DESCRIPTION: The M180 Cratering Demolition Kit is a one-step, two-stage, surface-emplaced, 110-pound kit consisting of a standard 15-pound shaped charge, a firing device and a rocket-propelled 40-pound cratering charge. These components are mounted on one leg of a tripod assembly. When the kit is fired, the rocket on its downward acceleration strikes the firing device, which initiates the shaped charge through the demolition circuit. The shaped charge creates a hole in the ground to a depth of 6-9 feet. The accelerating rocket "follows through" the shaped charge back blast to the bottom of the hole, and penetrates further into the soil to an optimum charge burial depth. A time delay fuse detonates the cratering charge and produces a 12-22 foot diameter crater.
STATUS: The M180 is being procured and fielded. A safety modification (protective cover) was installed on the firing device. A Materiel Change (MC) of the rocket motor, due to radio frequency susceptibility, has been approved and is scheduled to be retrofitted on all M180s once the MC is funded.
EMPLOYMENT CONCEPT: The M180 is employed by Combat Engineers and other units in the main battle and covering force areas in obstacle operations. The M180 is employed in 3- and 5-kit groupings for cratering 10 and 30-foot wide roads. When employed, the specified group of items is surface emplaced (without prior site preparation) in the specified pattern, then inter-connected and fired simultaneously.
BASIS OF ISSUE: The M180 is a Class V item of issue.
TRAINING/PERSONNEL: The U.S. Army Engineer Center at Fort Leonard Wood familiarizes active and reserve Combat Engineers in the employment of the M180. The Engineer School provides familiarization to officers and noncommissioned officers during their basic and advanced courses on employment of the system. Training at the unit level is supported by extension training materials. Unit proficiency is evaluated annually through the Army Training and Evaluation Program.