Replica, simulant and surrogate mines are widely used for testing mine detection systems as well as training human deminers. The exact nature of the surrogates to be used depends on the application. For some purposes (e.g. training dogs) they must contain explosives, in which case the detonation train is usually removed or mechanically disrupted. (If this is done by removal of the detonator capsule then the surogates may not be suitable for metal detector testing as the aluminium foil of the capsule may be a significant part of the metal content of the mine). For other puposes it may be sufficient to have a simpler model, perhaps just a basic plastic or wooden box with an inert filler. Surrogates which electronically report whether they have been "detonated" offer sophsticated training possibilities but are relatively expensive.
One of the key problems in designing surrogate mines is in testing demining machines designed to destroy or disrupt mines. For statistically valid testing a large number of mines must be used (and destroyed) and so cost is an important concern. These surrogates must mechanically mimic real mines when impacted by the flail or grinder. The surrogates must also detect when they have been "detonated" and be easy to find at the end of the test.