Thursday, February 18, 2010

Royal Engineers' new weapon

Royal Engineers blast through Taliban IED field with new weapon

A Military Operations news article

18 Feb 10

The Royal Engineers have fired their latest weapon in the battle against the Taliban for the first time, an exploding hose which punches safe passage through suspected IED belts.

Trojan armoured engineer tank

A Trojan armoured engineer tank in Helmand province. Trojan vehicles may be equipped with the Python trailer-mounted, rocket-propelled mine-clearing system
[Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]

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

The first use of the new equipment, across a suspected IED field in a dry river bed or 'wadi' north of Patrol Base Wahid, as part of Operation MOSHTARAK, shook the ground either side of the detonation, and created a huge cloud several hundred metres high.

Staff Sergeant Mark Eastley, from 30 Armoured Engineer Squadron, said:

"It takes your breath away. You feel the vehicle rock, and in awe of what has just happened. You see the flash, hear the bang, and then feel the shock wave.

"This explosion, although loud, was an act to clear safe passage for British and Afghan soldiers through the belts of roadside bombs that kill civilians and soldiers."

Lieutenant Colonel Matt Bazeley, Commanding Officer of 28 Engineer Regiment, who oversaw the use of Python, said:

"We are clearing this belt of death so that civilians and their families can begin to live without fear of being blown to pieces by a cowardly and dishonorable enemy that is happy to kill indiscriminately."

And there is more, here.

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