A British company this week revealed it is under contract to the US government to develop a simple vehicle based on civil technology which can clear land mines in parts of the world which cannot afford sophisticated technology.
Newcastle-based Pearson Engineering is developing a light steel-wheeled vehicle to which a variety of simple systems could be attached, allowing it to perform different anti-personnel mine clearance roles.
The vehicle is required to be strong enough to resist an anti-personnel mine. Blast trials have taken place in the UK and further tests are planned for January, along with UStrials of ancillary systems which could be fitted to the vehicle.
The specialist add-on systems are derived from agricultural machinery like cultivators, hedge cutters and stone/clod separators. Pearson’s Peter Renwick said the aim was to provide simple vehicles and machinery to civil personnel to clear minefields in high-risk areas.
Under the $800,000 (£490,000) contract Pearson will supply two vehicles and associated systems.