Aardvark Group

About Us


When the Aardvark Group was founded in 1982, it was done so with the express objective of developing a mechanical land mine clearing system which would meet the design criteria its founders considered to be the prime critical factors; namely, for the clearance of all known anti-tank and anti-personnel land mines using mechanical and manual means, and the location, identification and disposal of all munitions and
unexploded ordnance.

In the process of developing the design criteria for mechanical land mine clearance equipment, it rapidly became evident that there were two distinct and mutually exclusive applications.
They were:-
  1. Mine field breaching under combat conditions.
  2. Post conflict and humanitarian area clearance.
The company design team found that while the actual flail clearance process would be very effective for both applications the prime mover would need to be unique for each application.
Aardvark concentrated its design capabilities on the land mine clearance process which would best suit the post conflict and humanitarian clearance, and chose a rotating chain flail system. Aardvark also explored the possibility of using various commercially available vehicles for the role of prime mover, but found that all have short comings and thus designed and built its own. However, to meet the needs of the military combat role in minefield breaching, Aardvark has co-operated with manufacturers of MBTs (Main Battle Tanks) and APC (Armoured Personnel Carriers) and designed flails which can be added as a mine field breaching device. It was after all a British invention to put a flail on the front of a WWII MBT for use in the liberation of Europe.
This option is available to our customers, but it must be emphasised that the performance required for humanitarian and post conflict land mine clearance as defined by the Ottawa Convention and the UN are not met by the performance of MBTs equipped with flails.
The consequence of this design philosophy has been to produce the most effective specialised vehicle for the destruction or detonation of land mines, while permitting the flail system to be adapted for attachment to a mine field breaching machine.
Further this corporate policy has resulted in Aardvark becoming the prime supplier of post conflict/humanitarian mechanical mine clearing system in the world today. Nearly thirty six countries use or have the Aardvark JSFU, (Joint Services Flail Unit) in their inventory, including six NATO Armies; the United Kingdom, Canada, France, The Netherlands,Italy and the United States.
The task to clear the world of land mines is enormous, the estimate of numbers varies but it is certainly in excess of 90 million with some sources such as the Red Cross estimating 110 million. The problem is not just the number of mines but the huge areas contaminated. For example a small country such as Croatia, which has been well mapped, has an area of 4,000 square kilometres contaminated by mine fields and randomly scattered mines. This is 4 billion square metres! Since area clearance is the real issue, the cost of clearance per square metre is vital to commercial viability of the clearance process. Cost effectiveness and the safety of the operators are of paramount importance.
The Aardvark JSFU is specifically designed for post conflict and humanitarian mine clearance, the JSFU meets all the design criteria established including safety, effectiveness and cost effectiveness.

For more than 4 decades, the Aardvark Group has developed Technical Innovations which support operators fighting at the front line of Conservation and the protection of Natural Resources using the principals of DETECT, PROTECT and DEFEAT.

DETECT – The Aardvark solution encompasses our INSight and FORsight detection systems for the detection of the explosive remnants of war through to the GEN2 Mine Clearance System which can robotically and autonomously clear up to 3km2 per day of AT, AP, IED, RDW and vegetation.

PROTECT – The Aardvark solution delivers protection of conservation zones through the deployment of our “invisible borders” solutions MILES and RDS which can vector information to our remote detection solutions.

DEFEAT – The Aardvark solution utilises advanced drone and counter-drone systems to detect hostile activity, protect the conservation habitat and defeat any ‘autonomous’ threats from the Sea, the land or the Air.

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Pictured, left to right: Esi Eshun – UKEF Director of Legal and Compliance Group, Cameron Fox – UKEF Chief Finance and Operating Officer, Tim Reid

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meet the team

David St John-Claire FIoD

David St John-Claire FIoD

Chief Executive Officer

Abdullah Al-Suwayed

Abdullah Al-Suwayed

Executive Director

Kate Lawlor

Kate Lawlor

Operations Manager

Eric Fenwick

Eric Fenwick CA

Head of Finance & Company Secretary

Tim Smith

Tim Smith

Strategic Relationship Director

Stuart St John-Claire

Stuart St John-Claire

Technical Director

Mark Padgett

Mark Padgett

Head of Operations – EOD

James Knox

James Knox

Chief Designer – Land Systems

Tony Shannon

Programme Delivery Director

Narinder Phull

Procurement Lead

Paul Sowden

Quality Assurance Manager

Nick Hallworth

Senior Mechanical Engineer

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