Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 5 2011 Contents 25
It is the ninth project RPDE has
under taken for the CIEDTF. Other
RPDE activities have worked on using
existing intelligence, sur veillance and
reconnaissance (ISR) data to identify
anomalies, capturing data during explosive
ordnance disposal (EOD) exercises for
later use in improving techniques and
training methods for EOD operators.
Brigadier Budd says there were
people all over the world working on
IED problems. A well-thumbed NATO
tome on counter-IED measures being
undertaken around the world sits on his
desk. He is a passionate advocate for the
sharing of information.
“Barriers to communications on the
counter IED fight must come down
or the scourge will be dangerous to
populations all over the world.
“Terrorist groups share their
knowledge over the internet. They are
technologically unsophisticated but
tactically agile. They know they can
achieve an affect with IEDs.”
Pakistan, India, China, souther n Thailand
and the souther n Philippines, for example,
all have significant IED problems with
various separatists and insurgents using
them as the weapon of choice.
“And we need to have agile procurement
to match the adaptation of our enemy, but
RPDe’s role in
the IeD battle
Quicklook 3 assessed RPDE’s
ability to act as an interface and
facilitator between Australian
industry and the CIEDTF; the
outcome of this being a member
of the RPDE team acting as
permanent industry liaison for the
Task 22 investigated the
applicability of adapting
commercial technology for bomb
Task 25 examined whether a
capability could be developed,
fielded and supported to improve
the detection of deployed IEDs.
The project demonstrated the
practical extent of existing ISR
systems and the most relevant
way of applying them.
Quicklook 43 and Task 33
examined whether a capability
could be developed to satisfy
the urgent operational need to
capture inputs from different
sensors (video, GPS, voice) during
an IED disposal operation. The
RPDE task team demonstrated
it was possible by building
a prototype system using
products and software. Defence
has now contracted Tectonica
Australia to provide the data
Quicklook 45 and Task 34
investigated the current
and emerging persistent
surveillance systems. While
the Task team built a prototype
system, its effectiveness was
limited by the current level
of sensor and processing
Quicklook 44 sought industry
advice on options for supporting
the training of EOD operators
in the context of current
operations and clarity on the
current simulation capability and
organisations within Defence
that relate to EOD training
and awareness. The project
identified a number of physical
and virtual aids that could be
used to improve EOD training,
e.g. robot simulators and results
have gone into JP3028 to inform
the selection of new simulation
Sapper Trevor Feilen carefully brushes
away dirt from a suspected dummy
IED during the 1st Combat Engineer
Regiment Military Skills competition
at Robertson Barracks in Darwin
earlier this year.
Photo: Sergeant Neil Ruskin
More equipment to protect Australian soldiers
Canada will loan two Canadian systems for additional protection against improvised
explosive devices for Australian soldiers operating in Afghanistan.
The arrangement was announced by the Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith, and the
Minister for Defence Materiel, Jason Clare, following their meeting with the Canadian
Minister of National Defence, Peter MacKay, in September.
The two systems comprise of:
two HUSKY protected mobility vehicles fitted with ground penetrating radar (GPR); and
one BUFFALO mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle fitted with an
interrogation arm and mast-mounted Gyrocam camera.
The vehicles will be used by Australian Army engineers to detect explosive hazards,
including mines and IEDs, to create a safe pathway for troops as they patrol Uruzgan province
in Afghanistan. The HUSKY mounted GPR provides the ability to detect explosive hazard threats
from within an armoured vehicle.
It will protect our troops by allowing them to detect IEDs that other detection equipment might
not be able to find, especially devices with low or no metal content.
The interrogation arm is a safer way of confirming that an IED has been found. It allows our
troops to make this confirmation remotely from a safe distance under armour from inside the
BUFFALO vehicle. Currently, Sappers have to manually examine any suspected IED.
The high definition Gyrocam camera is mounted on a mast 8 to 10 metres above the
vehicle to give a 360-degree view of the terrain. It has a thermal imagery capability and
high quality zoom to detect IED indicators from a distance.
The vehicles will be on loan for around 12 months from 2012. In the meantime, work is
underway to assess the possible acquisition of a permanent system.
The systems were used by Canada in Kandahar and will become available following the draw
down of Canadian Forces, which will be completed by the end of the year.
bureaucracy and paperwork often prevents
us from doing it,” Brigadier Budd says.
With the United Nations and others
still clearing landmines left over from
World War II and more recent conflicts
in Asia and Africa, Brigadier Budd’s
insistence on the need to get on top of
the IED scourge is perhaps portentous.
“The IED problem is going to be
enduring and what we invent, buy and
deploy now will reside in our arsenal for
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