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U.S. soldiers demonstrate assembling the APOBS system

The Anti-Personnel Obstacle Breaching System (APOBS) is an explosive line charge system that allows safe breaching through complex antipersonnel obstacles, particularly fields of land mines. The Anti-Personnel Obstacle Breaching System is a joint DOD program for the U.S. Army and the United States Marine Corps.

History[edit | edit source]

Anti-Personnel Obstacle Breaching System originated as an operational requirements document published by the US Army Engineer School, Fort Leonard Wood, MO. The joint requirements document was subsequently signed by the Army and Marines on 11 April 1994. The system was developed by the US Army RDECOM-ARDEC, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, and produced by Ensign-Bickford Aerospace and Defense. The Mk 7 Mod 1 was fielded in 2002, and the Mod 2 in 2006.

The APOBS is used to conduct deliberate or hasty breaches through enemy antipersonnel minefields and multi-strand wire obstacles. It is light enough to be carried by two soldiers with backpacks and can be deployed within 2 minutes.

Once set in place, the APOBS rocket is fired from a 35-meter standoff position, sending the line charge with fragmentation grenades over the minefield and/or wire obstacle. The grenades neutralize or clear the mines and sever the wire, clearing a footpath for troops up to 45 meters in length.

The APOBS replaces the Bangalore torpedo, which is heavier when all sections are used together, takes significantly longer to set up, and cannot be deployed from a standoff position. It also reduces the number of soldiers required to carry and employ the system to 2 (as opposed to as many as 12 for a Bangalore torpedo using all sections).

The lightweight 125-pound system includes these features:

  • Delay and command firing modes
  • Deployable within 90 seconds
  • Deployable from a 35-meter standoff
  • Clears antipersonnel mines and complex wire obstacles
  • Clears a footpath up to 1 meter by 45 meters

As a certified insensitive munition, APOBS is safe to employ and transport.[citation needed]

Current usage[edit | edit source]

The U.S. Army and Marine Corps use APOBS to clear improvised explosive devices in southern Afghanistan.[1][2][3]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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