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M16a2mine

A cutaway of an M16A2 mine

The M16 mine is a U.S. 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 (leaving behind the steel outer sleeve). The charge also ignites a second pair of pyrotechnic delays.

The mine rises to a height of approximately one meter, before one or both of the pyrotechnic delays triggers the main charge of the mine which sprays metal fragments in a 360-degree spread.

The M16 and M16A1 mines are similar; the M16A1 has redesigned detonators and boosters but remains largely the same. The M16A2 is considerably different, having an offset fuse well and only a single pyrotechnic delay element. This change reduces the weight of the mine considerably (2.83 kilogram) while allowing it to carry a slightly larger main charge. (601 grams)

The mines were sold widely and copies were produced in several countries including Greece, India, South Korea and Turkey. They can be found in the 'wild' in Angola, Burma, Cambodia, Chile, Cyprus, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Korea, Lebanon, Laos, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Oman, Rwanda, Somalia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Western Sahara, and Zambia. The USA retains stocks of M16A2 mines for use in any resumption of war in Korea.

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