A Python rocket, which provides safe passage through suspected IED belts by creating a trail of explosives, has been fired by the Royal Engineers for the first time in their battle against the Taliban.

The Python rocket is a trailer-mounted, rocket-propelled mine-clearing system pulled behind the Trojan armoured engineer tank, which fires a series of high explosives contained in a hose.

The explosion was carried out across a suspected IED field in a dry river bed, wadi, north of Patrol Base Wahid.

During the detonation, a series of rockets lifted the hose out of its barrel, shooting it over the base Trojan tank, into the air laying the explosives over a long strip of ground.

Staff Sergeant Mark Eastley from 30 Armoured Engineer Squadron said the explosion was an act to clear safe passage for British and Afghan soldiers through the belts of roadside bombs that kill civilians and soldiers.

“The kit provides a breaching capability. Its primary employment to date will be clearance of known IED areas to provide a safe route,” he said.

The successful use of Python generated a positive response from the 150 Royal Tank Regiment and Royal Engineer soldiers on the convoy.