Turkey receives Husky mine detection vehicles


Turkey’s military has taken delivery of four Husky mine detection vehicles from DCD Protected Mobility. The two-seat vehicles were shipped to Turkey a month ago and will replace manual mine detection systems.

A number of Turkey’s borders are mined, notably those with Syria, Iraq and Iran. The vehicles will be used primarily in areas where Kurdish rebels have been fighting for autonomy. Turkey’s military also uses remote-controlled mine detection systems from Turkish company Aselsan, reports Defense News.

Turkey has received the two-seat Husky 2G. 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.

DCD Protected Mobility General Manager Andrew Mears said in late June 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 that the Husky deal has gone through, Mears is confident that further orders will be forthcoming.