DCD focuses on saving lives in route clearance


South Africa-based route clearance specialist DCD Protected Mobility (DCD PM) will showcase its market-leading range of landmine detection vehicles and mine-resistant personnel carriers at the African Aerospace and Defence Show near Pretoria from 14 to 18 September.

Part of the DCD Group, a major international heavy engineering and manufacturing force with roots over a century old, DCD PM’s products have been deployed in conflict and peacekeeping missions across the globe for more than three decades.

“The show is another great opportunity to demonstrate our offerings in the route clearance arena, highlighting not only our cutting-edge products and support services, but also the world-class expertise and capacity within the broader DCD Group,” said Cornelius Grundling, general manager of DCD PM. “With some 1 900 staff across the globe, the DCD Group ensures we have access to superior engineering expertise and facilities, with a strong research and development focus.”

Grundling said his company’s theme for the event was to “Focus on what matters by saving lives” – a mission made real by the long history of lives saved through the innovative design and high quality manufacturing standards of the Husky landmine detection range, and the Springbuck family of armoured personnel carriers (APCs).

“The Husky is known world-wide as a unique landmine detection vehicle – surviving hundreds of real-life blasts and capable of being quickly repaired in the field,” he said. “The vehicle is fitted with high sensitivity, low metal content detectors, and can now be equipped with ground penetrating radar (GPR).”

The MK III Husky, manned by a single operator, has also evolved to a two-operator version – the Husky 2G – for longer route clearance missions with additional sensors and mission equipment. This versatile sensor platform can detect, mark and interrogate land mines and IED threats, depending on the equipment fitted.

The metal detector and GPR sensor can detect a 3m wide path during route clearance; the vehicle can be fitted with a remote weapon station for protection against sniper attacks or ambushes.

“The fundamentals of assured mobility during route clearance operations are to predict, detect, prevent, avoid, neutralise, and protect,” said Grundling. “Anti-vehicle landmines and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks of up to 100 kg have successfully been countered by the Husky vehicles during operations.”

He said DCD PM and its US marketing and support partner Critical Solutions International (CSI) realised there was a need for a ‘safe stand-off’ or remote capability for route clearance – and this led to the development of the Husky Route Clearance Platform Autonomous Control Kit (RC-PACK). This has allowed the Husky vehicle to now be operated in either manned, tele-operational or autonomous mode, enhancing the Husky’s application even further to operate safely and defeat the number one threat to civilians and coalition forces – the IED.

“In the APC space, our family of Springbuck mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles has been well-received across the African continent,” said Grundling. “The units have been built with simplicity, crew comfort, protection and cost-effectiveness in mind – harnessing internationally available drive-line components for assured performance and parts availability.”

The Springbuck comes in a standard (SD) version, a heavy duty (HD) version and an extra duty (XD) version, with the performance, payload and protection increasing with each model.

“The quality of our products and our support services in the field have earned us customers across Africa – including Angola, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa – as well as further afield in countries like France, Spain and the United States,” he said. “In the US we have a long-standing partnership with Critical Solutions International (CSI), through which we market and support the Husky Mine Detection System.”

In addition to its Defence cluster, where DCD PM is located, the DCD Group also has divisions that focus on rail, marine, and mining and energy. With a strong export focus, every business in the group ensures compliance with necessary local and international standards related to quality, environmental management and occupational health and safety systems.