Armtrac wins French MOD Contract to clear mined areas remotely

Armtrac wins French MOD Contract to clear mined areas remotely

This is the first issue of the Armtrac Ltd Newsletter in 2015 which will cover some activities in 2014 as well.

The Company focus during 2014 was directed at sales and training for Egypt and business consolidation and expansion. Plans have been made to expand the Factory working space on the western and northern sections in order to undertake larger manufacturing contracts. The Right Honorable Sir James Paice MP visited Armtrac in Burwell on 10th April 2014 accompanied by Local Councillors, Press and the BBC. The BBC article can be seen at https://www.live.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-26977229 . The All Party Parliamentary Group on Landmines and Unexploded Weapons of Conflict were also briefed about Armtrac products in Parliament.

Armtrac wins French MOD Contract to clear mined areas remotely

Following the issue of a tender by the French Ministry of Defence in 2012 for a mechanical Zone De-pollution System (SDZ) to clear mined areas remotely, a 20 Million Euro contract was finally awarded to CEFA (French Prime Contractor) in December 2014 with Armtrac Ltd (a UK Small/Medium Enterprise (SME) and ECA (a French SME) providing the key manufacturing components to meet the operational requirements.

Each SDZ comprises two UGVs and a suite of demining and engineering toolkits. The first tranche to be supplied by 2017 consists of 3 SDZ & 3 sets of toolkits and this is potentially followed by two conditional tranches of 4 and 3 SDZ & toolkits respectively; a total of 20 machines.
Armtrac has many years of experience manufacturing and supplying mechanical equipment for the clearance of Explosive Ordnance (EO) to the humanitarian demining community worldwide and brings a very versatile mechanical solution to the French MOD with its Armtrac 75T; it is a powerful, tracked, medium category Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) which is flexible enough to undertake heavy engineering tasks as well as demining using multiple toolkits. The key engineering feature of all Armtrac tracked variants is the powerful, extendable boom arm which can reach out to inaccessible areas on slopes, in ditches, or on high buildings/mounds. This feature was one of the principal reasons for the French MOD decision to choose Armtrac. Regarding the other companies involved in the contract:
- CEFA is an experienced, recognized French defence contractor specialising in design, manufacturing and maintenance of engineering equipment.
- ECA has many years of robotic experience and supplies EOD robots worldwide including to the French MOD.

RECENTLY LAUNCHED ARMTRAC 20T ROBOT

The Armtrac 20T Robot is the newest and smallest of Armtrac’s products to combat conventional and improvised threats. It is a remote controlled Small (Heavy) Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) designed to undertake both C-IED clearance operations and conventional clearance/ investigation of EO contaminated land. This robust and flexible robot is fitted with a water cooled 40 HP diesel engine that has a forward and reverse speed of 7 KPH and can operate for several hours without refuelling. It can therefore support lengthy surveillance and C-IED operations in border control incidents, on route clearance and during investigations of suspect ordnance in high threat areas.

Features

The Armtrac 20T provides a versatile and robust platform to defeat the device using a range of different hydraulically operated toolkits which can be changed rapidly using quick hitch couplings. These include:

  • 1.5 m wide Flail to clear EO (to 20 cm)
  • Rear Excavator lifting 190 Kg (at 50% reach) can be fitted with;
    - Disruptor/De-armer and/or
    - Manipulator, Grapple or Bucket
  • Ground Probing Radar (GPR) or other novel detection equipment
  • Portable X-Ray Equipment
  • Front Loader to lift or remove EO (up to 1300 Kg)
  • Rotary Mine Comb to extract buried EO to 20 cm

Benefits

This Robot is a multi-role platform. It exceeds the capabilities of most small battery powered UGVs because it offers

  • Both conventional & improvised device clearance options for surface and sub-surface EO threats
  • A comprehensive investigation platform for heavier surface and sub-surface EO
  • A more powerful platform to push, pull or lift substantially sized EO to a safe location
  • Longevity of operation in complex situations
  • A robust remote platform for light engineering and detection support in high threat environments
  • The ability to operate in challenging & steep terrain

ARMTRAC BECOMES THE PRIME SUPPLIER FOR EGYPT MAP WITH NEW CONTRACT IN 2015

Following trials of the Armtrac 400 in Egypt during 2011 involving over 100 live anti-tank mines (see photo below), the Egyptian Government purchased its first Armtrac 400 in 2012. Further negotiations secured a signature for a second contract with the Egyptian Ambassador in their London Embassy on 17th April 2013 for a further Armtrac 400 which was delivered the same year.

The Mine Action Programme (MAP) in Egypt has just purchased a further Armtrac 75T – 230. We are close to a further contract that will bring the Egyptian Armtrac fleet to a total of 6 machines which will help achieve the humanitarian objectives of the project to reduce human casualties; in addition the land released will be used for agriculture and allow access to valuable oil & gas reserves.

The Mine Action Programme (MAP) in Egypt has just purchased a further Armtrac 75T – 230. We are close to a further contract that will bring the Egyptian Armtrac fleet to a total of 6 machines which will help achieve the humanitarian objectives of the project to reduce human casualties; in addition the land released will be used for agriculture and allow access to valuable oil & gas reserves.

ARMTRAC 20T ON TRIALS IN COLOMBIA

Armtrac Ltd has recently trialled their new Robot 20T with Military Forces in Colombia. The 10 day trial in Colombia in July 2014 entailed testing the Robot’s ability to remove the tough cocaine vegetation using a Flail in order to reduce the threat from booby traps for follow-on Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel. The trial also included testing its ability to sustain high explosive events up to 2 Kg (see photo left) underneath the Robot’s Flail Header. The Colombian Authorities accepted that the trials had been a success and are now evaluating their options to purchase Robots this year.

ARMTRAC 20T IN THE FALKLAND ISLANDS

The Armtrac 20T has been employed in the Falkland Islands {with BACTEC International Ltd] to conduct Technical Survey to confirm and define the location of the precise hazardous areas within the minefield perimeters.

But also it has provided mechanical assistance to prepare the ground by vegetation cutting and loosening the very tough roots within the peat soil. This has allowed the manual deminers, who are restricted to excavation techniques due to the minimum metal mines, to follow on more quickly. The Armtrac 20T has been a great success particularly because it has a lower ground bearing pressure on the very soft terrain compared to larger mechanical equipment. Weighing just over one ton, recovery of the Robot has been relatively simple when ground conditions have worsened following heavy rainfall.

View the original document here: Armtrac Newsletter April 2015 - Issue 1