Ultra Electronics wins contract for Integrated Dismounted Countermine Capability

Integrated Solutions for Countermine Operations





The Armed Forces of the United Kingdom are playing a leading role in the fight against global terrorism and deserve the very best levels of protection that we can design and provide for them. One specific danger that our personnel currently face in overseas operations is the threat of landmines.

Ultra Electronics is a group of specialist businesses designing, manufacturing, leading the integration of, and providing through life support for leading edge electronic and electromechanical systems, sub-systems and products for defence, security and aerospace applications worldwide. Ultra has extensive experience in countermine measures (both in the land and the maritime environments) that has been built up over a number of years with involvement in programmes such as the MINDER (Mine Detection, Neutralisation and Route Marking) Capability Assessment Phase, the SeaFox programme, and international research into countermine capability.

Earlier this year, one of the group’s businesses, Command & Control Systems based at Loudwater in Buckinghamshire,  assembled a team of countermine experts to form the “Pathway Team” and in September won the competitive contract to lead the design and supply of the Dismounted Countermine Capability (DCMC) for the MoD.  Ultra’s project management skills, proven systems engineering capabilities and domain expertise were pivotal factors in their being selected to be the systems integrator directing a carefully selected team of best-of-breed subcontractors to execute the DCMC programme.  A key feature of all Ultra’s programmes is the strong emphasis that is placed on working very closely with the customer and already a very open, transparent, and fully inclusive relationship has been established with the Mobility IPT of the DPA.


Minefield breaching is an intensive task and carrying out effective breaching within the context of current operations is a complex issue.  A solution is required that not only provides high confidence mine detection but also focuses on providing an integrated solution.  Aspects such as marking for both cleared lanes and individual mines, personal protection for clearance operators, understanding of the constantly evolving threat and integration of the chosen solution with other battlefield systems need to be covered.  Balanced with this need for integrated equipment is a need for pragmatism as it is essential that the equipment provided is easy to use from the fighting soldier’s perspective.  In particular, personal protection solutions need to provide adequate protection to the operator without hindering freedom of movement or restricting senses - such as touch - that are key to carrying out the more intricate aspects of mine clearance.  Moreover, military breaching operations are often carried out in the prone position and this also limits our ability to read across from the COTS protection solutions provided for the humanitarian mine clearance sector as civil mine clearance operators usually move forward in a standing posture.  The Pathway Team approach to personal protection will use a combination of enhancements to Body Armour, lightweight protective materials and an ergonomic blast shield.


Ultra’s Pathway Team has been formed to provide a systems engineering based solution to all these issues.  In addition to providing detection, marking and personal protection equipment, new training facilities will be constructed in order to provide a step change to the military capability.  The Team will also be responsible for the delivery of a man-portable rapid minefield breaching system together with associated training equipment.


Ultra’s solution will balance risk, capability, technology, and cost-effectiveness throughout the system’s whole life cycle.


Ultra is committed to providing advanced systems that will help protect our armed forces personnel involved in operations overseas.  The award of the DCMC contract underpins Ultra’s position in this specialist area and underlines the Group’s growing reputation as a systems integrator capable of delivering a broad range of solutions to real operational requirements worldwide.


For More Information Contact


Marketing Director

Ultra Electronics Command & Control Systems

Knaves Beech


Buckinghamshire HP10 9UT

2006-02-28 22:59:18