A Valmara 69 mine during training by Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team in Kuwait, 1992.
|Type||Bouncing anti-personnel mine|
|Place of origin||Italy|
|Filling weight||0.42 kg|
|10 kg push or 6 kg pull|
Valmara 69 or V-69 is an Italian bouncing anti-personnel mine manufactured by Valsella. The mine was developed from the V-59 mine, and although the mine is no longer produced in Italy, a number of copies were produced in other countries e.g. the "SPM-1" manufactured by Singapore.
The South African version was called the J-69, and was an identical copy of the Italian version. A single centre prong version was also produced. It is no longer produced by South Africa who are compliant with the Mine Ban Treaty requirements.
The mine has a short tubular olive green or sand colored plastic body inside which is the steel bounding body of the mine. On top of the mine is a round fuze cap with five prongs. The mine is triggered when the fuze cap tilts, either because of pressure on one of the prongs or a pull on an attached tripwire. The tilting fuze mechanism is not affected by overpressure. When the mine is triggered, a spring-loaded firing pin fires a percussion cap inside the fuze, which ignites a propelling charge at the base of the mine. The propellant charge launches the mine up out of the ground and into the air.
The mine contains 550g of High Explosives within it.
When the mine reaches a height of approximately 50 cm above ground, an integral tether wire (connecting it to the plastic body from which it was launched) tugs on a spring-loaded firing pin in the body of the mine, which detonates the main explosive charge. Embedded in a plastic fragmentation sleeve surrounding the main explosive charge are approximately 1,000 pre-cut steel fragments, which are projected at high velocity in all directions. The mine has a lethal radius of 25 m, but the fragments remain dangerous at a considerable distance beyond that e.g. can inflict deeply penetrating eye wounds.
The time taken from triggering the mine to detonation is approximately one second, so there is no time to take cover from the blast.
This mine has significant metal content, which makes it easy to find using a metal detector. However, like the majority of bounding mines, most of the Valmara 69 is hidden underground and may be difficult to see, particularly in heavy undergrowth. Additionally, the Valmara 69 may be laid along with minimum metal mines such as the VS-50, VS MK2, TS-50, SB-33 and SB-81, which complicates the clearance process.
Valsella also manufactured a completely separate electronic anti-handling device known as the VS-AR. This was a tilt-operated device, specifically designed to be fitted to any of the following Valsella products: the VS-50 (standard version, not the VS-50AR) and Valmara 69 anti-personnel mines, as well as the VS-1.6 and VS-1.2 anti-tank mines. The VS-AR4 has a series of fuze adaptors which allow it to be screwed into the bottom of any of those mines. It has a 10-minute mechanical arming delay (started by removing a pin) followed by a 30-minute electronic arming delay. The power source are two 1.5 V batteries and the operational life is longer than a year.
The Valmara 69 is found in Angola, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Kuwait, Mozambique, Sudan, and the Western Sahara
The M16 mine is a United States-made bounding anti-personnel mine. It was based on captured plans of the World War II era German S-mine and has similar performance. The mine consists of a cast iron body in a thin steel sleeve. A central fuze well on the top of the mine is normally fitted with a pronged M605 pressure and tilt fuze. Sufficient pressure on the prongs or tension on an attached tripwire causes the release of a striker. The freed striker is forced into a percussion cap which ignites a short pyrotechnic delay. The purpose of this delay is to allow the victim to move off the top of the mine, to prevent its upward movement from being blocked. Once the delay has burned through, a 4.5-gram black powder charge is ignited, which launches the inner iron body of the mine up into the air. The charge also ignites a second pair of pyrotechnic delays.
The SB-33 is a small Italian minimum metal blast type anti-personnel mine formerly manufactured by Misar, that entered service in 1977. The SB-33 can be emplaced by hand or scattered using the helicopter mounted SY-AT system.
The PROM-1 is a Yugoslavian manufactured bounding type of anti-personnel mine. It consists of a cylindrical body with a pronged fuze inserted into the top of the mine. It is broadly similar in operation to the German S-mine.
The VS-MK-2 is a plastic bodied scatterable anti-personnel blast mine manufactured by the now-defunct Valsella Meccanotecnica, SpA, an Italian high-tech defence contractor that specialized in the development and production of area denial systems. The mine is extremely difficult to detect because of its low metal content i.e. it is a minimum metal mine. Additionally, it is resistant to blast overpressure due to a pneumatic system in the fuze. The mine will also function in up to 1 metre of water. An electrically fused anti-handling version of the mine was also produced designated VS-MK-2-EL, VS-MK-2-E or VS-MK2 AR-AN to hinder clearance attempts. Although Italy has ceased production of this mine it may still be found in uncleared minefields located in Angola, Sudan and the Western Sahara.
The M15 mine is a large circular United States anti-tank blast mine, first deployed during the Korean War. Essentially, it is a larger version of the M6A2 anti-tank mine, which it replaced. Although the M15 has been superseded by the M19 mine, the U.S. retains large stocks of M15s because they are still regarded as reliable and effective weapons. When used against main battle tanks the M15 is primarily a "track-breaker" which creates mobility kills, but has a comparatively small likelihood of causing crew fatalities. However, when used against lighter vehicles such as APCs or unarmored vehicles such as trucks the damage inflicted is much more severe.
The VS-1.6 is an Italian circular plastic-cased scatterable anti-tank blast mine. It has very few metal components and is resistant to overpressure and shock. The mine can also be deployed conventionally and from helicopters. It was produced by Valsella Meccanotecnica, but production has ceased.
