PRESS & MEDIA CENTRE
Although much of the Dragon Assassin™ project is classified we have put together some Questions & Answers here to provide you with further information...
IED Questions & Answers
Q. What is an IED?
A. An IED or Improvised Explosive Device is a homemade bomb constructed and deployed in a non-conventional military way Ė they are often the weapon of choice deployed by Insurgents and Terrorists. They may be constructed of conventional military explosives, such as an artillery round, or from non-conventional explosives such as ANFO (ammonium nitrate / fuel oil) attached to a detonating mechanism.
The term Improvised Explosive Device comes from the British Army in the 1970s, after the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) used bombs made from agricultural fertilizer and Semtex smuggled from Libya.
Q. What types of IEDís are there?
A. IEDís fall into four primary types - Command-wire Detonation, Remote Detonation and Vehicle Born IEDís (VBIEDís).
Command-wire IEDís have a detonation switch, such as a simple doorbell or washing machine timer at one end of the wire and the explosives at the other end.
Remotely detonated IEDís are initiated by some type of transmitter, such as a cordless phone or hand-held radio or even a cellular phone or pager.
Trigger Initiated by contact, ie: by treading on the device or pulling a switch with a trip wire etc. Similar to an anti personel mine.
VBIEDs can be detonated using either the command-wire or remote detonation methods. VBIEDs are normally much larger sometimes containing several hundreds of pounds of unconventional explosives (for example ANFO or ammonium nitrate / fuel oil) or multiple artillery rounds daisy-chained together.
IED's can also be set to detonate
Q. How are IEDís placed?
A. Insurgents will put IEDís almost anywhere. They can be placed on power line poles, buried in the roadside (sometimes utilising a hollowed out kerb-stone in city areas) hidden in boxes, tires and even trashÖ all are possibilities.
IEDs may be used in terrorist actions or in unconventional warfare by guerrillas or commando forces in a theatre of operations. In the 2003Ė2010 Iraq War, IEDs were used extensively against coalition forces and by the end of 2007 they had become responsible for approximately 60% of coalition deaths in Iraq. They have also become the scourge of the conflict in Afghanistan (2001Ė present) used by insurgent groups like Al Qaeda against coalition troops causing over 70% of casualties.
Q. Are there signs of an IED attack?
A. Coalition troops are advised to stay especially focused on their mission, and pay attention to the surrounding environment, when they are in convoy or on patrol. After patrolling the same areas multiple times, troops are trained to make mental notes about the amount of locals or traffic out and about. The local people often know if there's something going on therefore, if on a certain day there's no traffic or no people walking the streets that could be a telltale sign of an IED or a planned attack. Troops have to look for these subtle changes in their environment and act upon them.
Q.Who makes the IEDís?
A.The enemy is very smart and insurgents should not be underestimated in any way. Many of them have engineering and electronic backgrounds; they can build IEDís from scratch often from the most primitive of parts.
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