In-Situ Landmine Neutralization Using Chemicals to Initiate Low Order Burning of Main Charge
ARMY CECOM NIGHT VISION AND ELECRONICS SENSORS DIRECTORATE FORT BELVOIR VA
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Land mines in over 60 countries kill or maim approximately 10,000 people annually. Currently, the most common in-situ mine neutralization procedure is demolition using small explosive charges such as C-4 or TNT. However, this method is not suitable for mines placed on or near important structures such as bridges and power lines. Explosive destruction in these circumstances will also damage these structures. In addition, detonation of metal case mines increases the amount of metal contamination in an area, making post-clearance quality control much more difficult and time consuming. Burning land mines in-situ is an alternative method of neutralization that can avoid these problems. The US Army Communications Electronics Command CECOM Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate NVESD has been working to develop a chemical solution for non-explosive in-situ mine neutralization. To date the RD Program has developed four prototype chemical delivery systems. Two systems use diethylene triamine DETA, which is hypergolic with TNT, Tetryl and TNT based explosives, and the other two are based on binary chemicals. The first DETA system is known as Bullet with Chemical Capsule BCC. The second DETA based system, the Reactive Mine Clearance REMIC device, improved chemical delivery performance over the BCC. The third and fourth systems Small and Large REMIC-II use binary chemicals to neutralize a wider range of explosives, and improve performance against a variety of mine case thickness when compared to the DETA based prototypes. This paper summarizes tests of the four devices against anti-personnel AP and anti-tank AT mines. Each device has advantages and disadvantages involving cost, reliability, terrain, main charge explosive type, target case thickness and type, chemical toxicity, shelf life, shipment and storage. Chemical mine neutralization systems provide a means to make demining safer, more reliable, and less expensive.
- Land Mine Warfare