Stingray Zaps Roadside Bombs

By Alicia Dean
|  Wednesday, Sep 15, 2010  |  Updated 7:32 AM PDT
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There's a new tool to stop the spike in deadly roadside bomb attacks in <a title=Afghanistan." />

There's a new tool to stop the spike in deadly roadside bomb attacks in Afghanistan.

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Camp Pendleton bomb techs are in training for an upcoming mission in Afghanistan. Their job puts them face-to-face with a long list of threats that can destroy lives and property in seconds. The list includes bombs, projectiles, rockets, mortars, grenades, landmines, etc.

Now, thanks to something called the Stingray, troops will have a new tool in their arsenal to defeat Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), the leading cause of combat deaths in Afghanistan.

The device, developed by researchers at Sandia National Laboratory, actually changes the shape of water creating a high power blade that can cut through metal.

That means IEDs can be detonated from a distance rather than relying on bomb techs to disarm them by hand.The disruptor is made of plastic so it's easy for units to transport. 

Roadside bomb experts like Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Donovan Bender with Camp Pendleton-based 1st Explosive Ordinance Disposal Company believes any extra edge given to troops in combat can mean the difference between life and death.

"Every IED that we can get out of the ground and dispose of in a safe manner, that’s somebody else that’s gonna come home alive in one piece," Bender said. 

Researchers used input from U.S. Navy Seals as well as soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan to develop the Stingray.

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