Mechanical Demining

Fiat Allis FL5B armored shovel and backhoe Afghanistan
RAPTOR - armored tractor with Rotary Mine Comb, Herat
Terex front-end loader equipped with a gill bucket system conducting mineclearance for AT mines in Somaliland
A loader works with an Orbit Screener in Mozambique
Hitchi excavator clearing irrigation ditch of ordnance, Georgia

HALO uses machines to improve the efficiency of the demining process where manual deminers are slowed down by obstacles like thick vegetation, compact soil, collapsed buildings, trenches, metal contamination from fighting or household refuse.

HALO has 206 mechanical assets working on programs around the world in a variety of roles ranging from ground preparation (for example vegetation cutting or cultivating) through area reduction using rollers to full clearance using excavators, loaders and screeners. HALO has developed processes to enable us to use machines to clear both anti-personnel and anti-tank minefields.

Most HALO mechanical units are not specially built for demining, but are instead simply adapted and armored civil engineering or agricultural machinery. These have a far lower purchase price, are easily maintained abroad and national staff operators are readily available. HALO has trialed ground engaging flails but finds the combination of purchase price and wear and tear on the components uneconomical; and it is now generally accepted that flails will not destroy all mines so some form of follow up is still required.

While the machines themselves tend to be “off the shelf” purchases, HALO is at the forefront of adapting them and conceptualizing and developing standard operating procedures for their use in demining applications. Our expertise in this field has been noted by the US Department of Defense who now have HALO as a key research and development partner for their humanitarian demining wing.

HALO gives high importance to operator training and the maintenance of strict servicing schedules to ensure the longevity of expensive mechanical assets.