Hailed by the US Army for "demonstrating significant impact to army capabilities, potential benefits outside the army and inventiveness", the South African made Husky 2G VMMD (vehicle mounted mine detector) has received one of the highest accolades in the military world and has been crowned as the US Army’s Greatest Invention for 2011.
The award, bestowed in Washington DC in mid-October, is particularly prestigious, considering that nominations were submitted from within a broad research and development community. These included the US Army space and missile defence command, army corps of engineers, US Army medical research and materiel command, US Army research institute, US Army research, development and engineering command and army material command.
The vehicle is a unique two-seater landmine detection unit that is blast-survivable, overpass-capable and field-reparable. This exceptional vehicle is a derivative of the single occupant Husky that has been combat proven in conflict situations around the world since the early 1980s.
The Husky two-seater variant allows for a second person to be placed in the vehicle. This two-seater VMMD responds to the warfighter’s immediate need to mitigate the risks of task overload on a single Husky operator, increases the Route Clearance Package’s (RCP) ability to find and neutralise improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, and provides direct fire capability for the lead vehicle of the RCP.
The vehicle’s kit allows for the platform to be transported with air assets in a roll-on-roll-off configuration, increasing the readiness level and, at the same time, decreasing the logistical footprint and costs of maintaining the equipment in the theatre of operations.
The Prototype Integration Facility (PIF) of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Organisation (JIEDDO) has integrated ground-penetrating radar, a remote weapon station and various other devices onto this innovative multi-purpose sensor platform, considered to be the safest in the world.
The US Army’s Greatest Inventions awards have been described as the "Soldiers’ Choice awards". A panel of non-commissioned officers with recent combat experience as well as hands-on, practical experience, in addition to a panel of Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) field grade officers judged the nominations and voted for what they considered to be the most innovative, in-use advances in army technology for the past year. This selection process reflects the voice of soldiers and gives an insight into future army equipment.
The awards were presented by General Ann E Dunwoody, Army Materiel Command commanding general, during the Association of the US Army annual meeting. The US Army Materiel Command originated the annual army-wide awards programme in 2003 to recognise the army’s latest inventions in science and technology, which demonstrate a significant impact to army capabilities, potential benefits outside the army and overall inventiveness.
Since its inception in 1911, the RSD (the Rolling Stock and Defence division of DCD-DORBYL) has established itself as a fully accredited, socially responsible, international systems house, providing sustainable products and solutions for the defence and transport sectors by developing intellectual property in partnership with governments, customers, suppliers and communities.
Together with International Partners, US based corporation Critical Solutions International, we have been a consistent and reliable resource to the US Government and other international customers for the successful acquisition, testing, development and production of mine detection vehicles and systems.