This is the dramatic moment British troops use the latest pioneering weapon against the Taliban – a ‘snake’ of high explosives that can clear a minefield in seconds.
The Python – which is mounted on a trailer pulled behind a Trojan armoured engineer tank – shoots a snake of high explosives into the air on to a minefield, where it explodes and detonatates the mines.
The rocket system was recently used by troops from 4 Troop 30 Armoured Engineer Squadron as part of Operation Moshtarak and is the first time it has been implemented in a warzone.
Caught on camera by an unmanned aerial drone, this stunning footage shows the Python firing its explosive charge over the Trojan and on to a strip of ground before it was set off and sent up a long cloud of dense smoke.
Staff Sergeant Mark Eastley, 35, from Devon, of 30 Armoured Engineer Squadron, said: ‘’It takes your breath away. You feel the vehicle rock, and in awe of what has just happened. You see the flash, hear the bang and then feel the shock wave.’’
Lieutenant Colonel Matt Bazeley, commanding officer of 28 Engineer Regiment, added: ‘’We are clearing this belt of death so that civilians and their families can begin to live without fear of being blown to pieces by a cowardly and dishonourable enemy that is happy to kill indiscriminately’”
Hundreds of soldiers and civillians have been killed or maimed by IED’s in Afghanistan since US and UK forces invaded the country in 2001.