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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. Most of the 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. National estimates of total mine and explosive remnants of war contamination stand at 43.6km2 as of 30 June 2016, a significant reduction from the 2014 estimate of 78km2. Sri Lanka’s strategic plan is to complete clearance in 2020. Sri Lanka deminers have encountered a wide range of LTTE devices, including antipersonnel mines with anti-tilt and anti-lift mechanisms, most of which were constructed by LTTE and often containing a larger explosive charge than the P4 MK1 mine (up to 140g compared to 30g). The LTTE also used tripwire-activated Claymore-type mines, antivehicle mines to a lesser extent, and a number of forms of improvised explosive device to act as fragmentation mines, bar mines, electrical and magnetically initiated explosive devices, and mines connected to detonating cord to mortar and artillery shells. Humanitarian Demining Research and Development Program detection and clearance technologies deployed to Sri Lanka for evaluation by the Mines Advisory Group and The HALO Trust include the Improved Backhoe and Rex mechanical clearance systems, the Light Soil Sifting System, the Handheld Standoff Mine Detection System, and the Aerial Survey System. These systems have helped MAG and HALO clear over 18,000 mines from 1,148,000 square meters of land.

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. Distribution Statement A: Approved for public release.

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. Distribution Statement A: Approved for public release.

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. Distribution Statement A: Approved for public release.

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. Distribution Statement A: Approved for public release.

PARTNERS: The HALO Trust - Sri Lanka

 

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