The U.S. Navy is rushing dozens of unmanned underwater drones to the Persian Gulf to help detect and destroy mines. The move is a major military buildup aimed at preventing Iran from closing the strategic Strait of Hormuz. (Los Angeles Times, 11 July)
The tiny SeaFox submersibles each carry an underwater television camera, homing sonar and an explosive charge. Each submersible is about 4 feet long and weighs less than 100 pounds.
The first of the SeaFox submersibles arrived in the Gulf in recent weeks, officials told L.A. Times, along with four MH-53 Sea Dragon helicopters and four minesweeping ships, part of a larger buildup of U.S. naval, air and ground forces in the region aimed at Iran.
The U.S. already has sent two aircraft carriers and a squadron of F-22 fighters to the Persian Gulf, and is keeping two U.S. army brigades in Kuwait. A third aircraft carrier is also being deployed to the region.