Anti-personnel blast mine



The PMA-3 was manufactured in the former Yugoslavia and has been widely used throughout the Balkans. It is also reported to have been used in Namibia.

The PMA-3 is a pressure operated plastic AP blast mine containing a main charge of 35g Tetryl. The metal content is "very small" indeed.

Height : 40mm
Diameter: 110mm
Colour: top of the mine is covered with a flexible rubber cover that is a dull black when dry. The body of the mine is generally dark green or black and can only be seen when the mine is inverted.

The mine uses an UPMAH-3 fuze with integral detonator.

The diameter of the high explosive within the mine is only half the diameter of the mine (the yellow/orange block shown in the picture below).

When the side of the mine is stepped on, some people have suffered only a bruised foot or minor fractures. If the centre of the mine is stepped on, damage is frequently bad enough to necessitate a surgical amputation of the lower leg. This mine is designed to be laid flush to the ground surface because the initiation relies on the top of the mine tilting and causing friction within the initiator. It may not operate if it becomes more deeply buried. But, when the ground becomes soft (after rain) it may be initiated as the pressure of a footfall compresses the soft ground.

The mine has an arming ring that includes a metal spring. The ring opens but may be left around the mine after arming, Some report that the presence of the spring makes detection easier. In my own experience, the spring is undetectable with some metal-detectors.