RSD, DCD DORBYL’s Rolling Stock and Defense Division, has secured a follow on order for the supply of an additional 118 Vehicle Mounted Mine Detection (VMMD) systems, also known as the Chubby System, to the United States Army. Further orders are anticipated from both the US Army and US Marine Corps during the course of 2011 and beyond.

The contract has been awarded through US-based company Critical Solutions International, CSI, who is RSD’s international partner. CSI has been a consistent resource to the US Army for the successful acquisition, testing, development and production of numerous mine detection vehicles and systems from South Africa through its partnerships with RSD.

The VMMDs ordered will supplement those already in use and deployed with the US Army and US Marine Corps, which have already saved thousands of US soldiers and civilian lives.

Production of the 118 VMDD systems will be undertaken in phases with the first units being delivered to the US Army in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The South African manufactured Husky forms the core of the VMMD and is a unique landmine detection vehicle that is blast-survivable, capable of over-passing pressure-fused landmines, and almost instantaneously reparable in the field due to the fact that it breaks apart in a predictable fashion in the event of a detonation. This construction is one of the differences between it and other landmine detection systems and MRAP vehicles.

This vehicle has been combat-proven in conflict situations in Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans and Asia since the early 1980s. In addition, it has successfully completed arduous and comprehensive testing conducted in South Africa and at the US Army’s Yuma Proving Grounds, Aberdeen Proving Grounds and the White Sands Missile Range.

Ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have expanded the Husky’s role beyond detecting and marking landmines. The Husky’s capabilities now include the detection of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and explosive formed penetrators (EFPs).

Another feature that differentiates the Husky from other mine detection systems is its ability to pass over pressure fused anti-vehicle landmines without detonating them.

In the event of a detonation, the vehicle components have been engineered in a unique modular configuration that will break apart in a predictable fashion. This feature facilitates fast in-field repairs, significantly increasing the uptime and system durability and at a lower cost than MRAP type vehicles.

The system clears a path 3m wide travelling at between 15km/hr and 50 km/hr, depending on the nature of the terrain. The VMMD systems in service worldwide have collectively been subjected to thousands of landmines, IED or EFP strikes.

More sophisticated high sensitivity, low metal content detectors, and alternative sensors like ground penetrating radar (GPR) have now been operationalised and are being fitted to the Husky along with other devices such as the cyclone blower and robotic arms.

Since its inception in 1911, South African company RSD has established itself as a fully accredited, socially responsible, international systems house providing sustainable products and solutions for the transport and defense sectors by developing intellectual property in partnerships with governments, customers, suppliers and communities.

RSD is also a leading supplier of locomotives, wagons, bogies and other related goods to the national railways, mining and industrial users throughout the local and international markets.