ARMY MOBILITY EQUIPMENT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT COMMAND FORT BELVOIR VA
Mines have long been recognized and used as effective barriers to retard or restrict the advance of enemy forces. Mines contain a sensor for target acquisition and an explosive kill mechanism that is directed towards a vulnerable area of an acceptable target. Mine explosive kill mechanisms include blast damage to armored vehicle tracks, wheels and suspension systems, shrapnel damage to personnel or non-armored vehicles, and shape charge damage to the belly of armored vehicles. Mine terminal effects can be defeated through the use of high strength, light weight composite materials. Vehicle components and countermine structures can be made from composite materials that will retain their functionality after being exposed to blast loading or high velocity fragments. Although these components are damaged by the mine, the retention of functionality permits the completion of mission. It is in this sense that vehicles and countermine structures are hardened against mine blast and shraphnel damage.