Support: April 15, 2005

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In the 1990s, combat engineers thought they had found an excellent solution for mine clearing, through the use of FAE (fuel air explosive) charges. FAE creates tremendous overpressure, which sets off mines. FAE was not perfect, often leaving mines undetonated in areas that looked like they were hit pretty hard. Then, to make matters worse, the mine designers came up with dual influence fuzes. These required two "impacts" of pressure to detonate the mine. FAE's provide only one. The United States went back to using conventional explosives in their MICLIC (Mine Clearing Line Charge, a cable with explosives or FAE charges built in), which would destroy the mines outright when it was fired through an area to be cleared. Some countries, like China, stayed with FAE for mine clearing, using larger FAE charges to destroy the mines. Not every nation converted their mines to dual influence fuzes, so the older FAE based MICLIC remained in service in many places. Countries like China are willing to accept a few mines still active in a "cleared" area, and so remain fans of FAE clearing.

 


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