The Python is a huge snake of explosives, a fire whip half a kilometre long launched from Trojan bulldozer tanks. It opens safe passages for convoys in hostile territory.
The explosive whip is propelled by rockets from a barrel on board the Trojan. As it flies through the air, the hose is fully deployed, landing along the projected convoy path. When it touches the ground, the Python fires up shattering the terrain and destroying any mine or explosive device planted around it. As Staff Sergeant Mark Eastley - from the 30 Armoured Engineer Squadron of the British Royal Engineers - puts it:
It takes your breath away. You feel the vehicle rock, and in awe of what has just happened. You see the flash, hear the bang and then feel the shock wave.
I believe Sergeant Eastley. The weapon itself is not offensive, as it's just designed to open secure passages for both military and civilian people. It was built by BAES for the British Royal Engineers, and it was fired for the first time in Helmand, Afghanistan, as part of Operation Moshtarak. [Ministry of Defense]
Photo and video: MoD/Crown Copyright