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Finnish Defense Forces develop new prototype weapon to replace land mines

A new form of bounding mine has been developed and tested by the Finnish Defense Forces. The device is set to replace current land mines, which are prohibited by the Ottawa Treaty of 2011.

Finnish soldiers in M05 type fatigues. Anti-personnel landmines are designed to debilitate or kill an army's infantry fighters. Image: Tommi Pesonen / Yle

A new military anti-personnel device modelled on a previous model of bounding mine has been developed in Finland and found to be an effective weapon by the Defense Forces.

Regional news outlet Lännen Media reports that a project started in 2015 to find an effective replacement for the banned land mine is nearing completion, and the Finnish military is likely to add the new mine to its arsenal as early as next year.

The device is based on an earlier model of propelled anti-personnel mine. When tripped, the new mine launches the body of the mine into the air and sprays fragmentation at roughly waist height, utilising a top-down vertical destructive force rather than a horizontal or bottom-up blast as in regular land mines.

Several European governments have expressed interest in the project, and Finland's defence industry is considering export possibilities.

Finland joined the near-global Ottawa Treaty – which aims at eliminating the use of anti-personnel land mines – in 2011. Since that time various defense contractors have been seeking alternative tactical anti-personnel measures.

The new mine is made with large amounts of steel, which is easy to spot with metal detectors.

Edit at 18:59 to change wording.

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