After being exposed to stringent ballistic and blast tests at the CSIR’s Paardefontein test facility outside Pretoria, DCD Protected Mobility’s two-man operated Husky 2G met NATO’s stringent blast protection requirements, something its manufacturer said was a significant achievement.
The Husky 2G surpassed blast requirements defined in STANAG 4569 — a NATO standard covering protection levels for occupants of logistic and light armoured vehicles during strikes from kinetic energy and artillery as well as IED blasts.
Andrew Mears, General Manager at DCD Protected Mobility, explained there is a basic requirement which needs to be met as well as a second higher requirement users of the vehicle would like to see met. “It is significant the Husky 2G surpassed this second requirement,” he said after the tests.
The Husky 2G route clearance vehicle is in service worldwide and has collectively been subjected to more than 6 500 landmine and IED strikes in the field with minimal operator casualties. Its ability to safely execute dangerous route clearance missions and return to base safely has attracted the loyalty and confidence of countless Husky operators.
DCD Protected Mobility invests a significant portion of its revenue into R&D to enhance the safety of vehicle operators and the survivability of the vehicle, the company said. The Husky 2G operators’ cabin successfully withstands Level 3 Kinetic Energy and Level 5 Artillery Threats as defined in the NATO standard. At Paardefontein the Husky 2G was also successfully subjected to Level 4a and Level 4b blast tests, in which 10 kg TNT surrogate mines were placed under the wheel and under the rearmost edge of the V-hull.
An instrumented seated anthropomorphic test device (ATD) was inside the Husky 2G during the tests. The ATD, which simulates the presence of a human operator, was fully clothed and fitted with military boots and socks. Various accelerometers, load cells and pressure sensors were installed on it and high speed cameras were positioned inside the cab to record body movement.
Not only did the Husky 2G vehicle successfully survive the stringent tests but more significantly, the vehicle could be repaired in the field an hour after the test. DCD said one particular Husky 2G vehicle underwent three detonation tests in three weeks and the vehicle has been repaired and will be utilised for further R&D projects.
The Husky vehicle-mounted mine detection system (VMMD), previously known as the Chubby system, was developed in the 1970s for the South African Defence Force to clear roads of mines in Namibia and Angola. The system comprises of two Husky vehicles: the first acts as a Mine Detection Vehicle (MDV) (previously a Meerkat). The second vehicle (a Husky) tows a mine-detonating trailer.
The South African Army uses the Meerkat while the Husky system is being used by Canada, the USA, UK, France, Australia, Angola, Kenya, Uganda, Spain and Turkey.