Letter: Not the first mine detector

Plastic-Cased land mines were not "formerly impossible to detect" ("Microwave helps detect mines", 23 February). In 1988 the British Army successfully tested a plastic mine detector researched by Dr Richard Chignell. But the mine-clearing programme in the Falklands, for which the product was developed, had its funds withdrawn.

The technology used was ground-probing radar. The latest development of this technology, Pipe Hawk, is now widely used to locate pipes underground - as well as badger setts, road protesters tunnels and other sub-surface features. It could rapidly be made effective again as a plastic mine detector should the funding be made available.

Mike Bushell

Godalming, Surrey