Military to use water to disable IEDs

A device – dubbed Stingray – developed by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories, which shoots a blade of water capable of penetrating steel is to be implemented by the US military in Afghanistan to help them disable improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The tool was invented by Steve Todd, a mechanical and materials engineer with extensive Navy experience fighting IEDs, Chance Hughs, a retired Navy SEAL explosives expert on contract to Sandia, and mechanical engineer Juan Carlos Jakaboski in Sandia’s Energetic Systems Research Department for a National Nuclear Security Administration sponsor.

The device is filled with water and an explosive material is placed in it. When detonated the explosive material creates a shock wave which travels through the water and accelerates it inward into a concave opening. When the water collides, it produces a thin blade.

Steve Todd, praised the way Stingray can slice accurately, saying: “That allows you to have a high-speed, very precise water blade to go through and do precision type of destruction on whatever improvised explosive device it’s going up against. Immediately behind the precision water blade is a water slug, which performs a general disruption that tears everything apart.”

See the product in action in the above video. Will this help overcome the increasing IED threats to armoured vehicles?

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