German Rheinmetall announced on 31 August 2023 that RWM Italia had won a multi-million-dollar contract from Australia to deliver smart sea mines to strengthen maritime Defence capabilities.
The Australian Department of Defence evaluated market options last year and has selected RWM Italia. The types and numbers of sea mines are classified, but delivery is expected to begin in 2023.
According to open-source information, at least three companies were competing: RWM Italia S.p.A, SAES of Spain and DA Group from Finland.
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has previously outlined investment priorities in mine warfare capabilities during Force Structure Plan 2020. The naval chapter of that plan, SEA 2000, aimed to enhance mine warfare capabilities using modern smart sea mines. The smart sea mines will be deployable from submarines, ships, and aircraft.
Australia was looking for provisions for transferring technology (ToT) and expertise to enable local manufacturing and maintenance of the sea mines.
In Turkiye, MKE Inc. started to work on smart mines. These mines may differentiate vessels by their acoustic signature or their displacement.