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Weapons: A Really Nice Shaped Charge
   Next Article → STRATEGIC WEAPONS: A Little Instead of Enough
June 26, 2007: One of the more useful new weapons developed for Iraq, was designed to cause less, not more, damage, when destroying roadside bombs. It's the PSCA ("Plastic Shaped Charge Assembly").  Before PSCA came along, roadside bombs were destroyed by placing an explosive charge next to it, and blowing it up. This created a lot of debris, and, in effect, two large explosions. PSCA uses a shaped charge (explosives backed by a concave holder, that forms a pencil size jet of super hot gas that can burn through anything, and is usually used to penetrate vehicle armor). PSCA uses a plastic concave holder for the explosives, thus generating relatively harmless debris. The plasma jet of super hot gas can penetrate earth, for bombs that are buried. EOD (Explosives Ordnance Disposal) technicians can pack as much C-4 (plastic explosives) as they think they'll need (more for a PSCA that has to penetrate ground) into the PSCA container. A robot then takes the loaded PSCA to the roadside bomb, places it just so, and the EOD guy sets off the explosive remotely (via a wire or wirelessly). Much less damage, and safer for all concerned. It's one of those few weapons that most people like, except the terrorists who planted the bomb.

 

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