THE world’s largest landmine charity, The HALO Trust, has been confirmed as a development partner for the INEOS Grenadier 4×4. The joint British and American charity operates off-roaders in some of the most remote and inhospitable places on the planet.
“From mountain tracks to urban battlefields, HALO goes further to find and destroy landmines,” said James Cowan, CEO of The HALO Trust.
“This means that we need a vehicle fleet fit for war zones, rainforests and deserts. Our 9,000 de-miners are some of the most resilient people on the planet – they need a vehicle they can rely on to keep them safe and get the job done,” he added.
“We want to share our experiences with INEOS to help build an off-roader ready for the challenges of the 21st century.”
INEOS has been working with HALO since 2020, when it joined an active HALO operation in Angola and saw the charity’s vehicles negotiating pitted, rocky and sometimes undriveable roads.
Seeing how drivers deal with the terrain and repair vehicles in challenging conditions and with only basic tools has helped shape the ongoing development of the Grenadier.
HALO has worked in Angola for 27 years, and its mission there was highlighted by Princess Diana’s landmark visit in 1997.
“I hugely admire the HALO Trust’s mission and the dedication of the HALO team. It is a real privilege to work with them. With decades of experience of running a large number of vehicles in extreme conditions, we could think of no better organisation on Earth for helping us to develop Grenadier,” said Dirk Heilmann, CEO of INEOS Automotive.
“All the knowledge and insight HALO is sharing with us is incredibly valuable to the engineering programme, and will ultimately help us create the toughest, most capable vehicle for all users.”
Over the next 12 months, more than 130 second-phase prototypes are being deployed as part of the vehicle’s ongoing worldwide 1.8 million kilometre testing and development programme.
Grenadier prototypes will join active HALO projects, including in Kosovo. These development activities will be used by INEOS and HALO to assess the vehicle’s on- and off-road capabilities, as well as the ease of service, maintenance and repair in the field.
In future, INEOS aims to develop a fleet of bespoke Grenadiers for The HALO Trust, with features specific to its operational needs. These include anchor points to fit protective mine-proof belly armour and safe storage for mine-clearance tools.
They will also need to be easily convertible into ambulances for the safe evacuation of potential casualties.