US deploys underwater drones to hunt for Iranian mines

July 12th, 2012 - 11:56 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 12 (IANS) The US is to intensify its military build up in the Persian Gulf by deploying miniature underwater drones to hunt for Iranian mines, The Telegraph reported Thursday.

The four-foot-long, remotely guided “SeaFox” submersibles are expected to form a key element of US military strategy in the region amid mounting tensions over Iran’s nuclear programme.

Tehran has repeatedly threatened to respond to Western sanctions by mounting a blockade of the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important energy waterway.

With the failure of diplomatic efforts to persuade Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions, the US has gradually begun to reinforce its military assets in the Gulf, the newspaper said.

The SeaFox drones will significantly bolster the US military’s countermine capability, which was also boosted this month with an announcement that four minesweepers would sail into the Gulf, doubling the number to eight.

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