Has the Python Mine Clearence System ever been used in anger

#1
Has the Python ever been used operationally?

I know the Giant Viper has (1991) but that isn't the question.

There is a pint riding on this so I would be grateful for any assistance.

Thanks for looking.

Feel free to swing the lamp if needs be. Sounds a rather 'interesting' (i.e. the thought of malfunction must be interesting) system to work with...
 
#2
Don't think so.

Never took any in off of the units in 2003.

Which is strange because you would have thought that if they weren’t used they would have definitely been in theatre.

Scratching head!!!


edited cause I'm still thinking...
 
#4
Are you arguing about the system as a whole or just the name? The Python is an upgrade of the GV with a new rocket and arrester gear, but the same explosive hose.
 
#5
Holdfast said:
Are you arguing about the system as a whole or just the name? The Python is an upgrade of the GV with a new rocket and arrester gear, but the same explosive hose.
Whether the system deployed to TELIC or not?
 
#8
RE-DSO said:
Hose is already filled with PE. Big fire hose for comparison
Must be a hell of a weight for the rocket to lift. Does the rocket just pull the hose off the reel or is the reel power assisted?
 
#12
#13
RE-DSO said:
Hose is already filled with PE. Big fire hose for comparison
Pedantic head on :D

It is filled PE6/Aluminium.

The aluminium gives it added blast and the PE6 is very pliable through a range of temperatures.

Pedantic head off :D

Edited to add

The Polish Army and the JNA had an assault river crossing version. The boat lid is pulled up through 30 degrees and a rocket is fitted inside which when ignited sends the boat off via a blast deflector plate.

The charge line is pulled out of the inside of the boat (from the back) and when it reached the other side either detonates automatically or was Command Detonated. NEQ was around 500 kg so 5kg/metre. And the hose was filled with Semtex.

I will see if I can get some photos of the beasty and post them here next week!
 
#14
Yes its predecessor was used in WW2. Not very successfully I may add. The trouble we had with the original was that it "Snaked" so the clear route across would mean running in a circuitous route. Not recommended under fire! Somewhere in my house, I have a photo of our Field Coy officers trying to get the damned thing to fire straight. Do the modern REs still use the Kapok floats for assault crossings by the way?
Swordman
 
#15
swordman said:
Yes its predecessor was used in WW2. Not very successfully I may add. The trouble we had with the original was that it "Snaked" so the clear route across would mean running in a circuitous route. Not recommended under fire! Somewhere in my house, I have a photo of our Field Coy officers trying to get the damned thing to fire straight. Do the modern REs still use the Kapok floats for assault crossings by the way?
Swordman
Can you post the photos - I'd be very interested.

And YES - I do need to get out more :D
 
#16
rickshaw-major said:
swordman said:
Yes its predecessor was used in WW2. Not very successfully I may add. The trouble we had with the original was that it "Snaked" so the clear route across would mean running in a circuitous route. Not recommended under fire! Somewhere in my house, I have a photo of our Field Coy officers trying to get the damned thing to fire straight. Do the modern REs still use the Kapok floats for assault crossings by the way?
Swordman
Can you post the photos - I'd be very interested.

And YES - I do need to get out more :D
This sounds like "Conger" that I came across whilst looking up the Giant Viper and associated equipments.

Mine-Clearing Line Charge. A British-made, rocket-deployed, flexible line charge called the "Conger" was developed to overcome the shortcomings of the Snake. The Conger was the first modern mine-clearing line charge. Consisting of 330 yards of specially woven 2-inch diameter flexible hose, it was launched across a minefield by a 5-inch rocket. After the hose was deployed, it was filled with 2,500 pounds of a nitroglycerine-based liquid explosive known as 822C. Because it was so dangerous, the Conger was used in combat only once by the British 79th Armored Division during the battle for Calais on 25 September 1944.43 Modern mine-clearing line charges like the U.S. M58 MICLIC and the British Giant Viper evolved from this device.44
from here:
http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/docs/981100-schneck.htm

It seems to have been installed in a Universal Carrier towed as a trailer behind an AVRE according to discussion here:

http://www.mapleleafup.org/forums/showthread.php?t=1389


A related development may be seen here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8H9n4zPf2dk&feature=related
 
#17
I do recall an early NATO Engr demo at Chattendean,where the GV rocket separated from the hose,and was found in a garden in Gravesend!
 
#18
tearsbeforebedtime said:
Has the Python ever been used operationally?

I know the Giant Viper has (1991) but that isn't the question.

There is a pint riding on this so I would be grateful for any assistance.

Thanks for looking.

Feel free to swing the lamp if needs be. Sounds a rather 'interesting' (i.e. the thought of malfunction must be interesting) system to work with...
A mate of mine was very nearly killed (in 1989) by a malfunctioning Baby Viper (made in 1944). Went to fire the rocket and the whole thing detonated! Only his being in a bunker saved him (barely). It was this accident-the last of several-which caused the remaining stock to be withdrawn and destroyed. The crater is still there...
 
#20
Israel uses/used the Viper but now produces "The Carpet":

The system is a unique implementation of fuel-air explosive technology. It is an autonomous add-on kit that can be quickly fitted in the field to any armored vehicle. For minefield breaching, up to 20 rockets are fired in a rapid sequence. The number of rockets used is tailored for the type of target engaged. At the impact point, each rocket disperses a spray of fuel above the target area, to form the fuel-air explosive cloud. The detonation creates a strong impulse over a wide area, which triggers most mines, regardless of terrain, foliage or man-made obstacles. The explosion clears a safe passage, wide enough for safe movement of all combat vehicles. Firing a salvo of rockets from a distance of 65-165 meters from the forward edge of the minefield, Carpet enables breaching a path 100 meters long, within one minute.
Is this the way forward?

http://defense-update.com/news/6702carpet.htm

has other uses as well:

During the IDF incursions along the Lebanese border, Israeli combat engineers used Carpet rockets against enemy vehicles, hitting two Hezbullah troop carriers by accurately employing the rockets from a stand-off range, effectively turning the Carpet carrying Puma AIFV into a Multi-Purpose Vehicle System
http://defense-update.com/2006/07/israelis-use-fuel-air-explosives-for.html
 

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