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M15 Anti-Tank (AT) Mines

The M15 AT Mine is 13-1/8 inches in diameter, 4-7/8 inches high, and weighs 30 pounds with 22 pounds of high explosives. The mine is a track-breaker and is activated by 350 pounds of pressure.

The M19 is a square shaped, plastic bodied AT mine which is designed to damage or destroy vehicles by blast effect. The top of the mine has a stepped appearance and a large circular pressure plate. Radial strengthening ribs surround an arming dial which is centered on top of the pressure plate. The M19 has a rope carrying handle attached to the side and two anti-disturbance fuse wells, one on the side and one on the bottom. The M19 is waterproof and it can be laid underwater.

The M19 AT mine is housed in a square, plastic case and holds 9.45 kilograms of Composition B (HE charge). It consists of an M606 integral pressure fuse and two secondary fuse wells--one in the side and one in the bottom. The fuse body contains a pressure plate, a Belleville spring, a setting knob, a step plate, a firing-pin assembly, and a detonator. The mine is activated by 400 pounds of pressure and is a track breaker. When the M19 is employed, it is difficult to detect because of its plastic construction. The mine has low metal content (3 g) and it is difficult to locate using metal detectors under most field conditions but it can be defeated by blast overpressure from explosive clearance systems such as the Giant Viper and MICLIC. The M19 is also license produced in Chile, South Korea and Turkey.

The M21 is a circular, steel bodied, AT mine which is designed to damage or destroy vehicles by a penetrating effect. The bottom of the mine is crimped to the upper mine body. An adjustable cloth carrying handle is attached to the side of the mine body and a large filler plug is positioned between the handle connection points. A booster well is centered on the bottom. The mine has a small diameter fuse cavity and a stamped radial pattern centered on top . The mine is almost always fitted with an M607 tilt rod fuse which can be detected visually, the mine is also detectable using metal detectors. Height of the mine w/o the fuse is 102mm. Other fuses available include the M612 pneumatic fuse and the M609 influence fuse. When the tilt rod or pneumatic fuses are used the M21 can be defeated by blast overpressure clearance devices such as the Giant Viper and MICLIC."

The M21 AT Mine is 9 inches in diameter and 4-1/2 inches high. It weighs a total of 17 pounds with 11 pounds of high explosives. The mine is activated by 4 pounds of pressure against a 21 inch long extension rod or, without rod, by 290 pounds of vertical pressure on top of the M607 fuse. It uses a Miznay-Schardin plate for direct-energy warhead a kill mechanism providing belly kill and track breaking capability. The M21 produces a kill against heavy tanks, unless the mine is activated under the track. It can be buried with a tilt rod, or it can be surface-laid with or without a tilt rod. If the M21 is surface-laid with a tilt rod, it must be staked to prevent it from being knocked over and causing the warhead to be directed away from the target. The M21 is not compatible with any mechanical mine-dispensing system.

STATUS: The M15, M19 and M21 AT mines were last procured in FY52, FY58 and FY62 respectively. The case, fuse well and the explosive charge of the M15 have deteriorated and a rehabilitation program is underway to upgrade the stockpile. No procurement actions are pending.

EMPLOYMENT CONCEPT: AT mines are employed in protective, tactical, point and interdiction minefields. They can be buried by hand or mechanically or can be surface-emplaced. Only the M15 AT mine can be emplaced with the M57 Anti-Tank Mine Dispensing System. An accurate record of the number of mines laid and their exact location is maintained. The responsibility for authorizing the employment of the mines is vested in the commander whose area is directly affected by the mines.

BASIS OF ISSUE: AT mines are Class V items of issue. Combat and Combat Support units may be authorized a basic load of AT mines contingent upon their mission. Combat Engineer units will draw from pre-stock points or Ammunition Transfer Points as needed for the development and execution of the obstacle plan.

TRAINING/PERSONNEL: Initial training is taught at all Combat and Combat Support Schools. Inert practice mines are used to teach the required skills of emplacing, recognizing and removing mines. Soldiers maintain mine laying proficiency through unit training, utilizing Soldier's Manual standards.