M18A1 Claymore Antipersonnel Mine

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The M18A1 Claymore is a directional anti-personnel mine used by the U.S. military. It was named after the large Scottish sword by its inventor, Norman A. MacLeod. It is used primarily in ambushes and as an anti-infiltration device against enemy infantry. It is also of some use against unarmored vehicles. The M18A1 Claymore mine consists of a horizontally convex black plastic case (inert training versions are gray), which is vertically concave. The shape was developed through experimentation to deliver the optimum distribution of fragments at 50m range. The case has the words "Front Toward Enemy" embossed on the front surface of the mine. A simple open sight on the top surface is provided for aiming the mine. Two pairs of scissor legs attached to the bottom support the mine and allow it to be aimed vertically. Either side of the sight are fuse wells set at 45 degrees to the vertical. Internally the mine contains a layer of C-4 explosive on top of which is a matrix of approximately seven hundred 1/8 inch diameter steel balls (about as big as #4 birdshot) set into an epoxy resin. When the M18A1 is detonated, the explosion drives the matrix of 700 spherical fragments out of the mine at a velocity of 1,200 m/s, at the same time breaking the matrix into individual fragments. The spherical steel balls are projected in a 60 fan-shaped pattern that is 2m high and 50m wide at a range of 50m. The force of the explosion deforms the relatively soft steel fragments into a shape similar to a .22 rimfire projectile. The Claymore mine is typically deployed in one of three modes: Controlled, Uncontrolled, or Time-delayed. When in use by the U.S. military, the M18A1 Claymore Anti-Personnel Mine is most often command-detonated. Such use is permitted by the Mine Ban Treaty. However, use of Claymore mines in uncontrolled (tripwire) mode is prohibited by the treaty. Because of this uncontrolled mode, it is frequently listed in efforts to ban anti-personnel mines. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]







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