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Sri Lanka
Field Evaluations

The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is extensively contaminated by mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). Most (70%) of contamination is in the north, the focus of three decades of armed conflict between the government and the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE), which ended in May 2009. However, national estimates of total mine and ERW contamination have fallen sharply: from 506km2 at the end of 2010 to 98km2 at the end of 2012 and almost 78km2 at the end of 2014. Much the densest remaining mined areas lie in northern Sri Lanka to the north of Elephant Pass marking the former frontline between the army and the LTTE and covering about 14km2. Both sides made extensive use of mines, including belts of blast antipersonnel mines laid by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), and long defensive lines with a mixture of mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) laid by the LTTE defending approaches to the northern town of Kilinochchi. Operators have encountered a wide range of LTTE devices, including antipersonnel mines with antitilt and antilift mechanisms, and often containing a larger explosive charge (up to 140g) than government-laid mines (30g). They also encountered tripwire-activated Claymore-type mines, and, though to a lesser extent, antivehicle mines. However, much of the extensive mining by the LTTE in northern districts has now been cleared and remaining contamination in the eastern provinces (Ampara, Batticaloa, and Trincomalee) is thought to be light. Mine and battle area clearance slowed sharply in 2013 reflecting loss of capacity resulting from a fall-off in donor support. Clearance of mined area totaled some 6.4km2.

Sources: To Walk the Earth in Safety, 2016
Landmine Monitor Report, 2016

IMPROVED BACKHOE

IMPROVED BACKHOE

The Improved Backhoe is a modified commercial backhoe that incorporates a variety of commercial off-the-shelf attachments used for vegetation reduction and soil sifting in mine suspect areas. The vehicle has been modified by armoring the cab and chassis, and adding blast proof SETCO tires capable of withstanding multiple anti-personnel mine detonations. Among the attachments, the Rotar sifting bucket can safely collect, sift, and separate mines and other debris from mine suspected soil. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

PARTNERS: Mines Advisory Group - Sri Lanka

 

Multi-tool Attachments

Multi-tool Attachments

The Humanitarian Demining Research and Development (HD R&D) Program has developed a wide variety of excavator and loader based tools for mechanical mine clearance. These attachments give deminers the capability to perform area preparation, technical survey and mine clearance from a safe area. Tools that have proven useful include vegetation cutters, grapples, tillers, and buckets for sifting, grinding, and crushing. The HD R&D Program has modified several small, medium and large class excavators with armor protection and the interfaces needed to use these tools in various demining environments. Operational Field Evaluations (OFE) can be performed with HD R&D Program developed excavators or loaders, or with just the tools mounted to the demining organization`s own host equipment. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

PARTNERS: Mines Advisory Group; Golden West Humanitarian Foundation; The HALO Trust

 

HSTAMIDS

HSTAMIDS

The Handheld Standoff Mine Detection System (HSTAMIDS) is the U.S. Army`s AN/PSS-14 dual sensor, handheld mine detector that combines an electromagnetic induction sensor and ground penetrating radar (GPR) to detect landmines. The addition of the GPR significantly reduces the detector`s false alarm rate and the time the operator spends investigating clutter, increasing the operator`s speed and effectiveness. The HD R&D Program is developing improvements to the standard HSTAMIDS to further improve its performance and reliability. The HD R&D program also developed the HSTAMIDS F3S variant which incorporates a more sensitive metal detector to improve performance against deeply buried low metal anti-personnel and anti-tank mines. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

PARTNERS: The Halo Trust in Cambodia, Mozambique (2012-2014), Kosovo,Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe; Mines Advisory Group in Angloa and Cambodia; Cambodia Mine Action Centre (2009-2010); Norwegian Peoples Aid in Zimbabwe (2014-2016)

 

Light Soil Sifter

Light Soil Sifter

The light/sandy soil sifting project is evaluating the feasibility and operational suitability of using commercial beach-cleaning technologies to remove mines and clutter from sandy and mechanically prepared soils. Demining applications envisioned for these systems are removal of mines from sandy and other light soils, raking surface soil to collect clutter, and assisting with inspection and quality assurance behind mechanical clearance equipment. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

PARTNERS: The HALO Trust - Sri Lanka

 

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