Sign of the times, the US Army re-releases the Volcano landmine disperser in Poland

If the United States had not signed, like France and Germany, the Ottawa Convention on the ban on anti-personnel mines of 1997, they had nevertheless stored their mine dispersal equipment Volcano M126 and M139 in 2001, given the lack of operational need. And in fact, no mines have been used by coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past 20 years. But the return of the high-intensity threat finally got the better of these good intentions.

Thus, last week, American forces in Poland (signatory to the convention banning anti-personnel mines) demonstrated the use of the M126 Volcano mounted on a truck, allowing mining with a density of one mine per square meter, an area of ​​1100 meters by 120 meters between 4 and 12 minutes depending on the configuration of the land. The M139 airborne version, mounted on a UH-60 helicopter, and also in service with the US Army, can mine the same surface in less than a minute.

M139 on UH60 Defense News | United States | Fortifications
M139 Volcano mounted on a UH-60 helicopter

The use of minefields makes it possible to prevent certain maneuvers from the adversary, or to protect their flanks. It is above all a defensive weapon, and its return to the American inventory is a sign that the Russian threat on European borders is being taken more and more seriously by the American General Staff as well as that of NATO.

Note that if 131 countries have actually signed the convention banning the use of anti-personnel mines, China, Russia, India, Pakistan and the two Koreas, like the United States, have avoided it. , and today have several tens of millions of mines of all types ready for use. Like the Dublin Convention on the ban on cluster munitions, also ignored by these states, we can wonder about the value of a convention or treaty limiting the use of a type of weaponry while the most militarily powerful nations distrust it?

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