New technology developed in Panama City will take men out of the minefield

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Naval mines are a persistent threat throughout the world, and Panama City has the latest and greatest technology in the field.

Every major country in the world has a mining component of their military. Once you run into a minefield, you have to immediately eliminate it to move forward.

The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division has designed and developed a brand new technology that will get the man out of the minefield. This is a safer and faster operation, a system designed to carry mine counter measure systems on board the MH-60S aircraft. The Carriage, Stream, Tow and Recovery System, or CSTRS, is completely airborne, and will find and neutralize mines in the water.

"Currently a lot of the mine hunting, mine sweeping system, involves putting sailors into the minefield on various ships and things like that. Obviously a very dangerous place to be, so the airborne component of it takes the sailor out of the minefield," explained Technical Program Director Tim Currie.

The Navy has determined the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division experts on the system. Once these go out to fleet, the Panama City Division will be the official depot repair and refurbishment facility.

The goal is to deliver 42 CSTRS systems throughout the country by October 2019. According to Currie, they will start delivery on the west coast, and then come to the east coast.

An entire CSTRS kit, made up of various components, runs about $2-$3 million.