Deminers have a new tool to speed
up their work, and reduce casualties as well. It's a 26 ton armored bulldozer
(Minewolf), equipped with flails and cutting equipment that enables it to take
down trees up to six inches in diameter. This addresses a major problem where
vegetation has grown up in a minefield over a decade or more. This complicates
mine clearing considerably. The Minewolf
is 24 feet long and can also be operated by remote control (via a wireless link
of up to 1,000 meters). Depending on accessories, each Minewolf costs about a
million dollars. This means it is often cheaper to use locals recruited and
trained to clear mines. This despite the fact that a Minewolf can clear
15,000-30,000 square meters a day.
is currently used in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Jordan,
and Sudan, where the vehicle has cleared over 15 million square meters of
ground since the vehicle was introduced four years ago. The vehicle is
particularly useful for clearing dirt roads of mines.
Swiss/German firm that builds Minewolf (and two smaller models for more
specialized mine clearing), are building on tracked mine clearing vehicles that
first appeared during World War II. Military mine clearing is generally
accomplished by attaching accessories to tanks. Thus the need for a
non-military mine clearing vehicle like Minewolf.