The Iraqi Ministry of Defence has purchased Husky 2G route clearance vehicles from DCD Protected Mobility in a deal worth more than R200 million, DCD has announced.
DCD Protected Mobility told defenceWeb that the contract will be completed by the end of March this year. It was awarded to Critical Solutions International (CSI), DCD Protected Mobility’s marketing partner responsible for selling, distributing and supporting DCD’s product worldwide.
“This procurement represents a critical enhancement of Iraq’s route clearance mission and its ability to maintain freedom of manoeuvre and oppose ISIS and other forces within Iraq,” said Andrew Mears, DCD Protected Mobility Business Executive: Defence. “We are honoured to have been awarded this contract and are looking forward to working with the Iraqi Ministry of Defence to fully support this programme and any future requirements. The Iraqi government has determined that the Husky 2G is essential to defeating IED and mine threats and represents a noteworthy investment in saving lives and enhancing the capability of this significant new customer, the Iraqi military.”
Over the past decade, the Husky family of vehicles has saved countless lives around the globe. Responding to the need for longer mission duration and enhanced detection capability, the Husky 2G two-operator variant was originally developed and delivered to the US Army. The addition of a second operator allows the Husky driver to focus on vehicle control and situational awareness, while the second operator monitors and analyses the advanced sensor systems and operational environment. The US Army recognised this life-saving vehicle design with an Innovation of the Year Award for 2010.
The Husky 2G is equipped with the NIITEK MMDS Ground Penetrating Radar and the FASCAN interrogation arm used to interrogate suspected mines and IEDs. It is also equipped with the TORC Robotics 360 Situational Awareness camera system and QinetiQ North Americas QNET, which provides the vehicle with lightweight protection from rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). The upgraded Husky 2G features additional power and has the capability for future integration of additional sensors and enhancements, according to DCD.
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. The Husky system had taken 7 000 hits in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, with no mine or improvised explosive device fatalities.