Monday, May 05, 2008

More minesweepers (Buffaloes, Cougars and Huskies) planned for Afstan

Since we'll be there for some time to come, let's hope the government does the right thing. But the Navy must be really ticked off at the Army's intrusion on their turf, as it were (see the KINGSTON class here)--love those Globe and Mail headline writers, must not realize Afstan is land-locked:
Army looks to buy minesweepers for Afghanistan: report

National Defence is looking to buy more specialized armoured vehicles to detect roadside bombs, the biggest scourge facing troops in Afghanistan, The Canadian Press has learned.

The army is drawing up a proposal to purchase as many as 30 vehicles for both overseas and training duty, say senior Defence sources in Ottawa.

“Commander CEFCOM (Canadian Expeditionary Force) is asking for greater capacity,” said a source who has seen the planning. “We're interested in buying larger numbers so we have more deployable sets.”

The Expedient Route Opening Capability system — known by its acronym EROC — involves three vehicles working in tandem to sweep roadways before the arrival of combat or supply convoys.

The Defence sources, who spoke on the condition of not being named, said last week that the proposal involves buying 10 more EROC sets some time in the near future.

The Canadian army already has five sets — or 15 trucks in total — that were purchased from the U.S. Marine Corps last spring [actually the Huskies were bought from the US Army-see end here]. It will not say how many of them are deployed in Afghanistan.

The plan for additional mine clearance vehicles is being drawn up by the army's land staff division, but has yet to be approved by the Conservative government.

“We haven't gone to government to ask permission yet, but it's one of those things we're going to have to do,” the source said.

The purchase is expected to run in the range of $60-million...

The Defence sources in Ottawa acknowledge the vehicles in theatre have been beaten up, but are continuing to prove their worth every day.

“They've taken a pounding, but they're designed to go out and take a pounding and clear routes and not have the LAV targeted — or so other less protected vehicles,” the Defence source said.

In road clearance operations, three different vehicles — the Husky, the Buffalo and the Cougar — work as a team to uncover mines and booby traps buried in dirt roads or tunnelled in beside paved highways.

The Husky, which looks like a souped-up road grader, uses metal detectors to stop the often home-made weapons and can even X-ray the ground once it's detected something. After marking the location, the Buffalo moves into place with a digging arm to remove — or detonate — the threat, while the Cougar acts as a command vehicle.
More on Buffaloes and Cougars here and on the Husky here. Plus a a Buffalo road test and a US Marine's review of their version of the Cougar.

Update: Defence of the Realm weighs in from a British perspective (h/t to Fred in "Comments"); we're working on JPADS too.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's getting noticed in the UK.

May 5th entry

5:40 p.m., May 05, 2008  
Blogger Minicapt said...


10:12 p.m., May 05, 2008  

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