Figure 8-2 shows the position of equipment on an MCM
When the sweepwire contacts a mine mooring cable, the
mooring is cut by one of the cutters or, in some cases, by
the sweepwire itself, allowing the buoyant mine case to
During a sweep, a sweepwire is towed from the
rise to the surface, where it can be exploited or
stern of the minesweeper at a depth well below the depth
at which mine cases are expected to be encountered.
Sweepwires may be streamed from one or both sides of
the ship. They are diverted, or spread away from the
sides of the ship, by an otter attached to their outboard
end and supported by a float attached with a float
To this point, we have provided an overview of the
mechanical minesweeping operation. The following
The depth of the sweep is regulated by the length of
paragraphs describe the major individual components
the float pendant. To maintain the entire length of the
of a typical mechanical system, such as the sweep and
sweepwire at approximately the same depth, a
depressor wires, cutters, floats, kites, and bridles.
depressor is secured to the sweepwire near its inboard
end. The depth of the sweepwire near the inboard end is
determined by the length of the depressor tow wire.
Sweepwires are armed with special cutting devices
A nonmagnetic 5/8-inch, 4,000-foot wire rope with
attached to their outboard end (end cutter) and at
a breaking strength of 32,000 pounds is used as a sweep
intervals along their length (intermediate cutters).
wire for general minesweeping operations.
Figure 8-2.--Equipment on an MCM ship's fantail.