Imagine how much cooler “The Hurt Locker” would’ve been if they had this: Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has developed an EOD system that fires ‘pencil-size’ rockets at suspected IEDs. You read that right—it fires rockets at improvised explosive devices; this would’ve made for quite the different movie.
The micro-rocket system called 'Pincher' burns the IED, rather than outright exploding it, limiting shrapnel and collateral damage. More akin to napalm than convention explosives, the eight inch (20 cm) long arrow-shaped rocket penetrates the outer layer of the target, and causes the charge to burn, rather than explode.
According to Defense Update, its “unique pyrophoric material (an incendiary mixture comprising various metal powders such as titanium-boron-Teflon combinations), creates a thermal effect as it combusts in flames at very high temperature instantly.”
To be clear—‘Pincher’ is a rocket system, not an EOD robot. In other words, Packbots (and iRobot) can breathe a sigh of relief. ‘Pincher’ is an add-on, and could supplement, rather than replace, conventional EOD robots.
‘Pincher’ could become operational next year.