Militaries eye second-generation Husky mine-detection vehicles


More than 1 500 Husky VMMDs are operational on five continents, most in service with the US Army and NATO forces.

DCD Protected Mobility (PM) and its partners in July 2018 demonstrated to South Africa-based foreign military attachés its second-generation Husky 2G vehicle-mounted mine detection (VMMD) system, which continues to draw notable international interest.

Africa and the Middle East bear the brunt of improvised explosive device (IED) attacks, often the weapon of choice for extremist groups, and countries are still seeking effective counter-IED technologies. Estimates put IED casualties at about 6 000 across Africa in the past year.

According to Cornelius Grundling, DCD PM general manager, more than 1 500 Husky VMMDs are operational on five continents, most in service with the US Army and NATO forces. Since being provided to the US Department of Defense in 2001, in partnership with US-based Critical Solutions International (CSI), and fielded internationally thereafter, the Husky has experienced more than 7 500 landmine and IED hits without any blast-related operator fatalities, according to Grundling.

The Husky 2G offers blast protection up to STANAG 4569 level 4a and 4b (10kg), with the V-shaped hull protecting the crew and drive-line. The frangible design allows for the vehicle to be field-repaired to full mobility in two hours.

The US Army in April 2017 awarded CSI a long-term USD132 million contract for Husky 2G and its associated route clearance payloads, which has enabled states such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Latvia to acquire 21 vehicles. Another 20 vehicles were ordered through the US State Department’s Special Defence Acquisition Fund (SDAF).

The Husky forms part of a route clearance package (RCP) operation, which involves a convoy of vehicles. A pair of Husky 2G VMMDs at the head of the convoy detect along overlapping lanes, using pulse induction (PI) and ground penetrating radar (GPR) for real-time 3D subsurface visualisation. They are followed by another Husky equipped for stand-off interrogation, which are in turn followed by command-and-control, explosive ordnance disposal, and casualty evacuation vehicles.

First published here.