Giant Viper

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The Giant Viper is a trailer-mounted, vehicle-pulled, mine clearance system, designed to be deployed in areas containing land mines. It was developed for the British Army in the 1950s. It was designed to be towed behind a Centurion gun tank, FV4003, AVRE (Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers);[1] and also the FV432 Armoured personnel carrier.

The Giant Viper uses rockets to launch a 250-metre-long hose, packed with plastic explosive, across a minefield. The Giant Viper hoses were filled, in the 1970s, at the Royal Ordnance Factory, ROF Chorley.[2]

Once fallen the charge is detonated, clearing a six-metre-wide path through anti-personnel or anti-tank mines over a distance of around 200 metres, by sympathetic detonation.

This system has been superseded by the Python, employing the same clearance methodology, but using more modern components. It improves accuracy of delivery, deployment speed, and the size of the cleared path, which is now 230 metres long and 7 meters wide. Python was designed to be towed behind an AVRE.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Foss, p. 144
  2. ^ Nevell, 48–49


  • Nevell, Mike; John Roberts; Jack Smith (1999). A History of: Royal Ordnance factory, Chorley. Lancaster: Cargnegie Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85936-063-7. 
  • Foss, Christopher F. (1977). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the World's Tanks and Fighting Vehicles: A technical directory of major combat vehicles from World War I to the present day. London: Salamander Books. ISBN 978-0-86101-003-5.