The VS-50 is a circular plastic cased anti-personnel blast mine, formerly manufactured by the now-defunct Valsella Meccanotecnica SpA, an Italian high-tech defence industry specialized in area denial systems which was also the manufacturer of the Valmara 69 and one of the first industries in the world to implement plastic construction for landmines. The design is similar to the TS-50 and VS-MK2 mine. It is blast resistant and can be used in a minimum metal configuration. Though unlikely to kill, the explosive charge contained within a VS-50 is quite sufficient to destroy the victim's foot: the blast is capable of penetrating 5 mm of mild steel leaving an 80 mm-diameter hole.
The M19 is a large square plastic cased United States anti-tank blast mine. Intended to replace the M15 mine, the design dates from the mid-1960s and contains only two metal components: the copper detonator capsule and a stainless steel firing pin which weighs 2.86 grams. It is a minimum metal mine, which makes it very difficult to detect after it has been emplaced. This mine is produced under licence in Chile, South Korea and Turkey. A copy is produced in Iran. It is found in Afghanistan, Angola, Chad, Chile, Cyprus, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, South Korea, Lebanon, the Western Sahara, and Zambia.
The SB-81 is an Italian plastic cased minimum metal anti-tank blast mine dating from the early 1980s. The mine uses an air pressure based fuze, which gives it protection against overpressure and blast. It can therefore be regarded as a blast resistant mine. The mine can be scattered by hand or by mine laying systems.
The TMA-1 and TMA-1A are circular, plastic cased Yugoslavian minimum metal anti-tank blast mine. The mine consists of an upper plastic pressure plate, and the lower body containing the main charge. The pressure plate has eight triangular raised sectors, and a central fuze cap. The pressure plate is held in place by four plastic pins, which when suffient pressure is applied, shear allowing the pressure plate to collapse onto the mine body, triggering the UANU-1 fuze. A secondary fuze well is provided in the base of the mine, allowing the use of anti-handling devices. The mine is found in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo.
A minimum metal mine is a land mine that is designed to use the smallest amount of metal possible in its construction. Typically, the only metal components are located inside the fuze mechanism which triggers detonation. Both minimum metal anti-tank and anti-personnel mines exist. Some designs contain virtually no metal at all, e.g., less than a gram. This is achieved by encasing the explosive charge in a plastic, wooden, or glass body, with metallic components limited to the few small parts in the fuze which can not easily be made from other materials, such as the spring, striker tip, and shear pin. Minimum metal mines are extremely difficult to detect using conventional metal mine detectors and usually require modern techniques, such as robotic Multi Period Sensing (MPS) equipment, to identify, but it is still extremely difficult to find non-metallic mines. These techniques are usually restricted to well-funded international mine clearing organizations and major militaries, making minimum metal mines especially pernicious where they are encountered.
A Blast resistant mine is a landmine with a fuze which is designed to be insensitive to the shock wave from a nearby explosion. This feature makes it difficult or impossible to clear such mines using explosive minefield breaching techniques. As a result, the process of clearing minefields is slower and more complex. Blast resistance can be achieved in a number of ways.
The Valmara 59 is a large cylindrical Italian bounding anti-personnel mine. It is the first in the "Valmara" family of mines produced by Valsella Meccanotecnica, and was followed by the Valmara 69 and VS-JAP. The mine's body is metal with a distinctive five-pronged head. The central prong has a hole, to allow the threading a trip wire. The inner body of the mine has a main charge surrounded with approximately 1,000 steel cubes, below which is a steel wire connecting it to the base of the mine. When the mine is triggered a small charge launches the mine into the air approximately 45 cm before the steel wire is pulled taut, the jolt of which pulls a striker into the detonator. A secondary time fuse triggers the mine after three seconds if it has not detonated after being triggered.
The VS-JAP is an Italian bounding anti-personnel mine. It is the latest of the Valmara family of bounding mines that includes the Valmara 59 and Valmara 69. The mine has a waterproof plastic faceted cylindrical body with a three-pronged cap, with a central fixing point for a tripwire. The fuze is triggered via downward or sideways pressure.
An anti-handling device is an attachment to—or an integral part of—a landmine or other munition e.g. some fuze types found in general purpose air-dropped bombs, cluster bombs and sea mines. It is designed to prevent tampering. When the protected device is disturbed, it detonates, killing or injuring anyone within the blast area. There is a strong functional overlap of booby traps and anti-handling devices.
The VS-HCT series of mines are Italian plastic cased anti-tank mines that use Misznay Schardin effect warheads and have a dual seismic and magnetic fuze. The mines are no longer produced and differ in size and shape.
The VAR/40, VAR/100 and VAR/100/SP are Italian anti-personnel blast landmines produced by the Tecnovar italiana S.p.A. company.
The BM/85 is an Italian blast resistant bounding anti-personnel mine that was produced by Tecnovar italiana SpA. The mine is cylindrical with a three pronged tilt/pressure fuze on the top with a central post for attaching a tripwire. A plastic safety clip prevents the fuze from tilting when in transit. Once the pressure clip is removed the mine is armed. Once the fuze is pulled sideways by a trip wire or by downward pressure, the mine is triggered. A small charge launches the mine to a height of about 0.45 meters where it explodes scattering 1,000 fragments to a lethal radius of about 25 meters.
The TS-50 is a 90 mm (3.5 in) diameter circular Italian blast resistant minimum metal anti-personnel mine designed and produced by Valsella Meccanotecnica.
Valsella Meccanotecnica SpA was one of Italy's largest manufacturers of land mines. The Company's headquarters initially were in Montichiari. It had two production plants in Castenedolo near Brescia, Italy. The three companies of Valsella, Tecnovar Italiana SpA, and Misar SpA together were the centre of Italian mine production.
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