Saturday January 16, 2021
MOGADISHU (HOL) - Kenya is acquiring IED detection and clearing equipment to support its forces serving under AMISOM in Somalia in what could bolster the security of the forces who have lost several soldiers to ground planted explosive devices.HOL has learnt that Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) is in talks with the European missile's manufacturer MBDA to acquire the Véhicule Détecteur de mines (VDM) equipment which can counter IED threats during route opening missions.
According to MBDA, the VDM system has proven route clearance solution able to clear 150 km of route, in one day, with a maximum speed of 25 km/h.
VDM is particularly suitable against mines and IEDs, for securing shuttle traffic (supply convoys) or for opening up main routes during combat operations.
French forces use VDMs in their operations in the Sahel region.
The acquisition of the equipment could be a game-changer for the forces to counter one of Al-Shabaab’s most effective tactic in targeting military convoys in the battle field.
At least seven KDF soldiers were killed last week when their military truck ran into an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Lower Jubba.
Somali National Army has also lost several soldiers through IED explosives planted by Al-Shabaab on major supply routes especially in the Lower Shabelle and Jubba regions.