Flail tanks. Are they no use? Why dont we use them today?

#1
Just found this mine clearance vehicle

Video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ya2sSnGl3W8 (Somewhat silly commentary!

Now it looks OK for post conflict mine clearance I suppose but it doesn't look like something you'd want to use on the battle field.

It follows the principle of the old Flail tanks:


Is there no role for something of this nature to fill the gap between the bloke with a mine probe and Giant Viper? Something like a flail on a 432 for example?
 
#3
We used them in Kuwait. They were nicknamed the AARDVARK Mine Redispersal system due to the fact they picked up the mines and flung them elsewhere, including the parts you had just cleared.

They are not effective against constant pressure 'bellows' mines such as the Italian VS1.6/2.2, VS50 etc as the chains don't provide the constant pressure to activate them.

In the end, bits of metal bar were welded to armoured excavator buckets and the planties drove down the desert setting mines off one at a time for the ones too dodgy to defuse by hand.

Ironically we cleared beaches after the AARDVARK had been there by hand to get rid of the re-dispersed mines. At least one of our number died in this way.

MM :( (ignore avatar for this post)
 
#6
llech said:
Fallschirmjager said:
Flail tanks. Are they no use? Why don't we use them today?
Nearly all casualties in theatre are due to IED not mine strike. Flails are no use against IEDs.
Would they not damage them in such a way as to render them useless?
Thats assuming the IED is in the path of the flail? It may make them more unstable, or fling bits of IED elsewhere.

What if it is an 'off-route' shaped charge IED? Would get the flail.

As FJ says, no use or they'd be using them.

MM
 
#7
llech said:
Would they not damage them in such a way as to render them useless?
No. They would just activate the pressure plate and the explosives which would no doubt be around 1 to 2 metres behind the pressure plate would blow the vehicle up!
 
#8
I wasn't there but I heard one of the units using them called it a GWARVARK due the pigment colour of the drivers hair.

Not alot of people know that.
 
#11
Fallschirmjager said:
llech said:
Would they not damage them in such a way as to render them useless?
No. They would just activate the pressure plate and the explosives which would no doubt be around 1 to 2 metres behind the pressure plate would blow the vehicle up!
Answers that question! Cheers.
 
#12
What happened to the ones we bought for the Balkans then, probably sold at a knockdown price and then bought back for an inflated price, just like the Supacats !

The press will have a field day
 
#14
creepy said:
ermmmmmm..Aardvark?
It doesn't look like something you'd want to be sitting in whilst being shot at. A 432 would be less mine resistant but would be more of a combat vehicle I would think.
 
#16
meridian said:
Anyone know what we did with these we bought for the Balkans

I believe we stopped using them as they didn't work. They were designed for use in South Africa to route clear long straight roads, unfortunately icy and bendy Balkan roads weren't particularly suitable.
 
#17
meridian said:
What happened to the ones we bought for the Balkans then, probably sold at a knockdown price and then bought back for an inflated price, just like the Supacats !

The press will have a field day
They didn't have a field day about the Mamba APCs, bought by UK for varied Balkan locations, sold off to Estonia, then seen in an medical role attached to the OMLT in Garmsir when Sean Langan was filming there, casevacing british troops who were in WMIKS....
 
#18
Ignoring the specifics and the technical side of the threats, and just keeping it as a simple reply as LAIT said......there is another practical reason for not using these of course.

Apart from the limited use and the damage these things cause to tracks......After you have cleared the route it seems the main problem is actually keeping it cleared.
 
#20
Hello one and all,
I'm almost glad to see at least some talk of defeating IED's on this leg of the forum, we are in the job of mobilty after all.
The vast majority of IED's in theatre are pressure activated either anti personell or anti vehicle or both. They are simple in construction and simple to operate and there is the problem. It is not a lack of equipment that causes the casualties but a lack of understanding the threat and targeting us that causes the problem.

We are not living in a world of new super bombs, they are nothing more than minefields laid with un conventional mines (IED's). We must search and clear and then hold (overwatch) much the same as the Romans did in ancient Britain, without that we are buggered, no matter what new equipment is thrown at it.

There is no simple bit of kit, no silver bullet, no cure to all cancers, but by god i wish there was......
 
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