Support: August 7, 2000

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: The Australian Army has purchased three Chubby mineclearing systems from South Africa. The Chubby system consists of several vehicles, which operate as a convoy; each system costs about $1 million. Each convoy consists of six vehicles: Meerkat Mine Detection Vehicle: This vehicle is wheeled, and has an armored V-shaped bottom to deflect mine explosions. It mounts a self-nulling pulse induction mine detector that covers the entire road. The driver and operator ride in central armored boxes. If the vehicle actually detonates a mine, the wheel subassemblies are designed to be quickly replaced. Husky: A version of Meerkat with a heavier engine. It can do everything Meerkat can do, plus tow the heavy Mine Detonation Trailer. Mine Detonation Trailers (Huskey can pull two of them) are ballasted with rocks or dirt and have huge tires. They are designed to detonate mines by contact and then be easily repaired. A command vehicle controls the convoy, while a support vehicle follows with spare wheel assemblies and the mechanics to install them. The US Army has bought ten Chubby systems for testing and is working with the South Africans to develop a remotely-controlled version.-- Stephen V Cole

 


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