The United states Army is currently testing a new method of providing a safe path through minefields.
SV Soldiers helps adjust portable pack on colleagues back before spraying starts
SCU Plastic 'Stepping stone' hardens on ground"
SV Soldier steps onto plastic to spray another one
CU Another 'stepping stone' hardening
LV The sprayer progressing along long line of 'stepping stones' (2 shots)
SV Infantryman running across 'stepping stones'
Initials ESP/1809 ESP/1820
This film, supplied by the US Department of Defence, shows experiments conducted by the US Army Mobility Equipment Research and Development Centre at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The United states Army is currently testing a new method of providing a safe path through minefields. The path is formed by spraying a quick-hardening plastic on to the minefield to form plastic "stepping stones" over which the operator and other soldiers can then pass.
The special plastic is sprayed from a sixty-pound (27.2 kilogramme) backpack. Almost instantly a hard "stepping stone" is formed. Since the "stepping stone" distributes the weight of anyone crossing it over a large area, there is not sufficient pressure to activate any mine beneath.
The portable backpack carries enough plastic to create thirty to thirty-five "stones". This is sufficient to provide a safe path through a minefield a hundred fast (30.4 metres) along. Each of the polyurethane foam "stones" is approximately seventeen inches (43 centimetres) in diameter and four inches (10 centimetres) thick.
SYNOPSIS: At Fort Belvoir in Virginia, the United States Army is testing a new device to permit soldiers to safely cross minefields. The device is in the form of a sixty-pound backpack. It sprays a quick-drying liquid plastic, forming pools ahead of the operator. These pools dry in a matter of seconds to form a hard platform that can support a soldier. Because weight is distributed over a wide area, there is not enough pressure on any one spot to set off the mines below.
After each pool is formed, the operator advances to repeat the process. The backpack carries enough of the liquid plastic to form thirty to thirty-five of these 'stepping stones'. Enough to provide a safe path through a minefield one-hundred foot long.
Since the liquid plastic hardens almost instantly, the operator can proceed across a minefield almost as fast as he can spray. After the row of 'stepping stones' has ben formed, soldiers can follow without hesitation.