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The last batch of Husky Vehicle Mounted Mine Detector (VMMD) units from DCD Protected Mobility are poised to be delivered to the United States Army.

The Husky VMMD build programme has earned about R10.3 billion in foreign exchange for the South African economy and led to the creation of 1,320 jobs. Speaking during the delivery of the last batch of Husky Vehicles on 30 October, 2013, DCD protected mobility General Manager, Andrew Mears stated that it was a bitter-sweet day for the company.

"The relationship between the company and the US army dates back to 1995, where we delivered the first system to the US army," he said.

He added that not only has DCD had a remarkable working relationship with the US army, but the US government has created jobs as well in South Africa, through the assembling of the husky vehicle.

The programme has contributed significantly to poverty alleviation in the communities in and around DCD Protected Mobility's production facility in Gauteng.

"The relationship we have had with the US army has had a positive impact to South Africa as a whole, and we hope that even in the sustainment phase that entails supporting, improving and upgrading the units, more jobs will created, as well as improve the economy of South Africa", Mears said.

Also present during the delivery was Sergio Porres, Lt Colonel, Chief, Office of Defense cooperation at US Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa, as well as Jacob Abrami, Deputy Chief, Office of Defense, also from Pretoria. Lt Colonel Porres said that the Husky VMMD had been hailed as a superb vehicle capable of detecting mines, but also, and more importantly, saving lives.

"As I talked with the Husky team both South African and US, I realized that there was one commonality, the stories they heard from many operators who after being hit numerous times, they walked away alive and many times, unharmed".

The programme will now transition from a production to sustainment phase to support, improve and upgrade these units throughout their anticipated lifespan of 20 years.

This article was originally published on allafrica.com and can be found here.

Posted in: DCD Defence
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