MK155 Mine Clearance Launcher
Primary function: Land Mine Clearance System
Host Vehicle: M353 General Purpose, 3-1/2 Ton, 2-Wheeled, Trailer Chassis
Weight (includes trailer and launch rail): 3,775 lb (1,699 kilograms)
fully loaded (includes 1 Linear Demolition Charge and 1 rocket): 6,405 lb (2,883 kg)
Shipping Height: 74 in. (1.88 meters)
Unit Replacement Cost: $4,660
Mission: To clear a lane through a minefield during breaching operations. The MK155 Launcher, Mine Clearance (LMC) is part of the Mark 2 Mod () Mine Clearance System which also includes one M58A3/A4 Linear Demolition Charge (LDC) and one MK22 Mod 3/4 Rocket. The MK155 LMC, mounted on an M353 Trailer Chassis, will normally be towed by an Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAVP7A1). The LDC will clear a lane 100 meters long by 16 meters wide and will be the initial minefield breaching asset used. Because the LDC is only effective against single impulse, non-blast resistant, pressure fused mines, a mechanical proofing device must also be used in a lane that has been explosively breached.
Features: The MK155 LMC is a hydraulic system which can be installed onto any M353 Trailer Chassis. All of the hydraulics are self contained. A hand pump is used to store hydraulic pressure in an accumulator. A lanyard, which runs from the accumulator to inside the towing vehicle, is used to remotely raise the launch rail to its proper firing position. A power cable is fed from the launcher to the towing vehicle which enables the operator to use the M34 Blasting Machine to launch the MK22 Rocket and detonate the LDC from inside the vehicle. The over-pressure created by the LDC will clear a path 16 meters wide and 100 meters long through a minefield consisting of single impulse, non-blast resistant, pressure-fused mines. The width of the lane and the ability to neutralize mines is dependent upon the mine type and fusing.
Inventory: The current allowance assigns 271 MK155 LMC kits throughout the Fleet Marine Force and several training commands. The majority of these kits are in the Combat Engineer Battalions and the Engineer Support Battalions.
Background: The LDC has been in the US inventory since the 1960's, with wartime use in Viet Nam. The early employment, used during the Viet Nam war, was with the LVTE tractor. When the LVTP7 family of vehicles replaced the LVTP5 family of vehicles, an engineer variant of the amphibious tractor was not procured. Throughout the late 1960's and into the late 1970's, the only way to employ the LDC was with a ground-mounted system. Due to the difficulty in moving and employing the LDC in this configuration, the MK155, Trailer Mounted Mine Clearing Line Charge Launcher was developed so that the LDC could be towed behind a tracked vehicle. The trailer-mounted LDC solved the mobility problem for ground operations but did not provide an amphibious breaching capability.
Sources and Resources
Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Saturday, September 12, 1998 6:35:55 AM