What is an Improvised Explosive Device (IED)?

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Five Indian Army personnel were recently killed in the Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir in an explosion caused by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

 About Improvised Explosive Device (IED):

  • IED is a type of unconventional explosive weapon that can take any form and be activated in a variety of ways.
  • IEDs are used by criminals, vandals, terrorists, suicide bombers, and insurgents.
  • Because they are improvised, IEDs can come in many forms, ranging from a small pipe bomb to a sophisticated device capable of causing massive damage and loss of life.
  • IEDs can be carried or delivered in a vehicle; carried, placed, or thrown by a person; delivered in a package; or concealed on the roadside.
  • The extent of damage caused by an IED depends on its size, construction, and placement and whether it incorporates a high explosive or propellant.
  • The term IED came into common usage during the Iraq War that began in 2003.
  • Elements of an IED:
    • It consists of a variety of components that include an initiator, switch, main charge, power source, and container.
    • IEDs may be surrounded by or packed with additional materials or “enhancements” such as nails, glass, or metal fragments designed to increase the amount of shrapnel propelled by the explosion.
  • An IED can be initiated by a variety of methods depending on the intended target.
  • Materials Used as Explosives in IEDs:
    • Many commonly available materials, such as fertilizer, gunpowder, and hydrogen peroxide, are used as explosive materials in IEDs.
    • Explosives contain fuel and an oxidizer, which provides the oxygen needed to sustain the reaction.


Q1) What are explosives?

An explosive substance is a solid or liquid substance (or mixture of substances) which is in itself capable by chemical reaction of producing gas at such a temperature and pressure and at such a speed as to cause damage to the surroundings. Pyrotechnic substances are included even when they do not evolve gases.

Source: Five Army personnel killed as militants trigger IED blast in Rajouri forest