French Army to Soon Receive New Mine Clearing Vehicle, Here's Its Capability!

French Army to Soon Receive New Mine Clearing Vehicle, Here's Its Capability!
French Army to Soon Receive New Mine Clearing Vehicle, Here's Its Capability!

Paris - General Directorate of Armaments of France (DGA) on 30 March 2023, announced via its Twitter account the qualification of a new SDPMAC (Pyrotechnic Mine Clearance System for Anti-tank Mines) for the French Army. The system is mounted on an AMX-30 chassis referred to as the VULCAIN SDPMAC. This version comes from an upgraded SDPMAC system, incorporating new equipment and enhanced protection.

Quoted from Army Recognition, the deployment of SDPMAC to the French Army began in late 2008 for the benefit of 4 engineer regiments of armored and mechanized brigades, namely: 3rd RG, 13th RG, 19th RG, and 31st RG . Currently the French Army operates eleven SDPMAC units, and all of them will be upgraded to the new SDPMAC VULCAIN standard in 2024.

The SDPMAC is an engineering vehicle based on the AMX-30 main battle tank (MBT) chassis. The turret of the AMX-30 tank was removed and replaced with engineering equipment and an Israeli-made CARPET rocket launcher mounted at the rear of the vehicle hull.

The new standard on VULCAIN, an evolution of the upgraded SDPMAC, especially for new ballistic protection, and a new rocket designed for remote mine activation and a new winch.

With SDPMAC VULCAIN allows rapid neutralization of buried or scattered anti-tank mines, especially for opening corridors (usually 100 meters long and several meters wide). Once the minefield is cleared, it allows a safe passage to be crossed from friendly combat vehicle formations.

For self-protection of the crew, the roof of the vehicle is equipped with a small turret which is armed with a 7.62 mm machine gun which is used for close defense.

Regarding CARPET (Combat Area Route-Proving and Enhancing System), it is a mine clearance system designed to clear and secure the routes of military forces operating in areas suspected of being contaminated with mines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), or from other hidden hazards.

Developed by Israeli defense company IMI Systems (now part of Elbit Systems). The CARPET system is primarily used by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The CARPET system consists of remote controlled or autonomous ground vehicles equipped with various sensors and tools to detect and neutralize mines and other hidden threats. This system uses a combination of mechanical, electromagnetic and acoustic means to detect and identify potential hazards.

Once detected, the system can neutralize the threat using a variety of methods, including controlled detonation or mechanical destruction. The main advantage of the CARPET system is minimizing risk to human personnel by keeping them at a safe distance from potential hazards during mine clearance operations.

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