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M23 chemical mine

An image from a video showing a VX filled M23 mine.

The M23 is a U.S. steel cased chemical landmine. The mine was developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s and approximately 100,000 were produced. The U.S. has begun disposal of its stockpile of these mines and although several large stores of these mines have been eliminated [1] as of 2008 work is still ongoing.[2]

The mine is broadly similar to the M15 anti-tank mine in appearance with the addition of four pairs of small ridges on the top surface of the mine. The mine has two secondary fuse wells in addition to the primary fuse well and can be set to operate either as an anti-vehicle or anti-personnel mine. It is normally fitted with either an M603 or M608 fuse. Upon activation the bursting charge breaks the thin steel casing open, heating and spraying the VX nerve agent to form an aerosol.

Specifications

  • Diameter: 13 inches (0.33 m)
  • Height: 5 inches (0.13 m)
  • Weight unfuzed: 22 34 pounds (10.3 kg)
  • Content: 10 12 pounds (4.8 kg) of VX nerve agent and 13 ounces (0.37 kilograms) Composition B4 bursting charge.

References

  1. ^ Army Completes Destruction of VX Landmines on Johnston Atoll
  2. ^ http://www.cma.army.mil/include/docrendition.asp?DocID=003678980
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