Technology

Metal detectors donated to Ukraine by UK are 'seriously good', expert says

Watch: Vallon detectors are the latest in mine-clearing technology.

The latest in mine-clearing technology has been donated to Ukraine to help the country overcome the new threats caused by mine warfare. 

With advanced smart chip technology, Vallon detectors are made to detect all types of metal while overcoming issues that can be caused by the natural ground.  

It is predicted that the threat of mines will remain in Ukraine for decades after the war ends, similar to countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq which still struggle to clear mines from conflicts in the past.

Bomb disposal specialist Bob Gravett said: "Modern-day detectors actually have very smart chips in them, they can tell every type of metal.

"It comes under digital manipulation, and it can tell you exactly what's there so we can find a lot more things than we ever used to.

"This is where Vallon is a bit of a world leader to be honest, they have produced some remarkable detectors.

"Then, of course, you have nature to balance out against. Every time you see a lovely rusty mountain in America somewhere and it's got this lovely red cover, that's not so good.

"That red is rust, which means it's an iron or a mineral and you're going to get metal contamination in the background.

"So, a lot of the detectors, especially the Vallon, now have programmes that can work out what the background soil is, offset that from your detection and then you can detect through it with a loss of minimal depth."

He added: "These detectors are seriously, seriously good."

Ukraine has received Vallon mine detectors as part of the support sent by Britain (Picture: Alamy).
Ukraine has received Vallon mine detectors as part of the support sent by the UK (Picture: Alamy).

The Vallon is suited for mine detection and responds to mines with low metal content.

It is also built to tackle improvised explosive devices (IEDs), as it can detect objects with low conductivity and the wire abnd cable components typical of them, and unexploded bombs such as shells and grenades.

All these explosive threats are known to remain after a conflict has ended, with explosives as far back as the Second World War still being discovered.

In the UK, emergency services are called out to about 20 calls a year responding to the discovery of unexploded bombs dropped by the Luftwaffe in the Second World War.

Mr Gravett added: "We've gone through Gulf War one, Gulf War two, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and all of those countries are still littered and are taking donor money for clearance years and years after we've left and gone.

"I think we'll be using this technology and detectors for a long time to come, and post the war, you're going to be looking at 25, 30 to 50 years to clear that mess up."