South Africa’s locally produced Husky 2G Vehicle Mounted Mine Detector (VMMD) has been identified as one of the top 10 most significant military inventions by the US army, confirming that South Africa’s engineering rates high among the best in the world.
The latest statement was made in Washington DC at the annual meeting of the Association of the US Army.
A ceremony performed during the meeting honoured military inventions that have enhanced the lives of soldiers throughout the world.
Scott Fish, US army chief scientist, praised the inventions along with the brains behind them by saying: “They are all driven by a profound desire to make things better and are not satisfied with a concept of utopia. They go beyond that: they create something real and they make it happen now.”
Fish likened the inventions to Apple products for their simplicity and ease of use, paying respect to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who recently passed away.
Speaking to delegates at the ceremony, Heidi Shyu, acting assistant secretary of the US army, said: “Anything you do to innovate and assist our soldiers is incredibly appreciated by the folks who are deployed. I am extremely impressed. We appreciate what you do for our soldiers.”
Unique detection system
The VMMD was built and developed by DCD-Dorbyl‘s Rolling Stock and Defence Division.
The two-seater vehicle is utilized to detect and clear the field of mines in advance of army and civilian personnel move in.
The Husky 2G is a by-product of the single-seater Husky Mark III, which has been used in combat ever since the early 1980s. It has served to clear mines in the Balkans, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
According to DCD-Dorbyl’s defence division, the thing that makes the VMMD differentiate themselves from other mine-detection systems is its capability to successfully pass over pressure-fused anti-vehicle landmines without detonating them.
The machine is so durable that in the eventuality of a mine being detonated, any damage is generally fixed inside of two hours.
Approximately 400 of these South African-made systems have already been employed across the world in combat conditions.
Top 10 winners
The nominations for the best inventions were submitted by veteran combat soldiers.
Along with the Husky 2G, they included: the 5.56mm M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round; 40mm Infrared Illuminant Cartridge; Green Eyes – Escalation of Force Kit Integration with the Crows System; Jackal Explosive Hazard Pre-Detonation System; M240L 7.62mm Lightweight Medium Machine Gun; mCare Project; Dismounted Mortar Fire Control System; RG-31 Robot Deployment System; and the Soldier Wearable Integrated Power Equipment System.
The Enhanced Performance Round is a customized form of bullet used by US forces in Afghanistan, that features a larger steel penetrator on its tip.
The Infrared Illuminant Cartridge makes it possible to keep track of enemy troops more effectively at night.
The Green Eyes technology interferes with an individual’s vision, making driving or aiming a weapon impossible.
The Lightweight Medium Machine Gun is a significantly less bulky derivative of the existing M240B machine gun.
Source: mediaclubsouthafrica.com, rsd.za.com