MineWolf Mine-Clearance Machine, Switzerland
The MineWolf armoured mine-clearance bulldozer.
MineWolf is a robust mine-clearance machine developed by Swiss-based mechanical demining technology and services provider MineWolf Systems. The armoured bulldozer is equipped with flails and cutters, which can uplift trees from about 6in, enabling demining in minefields with vegetation growth.
MineWolf can clear anti-tank (AT) mines and anti-personnel (AP) mines and has an average clearance performance ranging from 15,000m²/day to 25,000m²/day. The de-miner can be operated by a trained person or through a remote control from a range of 1,000m.
Around 40 units of MineWolf have been delivered to more than 15 countries, including Sudan, Lebanon, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Jordan and Afghanistan. The machine has been sold to Latin America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Clients include the German Army, the United Arab Emirates' Land Forces and the US Department of Defense.
In January 2010, MineWolf Systems displayed a medium version of the MineWolf vehicle in the Military Engineering Summit held in Europe. The MW330 de-miner is specifically designed for the US Army for clearance of land-mines and improvised explosive devices (IED) in Afghanistan and Iraq.
MineWolf mine-clearance machine development
The concept of MineWolf was developed in a collaboration between Germany-based AHWI and Safety Technology System, and Swiss-based RUAG Land Systems (RUAG).
The flagship model of MineWolf was developed in 2002 and successful tests were conducted in 2003 and 2004. The German Army conducted tests on the functional prototype MineWolf vehicle in Meppen and Koblenz test fields.
The MineWolf proved to be efficient on the inert AP and AT mines. Later a full-scale armoured vehicle was tested in a Swiss army tunnel to test the vehicle's protective features. The test found the mechanical power drive and tiller system to be robust under different ground conditions and also safe for the driver.
Further enhancements were made by MineWolf Systems to make the vehicle operational in desert conditions and remote areas. The MineWolf was introduced in 2004.
MineWolf Systems has its headquarters in Switzerland and does the engineering, manufacturing, quality assurance and final assembly in the factory in Stockach, Germany.
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MineWolf mission variants
MineWolf is produced in four different variants – MineWolf (MW370), Medium MineWolf (MW330), Mini MineWolf (MW240) and MineWolf Bagger.
The MineWolf (MW370) is used for clearing mines on large mine clearing projects ranging from 15,000m² to 30,000m² per day. With a DEUTZ diesel engine of 367hp, it has a maximum clearance capacity of 3,800m²/h.
The Medium MineWolf is an extension of MineWolf machine and is specifically designed to adopt and meet military requirements with high mobility and survivability in demining operations.
The Medium MineWolf has a DEUTZ 326hp diesel engine, clearance speed of 0.8 to 1.5km/h and maximum clearance capacity of 25,000m²/day. It has a detachable cabin and is operator and remote controllable. The attachments which can be made to the machine include forklift, robotic arm, bucket, sifter bucket and dozer shield.
The Mini MineWolf is a light remote controlled machine and is easily transportable, and used for deployments in remote areas for smaller tasks. It has a 240hp DEUTZ diesel engine and high mobility with maximum clearance capacity of 2,000m²/h.
The MineWolf Bagger is used to clear areas in difficult conditions and where manual demining is tedious and dangerous. It has a power pack and special tiller head made by MineWolf Systems and can be installed on a standard armoured excavator. The machine is powered by a 240hp IVECO diesel engine and has a maximum clearance capacity of 1,200m²/h.
MineWolf machine features / programme / design
The MineWolf machine has several advantages over the flail demining systems. The MineWolf has a powerful engine of 367hp with a direct working tool drive. The vehicle has tiller for fine and flail for rough demining operations. The tiller and flail have different depth control levels and can be used for multiple operations.
The machine can clear the AP and AT mines of up to 15kg TNT with a continuous ground penetration capacity of up to 35cm deep, including vegetation removal. The machine can break up mines and explosive parts that are not completely destroyed by flail.
The cabin of the driver has an optimal position for clear vision. MineWolf has an operator drive-control system to control operations and speed of the tiller and flail, penetration depth, vehicle speed and other technical equipment. It also has a remote controlled operation for a distance of up to 1,000m, and automatic flail and tiller depth control. It has an option of GPS engine for navigation.
The components of the vehicle are robustly designed with cooling modules to withstand different climatic and dust conditions. An array detection system is mounted on the back of the vehicle for quality control. The vehicle is also equipped with failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) for the machine and process. In addition, it has several safety features for machine and operator protection.
MineWolf can be equipped with a range of explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), QA and engineering tools for multi-purpose tasks. The MineWolf machines can be transported by standard means of road, sea and air for demining operations across the globe.
MineWolf de-miner machine safety
The design of MineWolf is based on a toolbox system with the option to interchange the tiller and flail depending on the tasks. The open tiller design of the machine is patented and effective because of its basket-type segment structure. The design reduces damage by dissipating mine blasts through the tiller. The flail on the machine is effective against heavy AT mines on the rocky grounds. The safety-glass is designed to protect against armour-piercing ammunition.
The MineWolf also has a fuel tank detonation-prevention system, automatic fire-suppression system, a biometric-tested cabin for the operator with a four-point safety belt and V-shaped armoured undercarriage. The machine also provides protection against dust, noise and high temperatures.
MineWolf orders and deliveries
In November 2009 the Angolan Government contracted RUAG for six MineWolf vehicles and deliveries began in January 2010.