FS Pluton Assists Albania With Mine Removal

July 22, 2021 (Google Translation) – After having organized cooperation actions with the divers of the Lebanese Navy, the Building-base of clearing divers (BBPD) Pluto went to Albanian territorial waters. He was escorted by the Albanian patroller Oriku with whom he also carried out several maneuver exercises and tactical evolutions.

Once docked, the detachment of demining divers (PLD) present on board Pluto contacted its Albanian counterpart in order to prepare the search mission for the remains of explosives of war in an area suspected of containing them. During these two days of research, the team of divers discovered three hundred and fifty-eight munitions dating from the Second World War and the Soviet era. These 1.4 tons of ammunition were then taken care of by Albanian divers and deminers.

At the same time, the Alister 9 Autonomus underwater vehicle was also implemented in the deeper areas. This underwater detector is very effective in covering large areas by providing quality sonar images. As such, the drone gave echo positions classified as possible mines which were then investigated by the divers.

Finally, at the request of the Albanian Navy, the PLD carried out an expertise concerning a minesweeper, which ran aground in 2009 in the Pasha Liman naval base. This wreck is currently obstructing a quay which the Albanian navy wishes to recover. Although refloating and dismantling can only be carried out by a specialized company, the expertise of French PLDs has made it possible to define three work options with associated action plans.

This cooperation has not only made it possible to share know-how between partners of the Atlantic Alliance but also to strengthen the security of Albanian waters. Pluto finally set sail for Montenegro for an expert mission on two wrecks of submarines, possibly the Monge and the Fresnel. Then, a tribute to the victims of the destroyer Dague was paid by the detachment of clearance divers.

Deployed since May 28 in the Eastern Mediterranean and then in the Adriatic, BBPD Pluto and its PLD detachment first participated in the multinational exercise NOBLE MELINDA 21 in Israel, then in diving and demining cooperation in Lebanon, in Albania and Montenegro.

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