Armor: Minewolf Fights The Good Fight


June 4,2008: 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.

Minewolf 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.

The 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.


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