Turkey orders Husky mine detection vehicles


Turkey has become the most recent customer to order Husky mine detection vehicles, with DCD Protected Mobility about to deliver four to the country.

DCD Protected Mobility General Manager Andrew Mears said that Turkey had expressed interest in the company’s mine detection vehicles since 2004. However, when certain other defence deals with South Africa did not go through around this time, the Husky sale was halted as a result – for example in 2007, Turkey chose Agusta’s A129 Mangusta attack helicopter over Denel’s Rooivalk partly due to political hurdles.

Now, Turkey has placed an order, with three vehicles ready to be shipped and the last one on the production line. Mears said he hoped that all four vehicles would be ready to be shipped to Turkey next week.

He said the Turks would use the vehicle on their southeastern border with Syria, Iran and Iraq, where Kurdish rebels have until recently been fighting for autonomy.

Mears was confident that further orders would be forthcoming.

Turkey will receive the Husky 2G, a two-seat variant. The addition of a second on-board 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 the operational environment.

The Husky VMMD (Vehicle Mounted Mine Detector), 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 and Spain. More than 400 Huskies have been sold and as of January 2012, the Husky system had taken 7 000 hits in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, with no mine or improvised explosive device fatalities.

The US Army recognised the Husky vehicle design with an Innovation of the Year Award for 2010.