USMC Commits up to $48.6M for Vallon’s Hand-Held Mine Detectors
In early December 2010, WM Robots, LLC in Colmar, PA won a maximum $48.6 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for hand-held detectors of low-metallic and non-metallic buried explosives, for use in Afghanistan. One legacy of the war against the Soviet Union is a tremendous number of buried land mines, which continue to present a danger to anyone who ventures off of known safe routes. Then there are land mines emplaced by the Taliban and their allies. It makes for a dangerous environment, where mine-clearing has benefits beyond just roads and trails.
WM Management Group’s Vallon GmbH subsidiary makes the hand-held UXO detectors, whose primary technologies include magnetometers, EMI, and radar. Differential Magnetometers detect small changes in magnetic fields to find ferrous metals. EMI (Electromagnetic Induction) uses a coil in a search head to emit and electromagnetic pulse train, which influences eddy currents in any surrounding metal that can be read. The Minehound VMR2 even adds ground-penetrating radar. Accompanying EVA2000 software, data loggers, and logging accessories can ultimately overlay a field or borehole map of GPS encoded results on a Google Earth map. Vallon detectors basically come in 3 physical styles: Compact; One-Piece; & Two-Piece.
The contract will have a 3-year ordering period for up to 1,300 handheld mine detectors with parts blocks, training, and operator/maintenance manual development. Work will be performed in various locations within the United States, and is expected to be complete by December 2013. This contract was competitively procured through full and open competition, with 4 offers received by the US Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, VA (M67854-11-D-5000).