Australian soldiers to receive additional protection against IEDs

13 September 2011 (Last Updated September 13th, 2011 18:30)

Australian Army engineers operating in Afghanistan will receive two Canadian systems for additional protection against improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Defence Materiel Minister Jason Clare said that the additional equipment would be provided by Cana

Australian Army engineers operating in Afghanistan will receive two Canadian systems for additional protection against improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Defence Materiel Minister Jason Clare said that the additional equipment would be provided by Canada on a loan basis for around 12 months from 2012.

The two systems include two Husky protected mobility vehicles fitted with ground penetrating radar (GPR) and one Buffalo mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle fitted with an interrogation arm and mast mounted Gyrocam camera.

The vehicles will be used to detect explosive hazards threats, mines and IEDs from within an armoured vehicle.

The interrogation arm allows the troops to remotely confirm an IED while the Gyrocam camera with thermal imagery capability and zoom helps to detect IED indicators from a distance.

The Australian Government also has plans to acquire a permanent system to protect its troops from IED threats.

The systems will become available after the draw down of Canadian Forces, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.