The USS Swift, a Navy minesweeper, cruises off the coast of Norway in 2004. Minesweepers are used to detect and sweep away underwater mines so that ships can pass safely.
Minesweepers detect and clear, or sweep, explosive underwater mines so that ships can pass safely. They measure 57 m (188 ft) long and carry a crew of 45. Mine countermeasure ships detect and sweep underwater mines and serve as command and control facilities for mine countermeasure operations. Mine countermeasure ships measure 68 m (223 ft) in length and have a crew of 74
Minesweepers are equipped with mechanical or electrical devices, known as "sweeps", for disabling mines. The modern minesweeper is designed to reduce the chances of it detonating mines itself; it is soundproofed to reduce its acoustic signature and often constructed using wood, fiberglass or non-ferrous metal, or is degaussed to reduce its magnetic signature.