14 May 2010

Assault Breacher Vehicles: The USMC's latest answer to the deadliest threat in Afghanistan

Count me in as being in favor of anything that could save even one life, or one limb.

The Assault Breacher Vehicles are the Marines Corps' answer to the deadliest threat facing United States and NATO troops in Afghanistan, thousands of land mines and roadside bombs aka improvised explosive devices, that litter the Afghan Taliban region.

The Breachers are metal monsters that look like a tank with a cannon, carry a 15-foot wide plow supported by metal skis that glide on the dirt, digging a safety lane through the numerous minefields laid by the Taliban.

If there are too many mines, the Breachers can fire rockets carrying high grade C-4 explosive up to 150 yards forward, detonating the hidden bombs at a safe distance so that troops and vehicles can pass through safely.

The detonations, over 1,700 pounds of Mine Clearing Line Charge, send a sheet fire into the air and shock waves rippling through the desert in all directions.

The ABVs saw their first combat duty in the recent Operation Cobra's Anger in Afghanistan. The breachers are so valuable that they only travel along with a tank retrieval vehicle to drag them to safety if they are damaged.

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