Dsei Magazine 2015 – Armtrac’s New Demining Robot 20T

Dsei Magazine 2015 – Armtrac’s New Demining Robot 20T

Offering the complete land and route clearance toolbox, ARMTRAC LIMITED has built up an impressive reputation for designing and manufacturing high quality armoured mechanical demining robot machines to clear areas contaminated by landmines and other Unexploded Ordnance (UXO), as well as providing a means of Technical Survey in Land Release.

Stephen Brown, the founder and Managing Director of Armtrac Limited has been involved in the design, manufacture and operation of mine clearing machines for over 20 years; having overseen successful mine and UXO clearing operations in many different parts of the world, Stephen has also worked alongside the Mechanical Mine Action Committee of the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD).

Last year the company launched the Armtrac 20T Robot, a multi-function, general purpose Small (Heavy) Unmanned Ground Vehicle designed to undertake high risk operations in hazardous environments, including the removal and clearance of Explosive Ordnance (EO) and Search and Rescue oerations.

Benefiting from low running maintenance and replacement costs, this innovative Robot is a tracked UGV providing low ground pressure and excellent manouvrability in challenging terrain including 45 degree slopes.

Describing the Armtrac 20T, the company's Marketing & Business Development Consultant Robin Swanson went on to say:

"The Armtrac 20T is a highly efficient, versatile and robust Robot which is considerably smaller than all our other machines, and as such, is designed to operate in rural areas contaminated with complex EO threats including landmines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), particularly in confined areas where our larger machines cannot access."

"It can be fitted with a conventional X-Ray Detection system or sophisticated Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and when fitted, this revolutionary Robot offers a faster and safer way of providing a real-time search and detect function for both surface and buried explosive threats. The Armtrac 20T can also be fitted with a Disruptor or De-Armer giving it the capability to neutralise EO threats."

"When the flail or tiller attachment is operated in front of the Armtrac 20T, it provides a level of confidence to Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel that any booby traps have been initiated. When trialled by the Colombian military in July 2014, the Armtrac 20T rapidly removed the cocaine plants where booby traps are traditionally hidden to allow follow-on EOD personnel to confirm clearance of any remaining hazards. The flail head was also tested against 2Kg of high explosive with no damage."

"Although designed primarily to combat anti-personnel threats, when fitted with a mine comb, the Armtrac 20T can extract buried anti-vehicle mines to the surface for subsequent removal and disposal. This Robot is ideal for Technical Survey to establish where the mine rows are located or gather a range of other intelligence data on IEDs or UXO using the rear mounted excavator with manipulator or grapple. In short, Armtrac equipment will perform a multitude of different engineering roles over and above its primary function; a USP of the company."

Its' current configuration consists of a robust vehicle platform, to which is fitted a rear mounted excavator arm. This robotic arm can have a standard digging bucket or a grappler/manipulator fitted for the investigation and confirmation of suspect devices. A flail/tiller, mine comb or conventional front loading bucet can be fitted on the front of the vehicle for the clearance of landmines, booby traps and IEDs. Powered by 40 HP diesel engine, it can travel at 7 KPH for several hours, and can also have a GPS system on board for the recording of the UGV's location.

As a universal platform, the Armtrac 20T can be configured for any number of operational requirements in the counter mine or IED environment. With its' live video feed using CCTV, remote long range surveillance up to 1Km and flexible investigation and removal tools, employments is possible. This all makes it a powerful and 'value for money' option that can be easily transported by helicopter or on a general purpose trailer towed by a standard 4 x 4, to rapidly deploy for technical survey, clear explosive threats, update threat assessments or assist search and rescue.

Robin added: "Our engineering team has many years' experience of manufacturing and using EO clearance machines. Because we have an ongoing reseach and development programme, we are flexible enough to design for customers' bespoke requirements."

Therefore, it comes as no surprie to learn that Armtrac machines are currently being used all over the world from the Middle East to the Falkland Islands. Armtrac has just won a major contract with the French MOD for up to 20 Armtrac 75Ts over 4 years and has another major contract with Egypt this year for several machines.

For Armtrac, after-sales service is not an 'after-thought', because the company's highly experienced team is always available to support the Armtrac product. By encouraging feedback from customers about its machines, equipment and support mechanisms, it aims to provide a truly customer-focused service on a worldwide scale.

Armtrac is audited and certified to ISO 9001:2008. The key to securing this quality standard is the company philosophy to carry out audits of its' quality system and conduct reviews to identify ways to ensure the system is working efficiently and effectively.

Concluding Robin went on to say: "Armtrac has been successfully trading in large mechanical demining equipment for over 14 years and has developed a reputation of building quality, trusted, safe and value for money equipment. As the newest addition to the Armtrac range and, with diversity in mind, the Armtrac 20T promises to revolutionise our approach to hazardous operations in worldwide conflict. it will provide a robust, reliable, versatile and cost efficient option to reduce the threat of EO during military operations and during the post-conflict clear up period.

If you would like to view the original document, go to page 17 of Dsei magazine