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U.S. Army Buys Danish Mine Clearance Vehicles from Hydrema

The U.S. acquisition rules actually encourage the armed services to look for existing equipment to meet their needs even if it is made by a non-American company. The idea is to more rapidly meet a requirement. Often though it is hard for a non-American piece of equipment to make it into service as their is a desire by Congress and U.S. industry to have equipment made at home. For some specialized equipment it is easier for the U.S. to buy it rather then develop and produce it.

One recent case is the decision by the U.S. Army to buy Hydrema’s mine clearance vehicles. Hydrema is a Danish heavy equipment manufacturer who operate a U.S. subsidiary, Hydrema U.S. Inc. The contract to provide the vehicles, support and training is worth over $160 million.

Hydrema has been making these type of vehicles since 1996 for the Danish as well as some international customers. The U.S. Air Force has also bought the system.

The primary threat in Afghanistan as it was in Iraq is the mine and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) targeting U.S. military vehicles. One of the basic counters to these is to sweep large areas at one time. Mechanical systems like Hydrema produces have the ability to clear quickly land that may be mined. They utilize a flail similar to those that have been in service since World War II.

The U.S. military must respond to the threat in a variety of ways and this type of equipment is just one way to counter IED’s and mines.

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