Support: August 31, 2002


The fighting in Afghanistan reminded everyone that mines are still a major hazard on the battlefield (despite efforts to get landmines banned.) The current mine clearing systems, for getting things done in a hurry, rely on explosive cable fired onto a mined area (using a small rocket) and then detonated. The 110 meter long cable contains 1,840 pounds of C-4 explosive. It can clear a path up to 14 meters wide (7 meters on each side of the cable) and 100 meters long through a minefield. The explosion sets off most of the mines. Then an armored vehicle pushing a heavy metal roller "proofs" a lane through the mine field that anyone can use. This two step process often takes too long, and U.S. Army Engineers have long wanted to develop a faster method. The Explosive Standoff Minefield Breacher (ESMB) system, using a net like system containing small shaped charges, will destroy 95 percent of the mines in the area it is used on. But this still requires a metal roller to proof the lane. More exotic systems that can attack the mine fuze are in the works. But at the moment, there's no easy way to deal with landmines.


Article Archive

Support: Current 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close