Task minesweepers: 

The task of minesweepers is to keep the Dutch and Belgian coastal waters free of mines, which are particularly suitable for laying mines due to their shallowness during wartime.
Also in the shipping route to the major seaports such as Antwerp with the Westerschelde and Rotterdam with the approach route New Waterway are particularly suitable for the laying of mines.
A flotilla of minesweepers can also be entrusted with the delivery of a convoy of cargo ships through an area with mines.

The field of activity of a minesweeper consists of a certain sea area. However, it is not possible to say in advance how long it will be swept. This depends on the weather conditions, the size of the area to be swept ect.

The mine sweep area is far behind the ship. This is to prevent the explosion of a possible sea mine in the vicinity of the ship and therefore to withstand the mine sweeper without damage. Various types of mines that lie on the seabed or are anchored to them can be cleared by means of a mine sweep.

The different types of mines:

Contact mines:

These mines are anchored with a chain of ballast blocks on the seabed and float just below the water surface.
Upon contact with the ship's wall, they explode.

Magnetic mines:

A ship's passage disrupts the earth's magnetic field, causing the mine to explode. This is the reason why mine hunter and mine sweepers have a very low magnetic signature.


Acoustic mines

The mine explodes due to the sound vibration of a passing ship.


The sweeping methods:

Contact mines:

For mechanical sweeping, the sweeping device consists of steel cables which are equipped with cutting claws with explosives.
The cutting claws cut the cables with which the mines are anchored, causing the mines to float on the water surface.
The mines are set to explode far from the ship by means of the gun and machine guns.


Magnetic mines:

The sweeper, in this way of sweeping (also called influence sweeping) consists of a number of floats that are interconnected and form a loop behind the ship. A cable is installed between these floats, which generates a strong alternating current through generators. As a result, a strong alternating magnetic field disturbance far behind the mine sweeper, to which the magnetic mines will respond and explode. The current conductor is suspended from a cable called the tow bar.
The floaters serve to keep the cables floating.


Acoustic mines:

The acoustic part of the sweeper consists of a float and a hammer weighing approximately 1.5 tons which produces underwater sound waves with a certain frequency, causing the acoustic mines to explode.
Many provisions have been made on the ships themselves to minimize vibrations and noise. The motors are mounted on rubber dampers or fitted with rubber blocks.