The Shrike Exploder has been one of the most popular detonator units for military demolitions work for many years. The British Army has used this device for several decades now and it is in use with more than 40 militaries around the world. The exploder consists of a small plastic box with four different pairs of terminals allowing up to four circuits to be attached at once:Each circuit has a button to test it to make sure it is set up correctly before detonation. There is also a button to prime the circuits and the all important button to fire an electrical current to the electrically initiated detonators used to fire am explosive charge. The NSN number and basic details are printed on a label at one end of the exploder:A separate battery is fitted to the base of the exploder and this has the trade name ‘Shrike’ moulded into the plastic:The exploder is carried in a green nylon pouch with a shoulder strap:This opens up with the exploder on one side and a pocket in the ‘lid’:This pocket is printed with details of the pouch’s contents:Inside are two fault locating tools:These are insulation-piercing prickers used to locate faults in the firing lines. The firing lines used ‘cable, special purpose’, a black and tan twisted wire cable:These exploders are used for a variety of purposes including setting off demolition charges by engineers and for detonating IEDs by bomb disposal teams. One humorous use is related in the book ‘Soldier I’:
He gave me the thumbs up and handed me the wire that was connected to the small explosive charge I had put in place that afternoon. I took the two bare ends of the D10 wire and pushed them into the Shrike exploder. I pressed the test button and got the green light. Good, complete circuit, we were ready to go.
I took a look at my watch. Thirty seconds to go. I tapped Jim on the shoulder and pointed towards the safety rail. As he moved into position I pressed the priming button on the Shrike. The red fire light flashed in the gloom. At precisely 9.00pm I pressed the firing button. Bang! The small stage charge took the drinkers completely by surprise. Heads whipped around and the odd Walter Mitty gatecrasher reached for a non-existent shoulder holster.
Jim jumped to his feet and threw the abseil rope over the balcony. For a few tense moments he trod the gallery boards, shooting menacing glances at the crowd below. Then in one quick, efficient movement he removed his respirator and, to roars of applause, launched straight into his first joke.