Support: November 2, 2001


The US Army has issued an $87 million contract to BAE Systems of Austin, Texas, to demonstrate the Mongoose minefield breaching system. If the company can prove it works, the Army will buy one type of Mongoose for the medium brigades in 2005 and a heavier type of the "legacy force" starting in 2007. This will replace the current Mine Clearing Line Charge, widely regarded as obsolete. Mongoose, like the MCLC, is a rocket mounted in a trailer which pulls an array of explosive charges, laying them across a minefield. The charges are then detonated, destroying the mines in a path wide enough for a vehicle. Mongoose uses two dozen strings of charges (held apart by spacers) to clear a wider area and remove more types of mines than MCLC.--Stephen V Cole


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