recover lost equipment, intercept intruders in ports, and detect buried sea mines.

    This year, the Navy sought to end one of those marine mammals' most important missions — hunting for and neutralizing mines buried in the seabed — and use sophisticated underwater vehicles and sensors instead.

    But there's a problem: That technology hasn't yet equaled a dolphin's unique ability to find mines.

    So Congress balked, using the 2023 defense bill to bar the Navy from retiring its mine-detecting dolphins or ending port-security training for its marine mammals until it deploys mine-countermeasure systems that are as good or better.

    Congress' move halts the long-planned retirement of Marine Mammal Systems, a program run by Naval Information Warfare Center-Pacific at Point Loma Naval Base in .

    The proliferation of high-quality, relatively inexpensive drones means that the Navy's dolphins and sea lions may soon be deactivated, but for now they remain a part of the service's mine-countermeasures systems, alongside ships, helicopters, sonars, and mobile explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams.

    The Navy's mine-countermeasures force continues to struggle with aging equipment and is already incorporating unmanned underwater vehicles such as the Mk 18 Mod 1 Swordfish and Mk 18 Mod 2…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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