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Bomb Blankets - Containing & neutralising unexploded ordnance

17/10/2017 by Rajib Pal

 

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How often have we heard of this scene. A member of a bomb disposal squad moves forward cautiously towards an unexploded device, hoping to defuse it. But as he approaches, the bomb detonates – killing him and perhaps others in the vicinity as well. Ever so often, unexploded devices have been detected, but before they can be neutralized, they explode causing needless casualties and creating immense damage. This is an oft witnessed phenomenon in Iraq, Afghanistan, India and many areas of the world which are prone to terrorist attacks. If only the means to contain an explosive device are available, valuable lives can be saved.

Bombs and Improvised Explosive Devices are fast emerging as the weapon of choice amongst terrorist groups and Anti-national elements. Should a bomb or IED be detected, it is essential that it be safely contained, till it is subsequently neutralized. This will help protect personnel and materiel in case of detonation.

Different Types of IEDs

The bomb blanket helps provide this protection. Made of high strength ballistic material it consists of a blanket (size 160 cms x 140cms ) and a safety ring (size 160 cms x 40cms) that can be placed as a suppression blanket over a suspected device. The safety ring is placed around the explosive device and the blanket draped over it. In case of an explosion, the safety ring around the explosive device channelized the blast upwards into the bomb blanket which dissipates and contains the blast energy and shrapnel. The force of the explosion is thus contained within, preventing damage to personnel or property in the vicinity. In case of devices of higher intensity two safety rings and two blankets can be used to increase the containment of a high energy blast.

Bomb Blanket and Safety Ring

This simple but effective mechanism provides protection against fragments of 1.1 grams and blast waves travelling up to 500 meters per second. Its four heavy duty nylon webbing and handling straps enable careful and precise placement over a suspected explosive device. With a total weight of just around 16 kilograms (12 kgs for the bomb blanket +- 1 kgs) and 3.8 kgs for the safety ring +- 500gms) it can be rapidly transported and even man-packed to threatened areas. This simple, easy-to-use device requires minimal training and ensures that a suspected device is safely contained, till the arrival of specialists to neutralize it. Even should the device explode, it ensures that minimal damage would accrue.

Bomb blankets are effective against most IEDs, pipe bombs, cycle or motor cycle bombs (over which the bomb blanket can be merely draped to help contain the damage), hand grenades and fragmentation devices. It can be used to protect explosives in explosive prone areas (such as ammunition dumps and depots) and provide shielding in case of misfires during field firings and training events. They can also be used in the clearance of unexploded mines or during own mine laying or minefield resuscitation operations. They can be draped over sentry posts, doors and windows and vulnerable areas for added protection to the occupants. VIP protection, especially while on the move, is another dimension of their use.

Our bomb blankets not only contain blasts – they help save valuable lives.

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