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M1 Mine Clearing Blade System

The Mine Clearing Blade is a supplementary piece of equipment necessary for the M1A1 Main Battle Tank to breech minefields during routine operations. It is electrically operated, and is capable of clearing surface or buried mines up to 6 feet in front of the tank's path without the aid of supporting forces or additional equipment. The system's track-width mine ploughs can clear 42 inches on each side of a path as well as magnetic-fused mines between them with the Improved Dogbone Assembly. In loose sand, the ploughs can operate at a rate of 30 k/h. The maximum safe operating speed for this system is at least 10 miles per hour.

Features: The Mine Clearing Blade System for the M1A1 Main Battle Tank is an ancillary piece of support equipment. It is electrically operated and is capable of clearing surface or buried mines up to 6 feet in front of the tank's path without the aid of supporting forces or additional equipment. The MCBS has also been adapted for use with the previous Marine Corps Main Battle Tank, the M60A1 Rise/Passive Tank, which is still in the inventory. The adaptation is accomplished by using an adapter kit (described above in general characteristics) and an electrical power interface kit.

Background: The M1 Mine Clearing Blade System is an auxilliary piece of equipment necessary for the tank unit to breech minefields during the normal conduct of operations. In Operation Desert Storm track width mine ploughs proved very successful against pressure fused anti-tank mines and allowed the M1A1 main battle tank to breach mine fields with little loss of momentum. In lose sand, the ploughs could operate at a rate of 30 k/h. When ploughing the plough produces a windrow of soil that is filled with mines. In one case a magnetically fused mine slipped down this windrow and detonated into the side of an Ml producing a mobility kill. Units found that this windrow must be reduced using a mine rake or by laying a MICLIC along side the windrow and detonating it. Units also discovered that the plough was useful in pushing up berms, clearing trench-lines, and delineating counter-attack routes and lager sites.



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