HELSINKI, March 28 (Xinhua) -- Finland has developed a "jump charge" to fill the gap in the national defense caused by the 1997 Ottawa treaty on banning anti-personnel land mines.
The weapon reportedly will release thousands of sharpnells from an altitude of 20 or 30 meters.
The Defence Forces told the media on Thursday that the new gadget is compatible with the restrictions of the Ottawa treaty as it does not explode automatically, but needs a remote order. Observation of the operational area can take place from a drone, for example.
Colonel Raimo Peltoniemi, inspector of the infantry, described the weapon as "nasty to the invader". He underlined that the new "take-off canister" (TOC) is a defensive weapon to be used for the protection of units and their bases.
The TOC has been developed by the Finnish company Leijona Instituutti. The project cost has been 2 million euros (2.24 million U.S. dollars), half of them from the Defense Ministry's budget.
Defense Minister Jussi Niinisto said on Thursday that Finland is now "a concrete step closer" to restoring the "fear factor" that land mines used to create. Niinisto has been a long time critic of the Finnish decision to join the Ottawa treaty in 2012. Finland then destroyed its major stockpile of anti-personnel land mines.
The Defense Forces said that the natural human reaction of a soldier to throw himself down to the terrain on hearing the charge going up enhances the lethal impact of the new weapon. As the sharpnels are coming from above the soldier, lying flat on the ground will get more hits.
The Defense Forces said some technical solutions in the TOC have already been patented and others are being applied. (1 euro = 1.12 U.S. dollars)