Python Gets an Updgrade

The Royal Engineers Python minefield breaching system is getting an upgrade that includes changing the explosive filler to an Insensitive Munition compliant RX4400, improvements to the arming unit and upgrading the trailers.

Phyton rocket in action – direct view

Royal Engineers clear IEDS with Python in Helmand


The contract will complete in 2016.

Python trailer (Image Credit - Plain Military)
Python trailer (Image Credit – Plain Military)
Python trailer (Image Credit - Plain Military)
Python trailer (Image Credit – Plain Military)


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Think Defence hopes to start sensible conversations about UK defence issues, no agenda or no campaign but there might be one or two posts on containers, bridges and mexeflotes!

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Brought to my mind the question whether .50 cal sniper rifles (or anti-material rifles, if we have any) are used at all in the disposing of IEDs
– a nice economy measure, for the less tricky situations?

Red Trousers


They certainly used to be, up to at least 2003. Sapper EOD Teams were issued with them (Barrets). I’d be amazed if that is not still the case, what with all of the Iraq and Afghanistan experience.


Thanks RT, I think they make Barrets with folding stocks? Just so that they fit in better with the spades and other things in the “armoury” in the restricted, under-armour spaces.
– I doubt any other user groups would opt for a folding stock

Ed Zeppelin

ArmChairCivvy –
Not .50cal Sniper Rifle. The HMG! The ANA used to love nothing more than ‘ConDet by .50 Cal’. If EOD couldn’t get out to us it was preferable to ‘Mark and Avoid’ if the situation allowed. Couldn’t do it ourselves sadly

Red Trousers


Don’t know about folding stocks. I fired a few rounds from a Barrett in Shrivenham in ’99 (weirdly, on a 10 metre pipe range) and it was reassuringly positive on the recoil front, but I don’t recall anything specific about the stock.

I once hatched a slightly successful plan for anti-material rifle fire in Bosnia. I set up a checkpoint for a sandy track in woodland where we knew some former warring faction commanders were driving (post Dayton) with a sniper pair I’d borrowed off the Cheshires. Had a black plastic jerrycan in the middle of the track standing upright, and the sniper completely invisible in the woods 300 metres away. I stopped the lead vehicle next to the jerrycan, had a chat with the Serb thug apparently in charge, then told him that he went no further. As evidence, a couple of seconds later a sniper round went into the jerrycan about 3 metres away from my legs which pretty much destroyed it and sent it bouncing down the track, and I said the next one was into his engine block.

Worked out OK, although I was a bit windy that it would. Cheshires did well.


Alexander Arms make a semi auto .338 Lapua that looks like an oversized AR-10.

Alex Sasha

Would really appreciate if i can be advised over the manufacturers of the Python?