A special office established by the Pentagon has developed a new military sensor for detecting deadly improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Afghanistan. Lt. Gen. Michael Oates, Head of the Office, has stated that the sophisticated tool features a sensor pod fixed to the American airplane.
The airplanes fitted with sensors fly around the battleground of Afghanistan and they can identify explosives’ chemicals including ammonium nitrate and potassium chlorate, enabling officials to detect activity of these elements. Homemade bombs are commonly used in Afghanistan and they are enclosed in plastic containers, which cannot be identified with metal detectors.
The airborne sensors project was started last summer and the American troops have started testing the new sensors in Afghanistan. The officials have reported that so far these sensors have enabled soldiers to detect around 500 IEDs.
Oates has mentioned that the sensors have enabled them to save lives of American warriors and Gen. David Petraeus, Top Commander in Afghanistan, has requested for more such sensors.
Peter Singer, a Defense Analyst with the Brookings Institution, has stated that around 268 American soldiers were killed and 3000 soldiers injured by roadside bombs in Afghanistan last year.
According to Oates, the number of Americans killed in roadside bombs attacks in the last few months has been significantly reduced. He added that several IEDs of Taliban are being identified and detonated by the troops.