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The Giant Viper is a trailer-mounted, vehicle-pulled, mine-clearance system, designed to be deployed in areas containing mines. It was developed for the British Army in the 1950s. It was designed to be towed behind a Centurion gun tank, FV4003, AVRE (Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers); and also the FV432 Amoured personnel carrier.

The Giant Viper uses rockets to launch a 250-metre-long hose, packed with plastic explosive, across a minefield. The Giant Viper hoses were filled, in the 1970s, at the Royal Ordnance Factory, ROF Chorleymarker.

Once it has fallen, the charge is detonated, clearing a six-metre-wide path through anti-personnel or anti-tank mines over a distance of around 200 metres, by sympathetic detonation.

This system has been superseded by the Python, employing the same clearance methodology, but using more modern components. Performance is much improved with regards to accuracy of delivery, deployment speed and the cleared path, which is now 230 metres long and 7 m wide. As with the Giant Viper it was designed to be towed behind an AVRE.

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External links

  • http://www.army.mod.uk/equipment/ese/ese_avre.htm



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