Countering threat of Improvised Explosive Devices is a high priority issue for NATO forces in order to minimize casualties and maintain freedom of movement, since improvised explosive devices and other explosive hazards are and will be deployed by terrorists and insurgents in NATO areas of operation. The IED threat is expected to remain a major threat in all future NATO missions. Many initiatives were carried out by NATO, individual nations, and other defence organisations to develop and embed methods and techniques to counter this threat.
One of these initiatives was the establishment of the NATO STO Task Group SCI-233 ‘Route Clearance Concepts’ in 2010. This TG focussed on the selection of the most optimal detection sensor technology combinations for route clearance, based on an assessment of all conceivable detection technologies. The SCI-233 results can be used as the starting point for the development of mounted stand-off detection capability in route clearance. (The SCI-286 ‘Technology roadmaps towards stand-off detection in future road clearance’ will contribute to this development.) It is noted that for the other elements in route clearance, such as identification and neutralization, an assessment of technologies and methods is missing.