Deliberate use of counter-IED equipment can simultaneously save lives while mitigating threats. Applying the right equipment in the right environment increases the ability of clearance units to paint a clear picture of the threat, anticipate its evolution, and understand the enemy’s intent.
Critical Solutions International’s Husky, the world’s most blast survivable vehicle, is the ideal platform to configure for detection of subsurface threats. When outfitted with Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technology, the Husky becomes the only system capable of safely delivering both operator and sensor into high explosive threat areas, given the effectiveness of contemporary IEDs. Together, the two technologies form what the US and nearly all other militaries with mature clearance capability trust as their primary on-route detection asset.
The Impact of Ground Penetrating Radar on Route Clearance
Route clearance units encounter a wide range of IED emplacement evolutions, so determining how best to engage with each new find is shapedby a variety of contextual indicators. However, one consistent aspect of the contemporary IED is the signature of its primary charge.
Route clearance challenge:
IED makers and emplacers, hoping to elude detection technologies, continue to evolve their weapon’s most prominent signature: its primary charge. To reduce the effectiveness of conventional detection assets, emplacers regularly employ deep-buried, non-metallic primary charges.
The Husky solution:
While emplacers can leverage a range of materials and configurations of triggers, containers, and power sources in an attempt to throw off detection assets, most still employ large, on-route, subsurface primary charges. Forward-mounted Ground Penetrating Radar can detect subsurface anomalies regardless of their material composition, reducing the impact of non-metallic threats, and allowing the consolidation of non-visual indicators without the need for troops to classify potential threats on the route. Real-time 3-D subsurface visualization gives the operator a clear picture of the subsurface landscape forward of the patrol, keeping troops safe and at a distance in the event of an enemy triggered threat. Subsurface detections from a protected vehicle can quickly be marked for further classification and neutralization, decreasing time on target and reducing confusion during clearance task handoff.
GPR technology increases Husky operator confidence when clearing high threat areas. The integration of the GPR on the highly survivable Husky enables operators to focus completely on the employment of the sensor without distraction.
Paving the Way for Unmanned Route Clearance
The Husky/GPR combination has been deployed as the primary detection asset for clearance efforts around the world for close to a decade. This combined system will likely lead the way into future advanced route clearance strategies. CSI’s Chief Executive Officer Patrick Callahan said in a 2015 press release announcing an exclusive CSI/NIITEK global partnership, in regards to making the Husky GPR compatible:
“It makes sense to have our Huskies built GPR-ready as they come off the production line… As the [Department of Defense] moves forward with automation initiatives, the Husky with GPR will surely have a significant role to play in unmanned route and area clearance.”