Current counter-mine and obstacle avoidance technology is inadequate, and limits the Navy's capability to conduct shallow water (SW) and very shallow water (VSW) MCM in support of beach assaults by Marine Corps forces. Without information as to the location or density of mined beach areas, it must be assumed that if mines are present in one area then they are present in all areas. Marine mammal systems (MMS) are an unusual, effective and unique solution to current problems of mine and obstacle hunting. In the US Navy Mine Warfare Plan for 1994-1995 Marine Mammal Systems are explicitly identified as the Navy's only means of countering buried mines and the best means for dealing with close-tethered mines. The dolphins in these systems possess a biological sonar specifically adapted for their shallow and very shallow water habitat. Research has demonstrated that the dolphin biosonar outperforms any current hardware system available for SW and VSW applications. This presentation will cover current Fleet MCM systems and future technology application to the littoral region.© (1997) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.