Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Boys and their toys, US Marine edition


Some years ago I wrote about the then-new Assault Breacher Vehicle developed by the US Marine Corps, which had just gone into action in Afghanistan.  Since then the US Army has announced plans to buy several times as many of them as the USMC.  Here's a video giving a good idea of how useful it is.  I recommend watching it in full-screen mode.





All I can say is, I wish we'd had a few of these things in Angola during the 1970's and 1980's!

(South Africa developed its own version of the mine-clearing line charge, known over there as the 'Plofadder'.  [The name is a play on the 'Puff Adder' snake - in Afrikaans, 'Pofadder' - and the word 'explosives' in Afrikaans - 'plofstof'.  Putting them together formed 'Plofadder', which implies 'Exploding Adder'.]  There were two types, a small backpack unit and a larger vehicle-mounted one.  Early production versions were notorious for detonators that didn't fire automatically as intended after the tube had been deployed by rocket.  This resulted in some poor sod having to crawl out to it [sometimes under fire], insert new fuses by hand, and detonate them once he'd crawled all the way back to safety.  You probably won't be surprised to hear that the job wasn't the most popular in the Army . . .)

Peter

4 comments:

Stu Garfath said...

A very nice piece of kit for sure.
One think you Yanks have GOT to learn.
STOP DIVULGING what equipment you have, its uses and capabilities, even right down to, in this case, the parameters of its corridor of ability and effectiveness, and far too much else.
Whilst in the RAAF, I was shown a then, SECRET video of a new piece of kit that was very effective in rendering pretty much any IED inoperable.
It left no evidence of how this was done.
It existence has never been publicly divulged, and rightly so.
I strongly suggest the USA follows suit.



Anonymous said...

You assume they are telling the truth. What you think you know is often more dangerous, than what you know you do not.

Stu garfath said...

To Anon @ Aug. 26 8:20pm.
Granted, the planting of disinformation is one of many military tactics, used since Roman times.
My point is, you must accept that your enemy has the intelligence to see between the lines, so to speak, NEVER underestimate your foe.
My time in the RAAF EW/SIGINT/COMINT community indelibly imprinted those words upon me.
Example. Vietnam, mid 60's. About 350-500+ NVA were bugging out north, they were chased by ARVN/US Army,and contact was imminent.
The American Airborne Commander, in a Cessna 337 Skymaster, was directing operations.
He was contacted by the CO of an Australian force, the 5th Kangaroo Btn, and a 'hold fire' at a given location was called for, they were chasing the NVA, and his forces were in Australian dark green (Jungle Green-JG's).
After about 4 minutes, the request was granted, and the force transited the area, nothing more was heard from the Australians on the ground.
The Commander had made a monumental blunder, as he not asked for Authentification codes, (ZNB), or checked the I.D. of the Aussies on the ground.
There has never been a 5th Kangaroo Btn,- they were NVA.
The NVA operator had a damn near perfect English sounding' voice, which could be mistaken for an Aussie, if you weren't familiar with our accent.
I listened to those tapes a few times, and that ground radio op. was impressively good at what he did, because he knew our procedures and how we operated.
Never underestimate your foe.

Jefferson Selvy said...

How long before the local p.d. gets it?