Switzerland’s Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection, and Sports (DDPS) is providing the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU) with a remote-controlled demining machine to safely and efficiently clear areas that have been contaminated with mines, cluster munitions and explosive remnants of war since the outbreak of the conflict. The machine was presented to the DDPS by the Swiss DIGGER Foundation on 29 August and is now ready for delivery to Ukraine by the Van for Life Foundation. The number of areas in Ukraine contaminated with mines, cluster munitions and explosive remnants of war has increased considerably since the beginning of the conflict. In order to clear them safely and efficiently, Ukraine urgently requires specialised equipment for humanitarian demining.
The mine clearance machine was presented to the DDPS today by the Swiss DIGGER Foundation and is now ready for delivery to Ukraine. The demining machine, which includes a spare parts package, will be transported to Ukraine by truck in September by the Van for Life Foundation. The entire aid package amounts to CHF 1.2 million. It includes a caterpillar vehicle that can destroy or detonate anti-personnel mines, a truck trailer and a spare parts package for three years. In addition, the Ukrainian authorities will be trained on site by experts from the DIGGER Foundation. Switzerland’s contribution is aimed at making humanitarian demining in Ukraine safer and more effective.
Digger D-250 is a swiss-made Mine flail vehicle built by Digger. The NPO’s fourth-generation remote-controlled humanitarian demining machine can destroy or detonate mines, cluster munitions, and explosive remnants. Its remote control allows it to be operated from up to 500 metres away in complete safety. With its DIGGER Twin-Picks tiller, the DIGGER D-250 has been successfully tested on anti-tank mines with up to 8 kg of TNT-equivalent by the Swedish Army in CWA 15044 tests. Its oscillating track system ensures much better weight distribution on the ground than a fixed system, significantly improving its all-terrain capability. Powered by a 250 hp John Deere diesel engine, and equipped with a specially designed cooling system enabling it to work at full power at all times in the hottest conditions, it is equipped with a triple air-filter system to protect it from dust.
DIGGER DTR is a registered trademark of the Swiss DIGGER Foundation established in 1998. Initially, it was involved in the construction of semi-autonomous, radio-controlled demining equipment. These machines have already been used for demining projects in over sixteen countries on four continents – recognised worldwide for their humanitarian impact and effectiveness. DIGGER DTR are able to provide training at all levels of operation of the machines, from basic operator training in the field to the development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and help with the selection of personnel, if required. With a large stock of spare parts immediately available, the company can ensure support at short notice.