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ERW Clearance, Peco, Tracked, Brush, Blazer, Mechanical, Demining, Vegetation, Cutter
Area preparation for demining remains one of the dangerous yet necessary tasks for organizations undertaking humanitarian demining missions. To date, the U.S. Humanitarian Demining Research and Development Program has provided a number of area preparation systems. The emphasis, however, has been on light (1–2 ton) to heavy (5–15 ton) platforms with a wide range of working attachments. There was a need for a robust, lightweight cutter to complement the heavier assets available from the U.S. Humanitarian Demining Program. One such system that appeared to be a good addition to the area preparation tools available under the U.S. program was the Peco Tracked Brush Blazer, or Peco Cutter, a lightweight cutting system capable of removing vegetation up to 10 cm in diameter. A Peco Cutter was procured and modified with the addition of a radio-control system. Configured as tested, the Peco Cutter can be operated either manually or by remote radio control, thereby providing stand-off safety margins of up to 400 m. The performance evaluation test was conducted in October 2007 at an Army test facility in central Virginia. The test director and test engineer was Mr. Ronald Collins. Test site support was provided by Mr. Mel Soult, the test site manager, and his staff. The test plan, test data, and this report were prepared by Harold Bertrand, Isaac Chappell, Jennifer Ledford and Thomas Milani from the Institute for Defense Analyses.