Updated: Which cluster munitions did the Army use?

10 04 2011

A reader has sent information on the cluster munitions used by the Thai Army. The reader states that the Army “purchased French 155mm towed artillery units which would have included their projectiles. The projectiles recovered near Preah Vihear seem to be French 155mm NR269. They have details stamped on them, and photos of these may soon be available. This projectile’s payload consists of 56 x M46 grenades.

It seems clear that the Thai authorities are continuing the cover up.

Update: Another reader points this out from a Bangkok Post story: “A source in the army said the weapon in question could be the Caesar self-propelled howitzer, whose artillery burst into bomblets. The army suspended its use after the border clashes in February.” More details on the weapons here. This from Jane’s:

The 155 mm PRB/Giat Industries NR-269 and Denel 155 mm HC Cluster M1 SM ERFB-BB Cargo projectiles follow the same overall design outlines and may be described together. The shell body is made of high-grade steel and is a variation of the 155 mm ERFB-BB BE Smoke projectile …. As such it retains the typical ERFB streamlined outline, (which is the same as the 155 mm ERFB HE projectile…), with a continuous ogive almost the entire length of the body down to the copper or gilding metal drive band and plastic obturator band. A Base Bleed (BB) unit is normally threaded to the projectile base with an adaptor to interface with the bomblet payload. Some rounds may be produced and supplied without the base bleed unit.

The 155 mm ERFB-BB Cargo projectile contains 56 bomblets of the M46 type, although the Denel (SWARTKLIP Products) bomblets differ in some details from those used with the PRB/Giat Industries NR 269. The bomblets are dual-purpose antipersonnel/anti-armour devices stacked using splined spacers in eight layers, each containing seven bomblets. In each row the hollow charges face towards the projectile
nose.

The 155 mm ERFB-BB Cargo projectile carries a nose-mounted MT, MTSQ or electronic fuze, typically a MTSQ M577A1. This fuze is set to function at a height of approximately 500 to 600 m above the target area. As the fuze functions it ignites an expulsion charge which creates an internal pressure to bear down on a pusher plate. The pusher plate forces the payload to the rear, separating the base bleed unit from the projectile body and expelling the individual bomblets at an initial velocity of about 100 m/s. As they emerge from the projectile base they are dispersed by centrifugal forces produced by the projectile spin to cover an oval-shaped ground area measuring approximately 120 to 130 m wide and 110 to 120 m deep – this area will vary according to expulsion altitude and local wind conditions.

Each bomblet trails a ribbon which is deployed as the bomblet leaves the projectile. This reduces the rotation rate of the bomblet and at the same time unscrews a threaded rod a few turns, thereby allowing the detonator to arm. As the bomblet impacts a firing pin can then detonate the explosive. Each bomblet contains a shaped charge consisting of approximately 30 g of Composition A5 or a similar explosive, sufficient to penetrate a minimum of 60 mm of armour and spread anti-personnel steel fragments over a lethal radius of 7 m. Bomblets produced for the Denel 155 mm HE HC Cluster M1 and M1A2 Wasp rounds have an improved detonating system and a fail-safe self-destruct system.

Reports indicate some “fail-safe self-destruct systems” is anything but fail-safe.

 


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12 04 2011
BREAKING – UK Government condemns Thai use of Cluster Munitions | Asian Correspondent

[…] and this contact confirmed, unequivocally, that the devices used by the Thai Army were certainly cluster munitions. They also stated that more reports and photographs regarding these munitions will be emerging in […]

13 04 2011
ข่าวด่วน: รัฐบาลอังกฤษประนามการใช้ระเบิดดาวกระจายของไทย | Asian Correspondent

[…] เมื่อหลายวันที่แล้ว ผมคุยกับคนที่ผมรู้จักในประเทศกัมพูชา ซึ่งเป็นผู้เชี่ยวชาญทางด้านวัตถุระเบิดและทำงานให้กับที่ชื่อว่า CMAC ซึ่งเป็นองค์กรที่ทำงานกำจัดระเบิดและอาวุธดาวกระจายให้ออกไปจากพื้นที่ประเทศกัมพูชาเป็นเวลาหลายปี และพวกเขายืนยันอย่างชัดเจนว่าอาวุธที่กองทัพไทยใช้เป็นอาวุธระเบิดดาวกระจายอย่างแน่นอน. […]

13 04 2011
Thailand 'admits cluster bombs used against Cambodia' - Page 4 - TeakDoor.com - The Thailand Forum

[…] and this contact confirmed, unequivocally, that the devices used by the Thai Army were certainly cluster munitions. They also stated that more reports and photographs regarding these munitions will be emerging in […]

22 04 2011
There are cluster bombs that our guys use and then there are bad cluster bombs | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] But what happens when the ever-so-nice-English-speaking Abhisit Vejjajiva-led regime that includes the Thai Army and their royalist backers are the regime using cluster bombs? Nothing, zilch, silence from the U.S. Secretary of State (correct us if we have managed to miss the condemnation). Where is that cautious use of deplorable? PPT searched her official web page and found nothing that condemns Thailand’s soon-retracted admission of the use of cluster bombs (read our posts here, here, here, here, here and here). […]

7 11 2015
The military junta and its deadly toys | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] The Thai military was accused of using cluster bombs on the Cambodian border under the Abhisit Vejja…. […]

7 11 2015
The military junta and its deadly toys | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] The Thai military was accused of using cluster bombs on the Cambodian border under the Abhisit Vejja…. […]




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