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MineWolf Systems, a Swiss provider of mechanical mine-clearing vehicles, will be exhibiting at this year’s Eurosatory international defense exhibition in Paris June 11-15. It will be focusing on its MW240 Mini MineWolf, which is remote-controlled and features a robotic manipulator arm for dealing with improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
The company, which is based in Switzerland but manufactures its vehicles in Germany, offers three main products: the MineWolf, the Medium MineWolf, and the newest Mini MineWolf. All three have been used for demining operations across Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and South America by both military and humanitarian organizations.
The MW370 MineWolf is a 13.5 metric ton, 367hp tractor that can be fitted with either a tiller or a rotary flail attachment, depending on the terrain and the types of mines to be cleared. The tiller can penetrate up to 35cm (almost 14”) into the ground and clear both antipersonnel and antitank mines containing up to 15kg (33 lbs.) of explosives. It can conduct clearing operations even in the presence of dense vegetation. It features automatic depth control and can be used with GPS guidance, clearing up to 25,000 square meters a day. Given the nature of many mine threat environments, it is able to resist harsh, hot, dusty conditions. The unit can also be remotely controlled at distances of up to a kilometer with line of sight.
The MW330 Medium MineWolf is an adaptation of the base model specifically designed for military applications. It meets military specifications for survivability and mobility, and can be airlifted by a C-130 Hercules or packed into a standard 40’ shipping container. Much lighter, it weighs about 6.4 metric tons but still generates 326hp and like its big brother is capable of clearing up to 25,000 square meters per day. It accepts a variety of engineer and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) attachments and is armored with 8mm and 12mm of Hardox steel and 38mm armored glass, plus 10mm of Aramid fiber. It is also capable of remote control.
The newest member of the family, and the one to be featured at this year’s Eurosatory, is the MW240 Mini MineWolf. Weighing only 3.3 metric tons, the entire system can be fitted into a 20’ shipping container. The Mini MineWolf is a remote-control-only unit, eliminating the need for an armored cabin to protect the operator. (The unit still employs 4mm, 5mm, and 8mm Hardox steel on the chassis.) It can clear ground to a depth of 25cm (about 10”) and can survive medium antipersonnel, antitank, and fragmentation mines. It can also be fitted with a robotic arm for either EOD operations or clearing heavy vegetation. The MW240 can clear up to 12,000 square meters of ground per day. Available attachments for the Mini MineWolf include the aforementioned robotic arm and vegetation cutter, as well as a forklift, bucket, gripper bucket, sifter bucket, and dozer shield.
MineWolf has not yet announced the location of its booth for Eurosatory 2012.