US Marines Test New Minefield Clearing Line Charge

26 November 2008 (Last Updated November 26th, 2008 18:30)

The US army has successfully tested a 350ft-long string of explosives known as a line charge, which is fired to its full extent from a rocket and then detonated to clear a danger-free path. The test, conducted by the 2nd Combat Engineers Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, involved firing

The US army has successfully tested a 350ft-long string of explosives known as a line charge, which is fired to its full extent from a rocket and then detonated to clear a danger-free path.

The test, conducted by the 2nd Combat Engineers Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, involved firing the line charge from an assault breacher vehicle (ABV) using a mounted mk22 mod 4 rocket.

When detonated the charge packed with 1,750lb of C4 creates an 8m-wide and 100m-long mine and explosive-free lane through which marines and heavy equipment can pass.

ABV platoon commander, 2nd Lt Michael D Barry said that the equipment is vital as because clearing obstacle fields is one of the four tenets of combat engineering.

"We can clear a path through a large area, move more quickly, we can get to the enemy without losing Marines to IEDs or mines," said Barry.

Besides the ability to launch line charges, it has a full width mine plow, a lane-marking system, remote control system and a protective weapon system.

The vehicle is run by a two-man crew but also has the option to be remotely operated.

By Daniel Garrun.