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A Mastiff fitted with Choker Mine Rollers following on behind the Panama remote control Land Rover. The vehicles are in a flat desert in Jordan with a bright blue sky. At the front of the Land Rover, about six feet off the ground, is a horizontal beam which can be lowered in front of the vehicle to scan the ground with radar. The beam is approximately three metres wide.

A Mastiff fitted with Choker mine rollers following on behind the Panama Remotely Operated Vehicle which carries a ground penetrating radar used for route clearance operations.

The Panama Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) is a piece of mine-clearing equipment used by the British Armed Forces.

DesignEdit

The Panama ROV consists of a Snatch Land Rover modified for remote control operation, with a large piece of mine-detection equipment mounted to the front. It was created by Defence Equipment and Support, part of the Ministry of Defence, in conjunction with PA Consulting Group as a low-cost solution to mine detection in the War in Afghanistan.[1] Before the introduction of the Panama, an average of one person every week was killed, with five or six more being severely injured[citation needed].

The Panama vehicle is towed behind another vehicle – usually a Buffalo MRAP vehicle.[2] It can be unhitched from the towing vehicle without the crew having to expose themselves, and remotely driven to search for explosive devices. A single system consists of two Panama vehicles and a control station.[2] They usually work as part of a Talisman team, which consists of two Buffalo Rummage and four Mastiff 'Protected Eyes' vehicles; two micro unmanned air vehicles (MUAV); two HMEEs; and two Talon UGVs.[2]

The vehicles are considerably cheaper than a bespoke solution, as they make use of the SN2A Snatch Land Rover, which was rendered obsolete due to poor armour protection.[1] The military had approximately 200 of these vehicles awaiting disposal.[1][3] The vehicle has been in use in Afghanistan since early 2011.[4]

HistoryEdit

The project took 11 months to move from procurement decision to operational use, and cost £50m in total, £9m less than expected.[1][3] The use of the Snatch Land Rovers awaiting disposal, rather than a new vehicle, saves an extra £8m over the length of the contract.[1][3] The programme was managed by the DE&S itself – with assistance from PA Consulting – which is unusual for procurement in the United Kingdom. However, despite the unorthodox method, the Land Rover was accepted as a solution. Lieutenant Colonel Adrian Parker of the Royal Engineers said of the choice, "There is a whole generation of technicians who are trained in their maintenance. There is a supply chain for the parts, all the manuals are written and all those thousands of parts are already codified to NATO standards. Using our scoring system, the Snatch came top."[citation needed]

Walters also said that, as the operator uses a simple computer display which is familiar to computer game players, soldiers can learn to use the vehicle in just one hour[citation needed].

The project, and PA Consulting Group, won the Management Consultancies Association Award for the best overall project in 2012.[4]

ReferencesEdit

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