Armoured and mine-detection vehicle specialists DCD Protected Mobility will be showcasing its products and capabilities at the first International Aerospace & Defence Exhibition (IADE) in Tunisia next month as it expands its presence across Africa.
IADE 2020 will be held at Djerba-Zarzis International Airport in Djerba, Tunisia, between 4 and 8 March. The inaugural event will see a flying display each day amongst other activities. Some 200 companies are expected to take part in the first instalment of the exhibition, which is targeting civil and military delegations from Africa and the Middle East.
DCD Protected Mobility will be promoting products such as its Husky mine-detection vehicle and Springbuck armoured personnel carrier range, alongside prominent partners such as Global Command & Control Technologies, Hensoldt, Titan Global wheel, Tyron Run flat, and Skywater International.
DCD Protected Mobility believes its Springbuck and Husky vehicles are ideal for internal security and border protection missions, having built up a solid reputation during operations around the world. According to Koos Joubert, Technical Adviser to DCD Protected Mobility, there is unfortunately no single solution to stop illegal immigrants and terrorist extremist groups from crossing borders, but DCD’s experience is that countries that are deploying Springbuck vehicles and Husky route clearance vehicles on their borders have achieved great success in combating such activities and crimes.
“Informal entrance to a country cannot be tolerated. It creates huge social and infrastructure problems which leads to serious tensions amongst citizens and neighboring countries,” Joubert said. To tackle issues of illegal immigration of individuals and cross-country criminal syndicates, security forces must arrest, detain and deport those who repeatedly enter illegally; ensure that undocumented immigrants are regularized or assisted in leaving the country if they do not meet the criteria for remaining in the country; strengthen border posts; and eradicate the corruption and the inefficient endemic in home affairs departments.
DCD Protected Mobility has sold vehicles to countries such as Kenya, which regularly use them to patrol the dangerous and fractious border with Somalia with great success. “In some areas our vehicles have been involved in serious improvised explosive device (IED) incidents and the soldiers are well protected, and no injuries have been noted,” DCD said.
Joubert emphasized that the Springbuck, with integrated mobile command, control and intelligence capabilities, provides military forces with the mobility and maneuverability advantage to cover vast distances along border lines during daily patrols.
“Border safeguarding requires joint integrated, inter-agency and multinational operations. We integrate the CHAKA Command, Control, Communications, Computer and Intelligence solutions from Global Command & Control Technologies into our vehicles, which processes real-time information from various units and sensors present in the theatre of operations, giving commanders the situational awareness for conducting operations,” Joubert said.
“The quality of our products and our support services in the field have earned us customers across Africa – including Angola, Kenya, Burundi, Congo Brazzaville, Egypt, Jordan, Senegal, Nigeria and South Africa – as well as further afield in countries like France, Spain, Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United States,” he said. “In the US we have a long-standing partnership with Critical Solutions International (CSI), through which we market and support the Husky Mine Detection System.”
The US Army in April 2017 awarded CSI a long-term $132 million contract for Husky 2G vehicles and its associated route clearance payloads, which has enabled states such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Latvia to acquire 21 vehicles. Another 20 vehicles were ordered through the US State Department’s Special Defence Acquisition Fund (SDAF). Deliveries have been completed, with Egypt receiving its vehicles by April 2019, for example.
The Husky is DCD’s flagship route clearance vehicle, and is able to detect mines at 5km/h-35km/h. It uses metal detectors for metallic mines and ground-penetrating radar for non-metal mines, but can be fitted with various sensors and interrogation arms. The Husky comes in several variants, including the single seat Husky Mk III, second generation two seat Husky 2G and optionally unmanned Autonomous Husky.
More than 1 500 Husky mine detection vehicles are operational on five continents, most in service with the US Army and NATO forces. Since being provided to the US Department of Defence in 2001, in partnership with US-based Critical Solutions International, and fielded internationally thereafter, the Husky has experienced more than 7 500 landmine and IED hits without any blast-related operator fatalities. The Husky 2G offers blast protection up to STANAG 4569 level 4a and 4b (10kg), with the V-shaped hull protecting the crew and drive-line. The frangible design allows for the vehicle to be field-repaired to full mobility in two hours.
The Springbuck mine-protected armoured vehicle is available in Standard, Heavy Duty and Extra Heavy Duty versions – payload varies between 1 500 and 3 500 kg for the different variants. DCD is also developing the Springbuck Border Patrol (BP). This will have a V-shaped hull for survivability and remote or manual weapon station available as an option. Accommodation is for a crew of five with a load bay at the back for a 1 500 kg payload.