Weapons: May 12, 2005

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The Claymore is a command detonated mine that has been around for half a century. Now its become part of a robotic battlefield. Actually, the Claymore isnt a mine, but a powerful, one-time-use, shotgun type device that, when fired, sends out a fatal hail of 700 steel balls that will kill out to fifty meters (over an area fifty meters wide and two meters high). The steel balls are fired out at a 60 degree angle, and will still cause serious wounds out to a hundred meters. The steel balls will continue to injure for as far as 250 meters. The 3.5 pound Claymore is concave square, 8.5 inches wide, 3.5 inches high and 1.4 inches deep. Until recently, it was set up in front of troop positions, and detonated via a cable and an electric signal (provided by a battery.) The Claymore comes with the electric wire, battery and detonator switch. In Vietnam, it was a popular weapon for ambushes, and defending bases. The Claymore could also be set up for detonation via a tripwire, but the preferred method was for a soldier to fire it.

Now the Claymore can be fired via a radio signal, out to several kilometers. Used in conjunction with various sensors (day and night vidcams, motion and seismic sensors), one operator at a laptop can control dozens, or hundreds, of these remote control Claymores. Setting up the Claymores to provide overlapping fields of fire, you can get a second shot, if the first one did not stop the intruders. The sensors can be programmed, if needed, to fire Claymores automatically, if the intruders are detected carrying weapons and are too close to  a vital target.

There is also a non-lethal Claymore, that fires plastic balls, if you want to just send a strong message to the intruders. The new wireless and non-lethal Claymores are being used in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

 


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