The M58 Mine Clearing Line Charge (MICLIC) is a United States Army combat engineering system first placed in production in 1989. In short, a MICLIC is a rocket propelled minefield breacher. A MICLIC is usually placed on a trailer, and towed by an M9 ACE or similar engineering vehicle. It can also be mounted in pairs on a modified AVLB chassis (i.e., an AVLM). Each engineering company has from 2 to 6 MICLICs, depending on whether they are designated as a "light", "mechanized", or "heavy" unit.

When a convoy needs to pass through an area known to be covered in land mines, the MICLIC is moved to the front of the line so that it can be prepared. Once ready, it is launched with a solid fuel rocket, sending a 100 meter (~350 feet) line out over the mine field. Surrounding this line is approximately 5 pounds per linear foot of Composition C (C-4) or Composition A (A-4) for a total of about 1750-1850 pounds of this plastic explosive {1}. Suitable cover is taken, and the entire line is electrically detonated causing a chain reaction of all the mines in an 8-14 meter wide lane to detonate as well. Mines that are not pressure sensitive (e.g., magnetic sensitive mines) may not explode after the MICLIC is detonated, however, the mines are usually thrown clear of the lane that was created. For this reason, the lane is then plowed and smoothed, and the edges are marked, allowing the convoy to safely pass through. This system allows the combat engineering squad to clear a minefield from the safety of their vehicles, allowing them to be protected from small arms fire, artillery, and shrapnel. It is obviously much safer than clearing a minefield on foot even when not under enemy fire, as there is less chance of accidents.

At the core of the Line Charge is a 3/4-inch nylon rope woven with 3 strands of electrical leads and a steel towing cable. Attached to this rope are 2-3 strands of PETN Detonating Cord. All of this is surrounded by the above mentioned explosive. After firing the rocket, the explosive is armed mechanically by being pulled taut, and the electricity used to detonate the explosive is generated by a manual pump.

Specifications

Entire Assembly
Length:                       93 in  (236 cm) 
Width:                        54 in  (137 cm) 
Height:                       28 in   (71 cm) 
Weight: (C-4)               3000 lb (1360 kg) 
Weight: (A-4)               3200 lb (1454 kg)
    
Line Charge
Length:                      350 ft  (107 m) 
Weight (C-4):               2042 lb  (926 kg)
Weight (A-4):               2242 lb (1017 kg) 
Explosive weight (C-4):     1750 lb  (794 kg) 
Explosive weight (A4):      1950 lb  (886 kg)
Method of initiation:       Electrical (10 blasting cap or
                            higher capacity blasting machine)

Other Combat Engineering Vehicles


Notes
    {1} Total weight and explosive type depends on the year of production.
References
  • http://www.bamberg.army.mil/82nd/archive/miclic/gallery.htm
  • http://www.adtdl.army.mil/atdl/docs/cm/miclic/webpages/overview.htm
  • http://mcdweb.pica.army.mil/miclic.html
  • http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/m58-miclic.htm

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