The latest military aid package the Pentagon has allocated to Ukraine includes Cold War-era M21 anti-tank mines.
It is not clear whether the provision of the M21 is a sign that Ukraine’s stock of Soviet TM-62s is running out, or whether the M21 may be needed for other reasons, write The New York Times.
M21 is considered a “heavy mine”. Its diameter is about nine inches, its height is eight inches, and its weight is 8 kilograms. Under the pressure of the equipment weighing approximately 130 kilograms, the mine explodes, throwing a curved steel plate upwards, into the body, wheels or tracks of the target. The US Army Technical Manual states that the M21 can penetrate 7cm armor plate at a distance of 53cm.
These mines have remained in service with the US Army since at least the early 1960s. As of 2002, there were 178,000 mines in the US arsenal. The last time the US Army used anti-tank weapons of this type was during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
M21 is already the second type of anti-tank mines that the USA provided to Kyiv. In September, the Pentagon announced that it would send a thousand 155 mm RAAMS artillery shells for the remote anti-tank mine system. They are fired from howitzers and create temporary minefields among enemy troops. According to the latest available data, as of April 4, the Pentagon sent 14,000 such projectiles to Ukraine.