U.S. Navy Has Trained Dolphins Ready if Iran Mines the Strait of Hormuz

Posted on January 22, 2012

Dolphin Trained by US Navy

CNN reports that the U.S. Navy plans to involve its trained dolphins in the Strait of Hormuz if Iran mines it. The trained dolphins are very real. They have been trained to mark or locate sea mines. They are described on this page of the U.S. Navy's website as the MK4 Marine Mammal System.

The MK 4 MMS uses dolphins for detecting and/or marking the location of sea mines that are tethered off the ocean bottom. These deep-water mines are easy targets for the dolphin's highly effective echolocation. The MK 4 MMS offers reliable and effective mine detection, classification, and marking capabilities in areas that are highly cluttered or where rough seabed, high marine growth, and other complex acoustic conditions hamper the performance of Navy hardware systems.
The Navy has also trained dolphins to find mines sitting on the ocean bottom or buried in sediment. The can also help identify safe corridors for the initial landing of troops during a land invasion.

If Iran decides to mine the Strait of Hormuz to slow the transport of oil then the U.S. Navy may put some of its trained dolphins to work to locate the mines so they can be destroyed or deactivated. Iran recently threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz oil route, but Iran makes a lot of threats it never acts on.

CNN says the U.S. Navy has been training the dolphins for years. Fish rewards, particularly sardines, are used to train the dolphins. The dolphins would be airlifted to the Strait of Hormuz if they are needed. Take a look:

Photo: U.S. Navy

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