Vehicle Mounted Mine Detector (VMMD)
Interim Vehicle Mounted Mine Detector (IVMMD)
Meerkat Mine Detection Vehicle (MDV)
Husky Towing/Mine Detection Vehicle (T/MDV) / Mounted Detection System (HMDS)
GSTAMIDS Block 0 Mine Detection Vehicle (MDV)
The Vehicle Mounted Mine Dectector (VMMD) is a vehicle-mounted metallic mine detection system and is an improved variant of the previous Interim Vehicle Mounted Mine Detector (IVMMD). The IVMMD was intended to support contingency operations, and would provide the maneuver commander a partial Ground Standoff Minefield Detection System (GSTAMIDS) capability. The IVMMD is used to support route-clearance operations. Clearance operations ensure that LOC are safe for the passage of personnel and equipment. The IVMMD should not be used during hours of limited visibility, because it hampers the operator's ability to see surface-laid mines and visual signatures that indicate mining activities. The VMMD was to be used in a similar capacity.
The system's manufacturer was the Johannesburg, South Africa-based RSD, a division of Dorbyl Limited and was initially built for the South African National Defense Forces. Critical Solutions International Marketed the system in the United States. Both the VMMD and earlier IVMMD system consisted of mine, a detection vehicle, detonation trailers with prime mover and support packages. The difference between the two was in the mine-detection vehicles (MDV) and towing/mine-detection vehicles (T/MDV) used. A complete VMMD/IVMMD consisted of one mine-detection vehicle (MDV), one towing/mine-detection vehicle (T/MDV), 3 mine-detonation trailers, a spare-wheel module for the MDV, a spare-wheel module for the T/MDV, and a container of spare parts.
The IVMMD's lead MDV vehicle (known as Meerkat) was a single-occupant 2-wheel drive vehicle, and served as the primary mine detection vehicle. The Meerkat mine detection vehicle resembled an oversized, armored dune buggy. It featured a 3-meter-wide array, which uses both metal detection and ground penetrating radar sensors. If a blast were to occur, a v-shaped undercarriage directed the blast away from the vehicle, protecting the driver. The vehicle was designed to withstand the blast of an anti-tank mine, or 15 pounds of TNT.
The IVMMD's T/MDV trailer system (known as Husky) was a single occupant 4-wheel drive vehicle that served as the prime mover for the full width mine proofing/detonation trailers. It could also serve as an alternate detection vehicle.
Both vehicles were anti-tank mine overpass-capable, and featured "frangible" components that supported quick repair of the vehicle, within 2 hours of a mine blast. Both vehicles were blast protected against 15 pounds of TNT or equivalent. A teleoperation capability was put into development to remotely control the Meerkat to provide a stand-off distance to soldiers using the system to detect larger mines or during operations in an unknown mine threat environment.
The IVMMD MDV's only mission was to detect mines. It could negotiate vertical slopes up to a 20 percent grade. The MDV employed a 4-cylinder engine and a manual transmission to propel the 4.8-ton vehicle with a 3-meter-wide detection array. The detection array consisted of 2 separate induction coils (one for the left side and one for the right side) that detected magnetic fields below the vehicle. The detection array was suspended between the 2 axles of the vehicle. When the detector encountered a metallic object, the operator would be notified by an audible signal in the earphone and a visual signal on the dashboard that denoted which side array detected the object. The operator would then stop the vehicle, back it up, and reencounter the metallic object. The MDV had 2 detection modes. The locate mode was used to identify the metal object and the pinpoint mode was used to find the center of the object. When the operator encountered the strongest signal, they would activates the marking system, deploying a water-based ink onto the roadway. The marking system consisted of a nozzle mounted on the rear frame and centered on each detection array.
The MDV was designed to produce very little ground pressure. However, it could detonate pressure-fused mines, depending on their fuse sensitivity. The MDV produced 27.9 pounds per square inch (psi) of ground pressure when the tires weare inflated to 14.5 psi and 21.8 psi of ground pressure when the tires were inflated to 8.7 psi.
The IVMMD T/MDV had a 6-cylinder engine and the same detection and marking system as the MDV. The T/MDV produced 49.8 psi of ground pressure when the tires were inflated to 29 psi and 23.4 psi of ground pressure when the tires were inflated to 8.7 psi. The T/MDV towed 3 mine-detonation trailers, and the recommended maximum operating speed while towing the trailers was 20 kilometers/hour. The T/MDV with trailers could negotiate vertical slopes up to a 20 percent grade. However, going down such slopes was difficult. The T/MDV had to be in first gear, and the trailer brakes had to be deployed to decrease the speed of the vehicle when going down a slope.
The mine-detonation trailers were very heavy and specifically designed to apply heavy ground pressure that would initiate pressure-activated mines. Each trailer had 2 axles of different lengths so that the 3 trailers provided a full 3-meter-wide proofing capability behind the T/MDV. If a mine detonates underneath the trailers, the wheel bolts were designed to sheer so that repair was limited to replacing a single wheel.
In the improved VMMD system, the Meerkat and Husky (later referred to as Husky Mk I) vehicles were replaced with 2 Husky Mk II vehicles, one acting as the lead vehicle and the other towing the trailer system. The other components otherwise remained largely the same as those present in the IVMMD system. The MDV and T/MDVin the VMMD consisted of the same base vehicle, they could be used interchangeably.
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