Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Calculation

(San Francisco) – The concrete highway pictured below was broken up by an Improvised Explosive Devise (IED) in Afghanistan when a hostile force targeted a 40,000 lb Stryker Light Tank and crew.

Calculate IED Explosive Force.

Step 1.

Calculate the amount of Force required for the IED to break up the concrete and knock over the 8-wheeled Stryker Tank and injuring or killing soldiers in the tank.

Hostile Afghan Forces use IED to Attack Stryker
Hostile Afghan Forces use IED to Attack Stryker Tank-Defense Industry Daily

Step 2.

Calculate the additional amount of Force required to Vaporize the Concrete, the Stryker Tank, the soldiers and equipment inside the Stryker Tank leaving nothing but very fine dust



The fine concrete dust pictured in the air in the next photo was broken up into a fine talcum powder-like dust in NYC on 9/11/2001.

WTC Dust running people NYTimes
WTC Dust and running people - NYTimes

Step 3.

Calculate the minimum amount of Force, only, required to drop to the ground one million tons of concrete, steel, plastic, glass and civilians in two targets.

The targets are two buildings, both a quarter of a mile high each with 110 one-acre concrete and steel floors.

Step 4.

Calculate the added amount of Force required to crush 80 floors in each building to dust and cut 30 one-acre floors into blocks with the supporting steel beams cut into 30 ft sections.

The mission has no more than 11 seconds each for consecutive completion, or 22 seconds total elapsed time. Calculate the total Force required only.

Step 5.

In addition, calculate the amount of Power required to separately destroy a 47-story building, also in NYC. Drop the whole thing to the ground in less than 10 seconds.

Defined IED – 9/11 Problem Set.

Step 6.

Calculate the Total Force required to reduce most (9/11) of three targets to dust the size of talcum powder and several 30 foot beams. State your answers in the Comments Section below. All work shown is in the public domain, unless you indicate otherwise with a @Copyright Tag. Be brief, but thorough. Answer in terms of Force required, do not speculate on weapons, sources or methods at first. Like the man says “Do the math.”


Step 7. Final Calculation.

Divide Step 6 by Step 1 = Number of times Total Force is greater than an IED, or X times one IED.

Weapons Equals Force Profile Next.

We will match the amount of Force required and the destruction time frame window to available weapons in subsequent columns, based on your comments.

Dial it in, Soldiers! No big thing. This is just another demolition problem set, nothing more, just Focus on the job at hand. Good Luck.

Copyright 2010 – Bob Nichols. Feel free to distribute with attribution and Notes. Sources and Notes are an integral part of the article. Include when distributing. Your Comments are your Comments and are in the public domain.


For our purposes world wide, the following definitions apply. One acre comprises 4840 square yards, 43560 square feet or about 4046.86 square meters (0.404686 hectares.)


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Bob is a long-standing senior fellow with VT Foreign Policy since 2010.  He is also a Project Censored Award winner, a former correspondent for the San Francisco Bay View newspaper, and a frequent contributor to various online publications. He reports on war, politics, and the two nuclear weapons labs in the Bay Area. Nichols is writing a book based on 20 years of nuclear war in Central Asia. He is a former employee of an Army Ammunition Plant. Follow Bob on his YouTube channel, Nichols on Nuclear, Twitter, and visit his website You are encouraged to write Nichols at - Visit Bob Nichol's Latest Posts, Archives (2010-2015) - Archives (2016-2022)