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nato naval mine warfare centre of excellence

nato logo

Seas and oceans have always been one of the principal sources of prosperity.  Freedom of movement at sea is essential, at all times and for all, military and civilians.

In a future wherein seas are increasingly critical for military and civilian activities, naval mines, from very basic to high-tech, are an attractive and effective weapon available to both states and non-state actors to influence maritime traffic. To enable the maintenance of the Sea Lines of Communication and exercising Sea Control and Sea Denial, Naval Mine Warfare (NMW) deserves its place as a key capability in NATO’s toolbox.

The atrophy of Allies’ NMW capabilities over recent decades has led to its status as a recognised NATO shortfall area. This trend needs to be reverted in order to meet NATO’s ambition for future operations and activities.

A common effort is required to revitalise NMW in NATO through the exploitation of new technologies, innovative approaches, Research and Development and improvements across the whole DOTMLPFI-framework. Meanwhile the continuity of the capability with initially the existing systems and next the hybrid integration of manned and unmanned systems in theatre needs to be ensured.

NMW is a very atypical warfare. We need to understand and manage a threat from very basic and historical devices to very high tech systems, within the very complex underwater environment that provides operational difficulties and uncertainty on the results. So NMW is not a simple military engagement but requires the use of statistical models and mathematical algorithms: it is a specialists’ job! Besides the fight against this threat, the use of sea mines to our benefit requires yet an others specialism.

Strengthened by the historical reputation of the BEL-NLD Naval Mine Warfare School EGUERMIN and the proximity of the most by mines affected seas in the world, the NATO NMW COE, as a hub of knowledge, connects the actors and create synergies among the NMW Community Of Interest. It is the main source of expertise regarding all aspects of NMW using a unique fusion of knowledge and experience from the entire NMW community.

The NATO NMW COE is not only build on the past experience but is at forefront of the future development in NMW domain. Our focus is on Education and Training, Doctrine and Standardisation, Lessons Learned and Analysis and lastly Concept Development and Experimentation.

The NATO NMW COE is delivering the best possible advice and support in NMW to NATO, allied and partner nations

The NATO NMW COE will achieve its goals through an open mindset, promoting curiosity and rejecting prejudice in favour of neutrality. High quality deliveries, well-founded advice and adequate support are the norms and the basis for the NATO NMW COE’s credibility.

Since it is not feasible to bring all expertise in one place, the NATO NMW COE will position itself at the centre of the NMW knowledge and expertise Community of Interest, in order to connect the best in each area of NMW.

We learn from the past, understand the threat, explore the horizon and prepare for the future!


To assist NATO, nations, partners and other bodies by supporting the NATO transformation and operational efforts; NATO’s capability development process; missions effectiveness and interoperability by providing comprehensive expertise on Naval Mine Warfare