Line charges may be deployed by hand, by a towing rocket, or by traction on a nonexplosive line used as a guide. Military applications include clearing minefields or areas containing improvised explosive devices, usually by triggering sympathetic detonation of the emplaced explosives. Other applications include breaking ice packs or log jams.
Some manually deployed line charges may be tamped with dense material placed on top, to direct the blast downward. This is done to disrupt a paved or concrete surface, possibly as an entry point for mechanical removal, and, in military use, to deny use of a road, runway, or other mobility asset.