DCD Protected Mobility demonstrated its products by detonating landmines under three of its vehicles, before a live audience.
DCD Protected Mobility has demonstrated its products in the toughest way possible, by detonating landmines under three of its vehicles before a live audience of military attaches and other dignitaries at the Paardefontein test range.
The demonstration, on 10 July, saw Husky and Springbuck vehicles subjected to mine blasts, with the Husky Mk III being able to drive away right after the detonation, and the Springbuck HD needing less than two hours of repairs before it was up and running.
A Springbuck SD fitted with steel wheels was also driven over a minefield and, in the process, detonated 10 anti-personnel mines, all while carrying several volunteers from the military attaché community who were there to witness the company’s demonstration. An anti-tank mine was also detonated under an old sedan vehicle for comparison, completely destroying the vehicle.
DCD also showed attendees how quickly it takes to assemble a Husky 2G mine detection vehicle, with the vehicle reassembled by four mechanics in less than an hour. The containerisation and packaging of the Husky 2G in 6m (20ft) ISO shipping containers was displayed as well as a mobile workshop called the “Blue Pack” for second line level of repairs and a “Red Pack” for first line level of repairs.
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. The vehicle can be fitted with a wide variety of sensors and optional extras, including cameras, mine roller system, cyclone blower, remote weapons station, 360-degree camera system, gunshot detection system and RPG protection nets.
In addition to the Husky, DCD Protected Mobility produces its Springbuck family of armoured personnel carriers. The Springbuck range was recently expanded to include the standard (SD), heavy duty (HD) and extra duty (XD) versions. DCD Protected Mobility said the Springbuck ballistic and landmine protected vehicle was built with simplicity, comfort, protection and cost-effectiveness in mind and was geared specifically towards the African market. It can be adapted to suit various applications. Payload varies between 1 500kg and 2 500kg for the different variants.
DCD has sold 1 500 vehicles to over a dozen countries, with the biggest customer being the United States army. DCD’s vehicles have survived 7 500 landmine and IED hits with no fatalities. This includes a Husky surviving a 100kg blast in Turkey.
Cornelius Grundling, GM of DCD Protected Mobility, said: “We see ourselves as leaders in special purpose tactical vehicles,” with a big need for armoured vehicles, as the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) is on the increase in East, West and North Africa. In the last 12 months, 1 000 IED incidents were recorded, resulting in about 6 000 casualties across Africa.
DCD continues to sell its Springbuck armoured personnel carriers as well as the Husky route clearance vehicle and, before the end of the year, hopes to add more customer nations to its order book. It recently delivered the first Springbuck HD vehicles to a customer in Africa. DCD continues to receive orders from the US for Husky vehicles, which are supplied to foreign military sales (FMS) customers. In 2017 it was awarded a large sole-source FMS contract for more than 20 Husky 2G vehicles in partnership with Critical Solutions International. The vehicles will ultimately be delivered to Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
DCD has expanded its client base over the last few years to include Congo-Brazzaville, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Burundi. These join established customers which include South Africa, France, Canada, Australia, Kenya, the United Kingdom, Uganda, Turkey, Spain, Iraq, South Sudan, Nigeria and Tanzania.
The next focus area for DCD is logistics, and it is in the research and development phase of 4×4 and 6×6 logistics variants of its Springbuck HD vehicle, which will share a common drive-line and other components for reduced cost. The company hopes to supply the new logistics range to entities like the South African Army, United Nations, African Union and Southern African Development Community (SADC). As with DCD’s other armoured vehicles, the aim is to provide cost-effective vehicles designed for the African market.
DCD’s new Springbuck Border Patrol (BP) vehicle 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 500kg payload. The vehicle will be powered by a 6.1 litre MWM turbodiesel engine delivering 194hp and giving a top speed of 110km/h. With a curb weight of 7 500kg, two Springbuck BPs will be able to fit inside a C-130 Hercules.
DCD said due to the operational exposure and experience of its products, the company and its engineers have an excellent understanding of mobility, firepower and protection to satisfy the user’s requirements and deliver a well-balanced product.
Although the focus during the Paardefontein demonstration day was on protection and DCD’s capabilities, some of the company’s partners and suppliers also took part in the demonstration. These included Bullet-Proofing Technology SA (vehicle armour), Jascom (radios), ECM Technologies (bomb disposal equipment), GEW Technologies (IED jammers), Walog (technical manuals), GAC Laser (logistics) and Global Wheel/Tyron (rims and runflat inserts).