The below is from CSI – Critical Solutions International
To date the U.S. Army has acquired in excess of 250 Vehicle Mounted Mine Detection (VMMD) Systems (in excess of 500 vehicles) and is in the process of purchasing additional systems to support Coalition Forces Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now the USMC and the Canadian National Department of Defense have also purchased these systems to support their forces deployed in Afghanistan.
More significantly the U.S. Army has taken a decision to establish Route Clearance Companies within its Force Structure, and the Vehicle Mounted Mine Detection (VMMD), as it will now be known, has been chosen to equip these companies as part of the Regular U.S. Army Inventory through a Program of Record acquisition. This is a strong acknowledgement of the excellent engineering capabilities of RSD and CSI, their commitment to technological innovation, and their ability to find practical solutions to real world problems.
This system, originally and still affectionately known as the Chubby System around the world, is a commercial product, suitable for use in harsh terrain, allowing for fast and efficient route clearance, creating safe passage for military and civilian personnel and vehicles. What makes the VMMD unique compared to other mine detection systems is its ability to pass over pressure fused anti-vehicle landmines without detonating them. In the event of a detonation, the components have been engineered in a unique modular configuration, and break apart in a predictable fashion. This facilitates fast in field repairs, and any damage sustained by the system can usually be repaired in the field, subject to the availability of parts. This increases the uptime and durability of the system.
The systems in service worldwide have been collectively subjected to more than 4000 Landmine, Improvised Explosive Device (IED) or Explosive Formed Penetrator (EFP) strikes. The “Husky” Vehicle is a blast survivable, overpass capable, field repairable, mine detector that has been combat-proven in various conflict situations around the world since the early 1980’s. Ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have expanded the system’s role beyond detecting and marking landmines to include IEDs and EFPs as well. The challenges faced in these theatres of operations have resulted in developments that have markedly increased the system’s versatility.
The VMMD system comprises two Husky Vehicles; one can act as a Mine Detection Vehicle (MDV), while the second can fulfill the role of a Towing/Mine Detection Vehicle (T/MDV) which tows the set of three “Duisendpoot” Mine Detonation Trailers (MDT’s). Alternatively, both Husky Vehicles can be operated in tandem as MDVs or T/MDVs.The system comes complete with one set of Spare Wheel Modules, which includes tools and other spare parts grouped together in a kit known as a Redpack.
In a classical route-clearance operation, the MDV sweeps the route ahead of the T/MDV towing the MDTs, traveling between 15 and 50 km/h, depending on the nature of the terrain. Integral Pulse Induction Metal Detectors signal the presence of a landmine (even with low metal content) or IED/EFP as the vehicle drives over its location.
Upon detection of a suspected target, the MDV is reversed to pinpoint and mark the location of the signal. The vehicle then drives forward to clear the way for the mine disposal team to investigate the source of the signal, and to clear the detected landmines or IEDs/EFPs.
The T/MDV-MDT combination, equipped with the same detection and marking equipment as the MDV, follows behind it, and acts as a proofing system. Plastic pressure fused landmines that are unable to be detected by the vehicle’s sensors, are exploded by the trailing MDT module, which covers a 3.3 meter path.
In the event that the MDT detonates a landmine, the trailers can be released pneumatically from the cab of the T/MDV, which drives clear of the blast area to allow the back-up crews to check for other devices, and affect repairs to the damaged trailer.