Army building ‘smart’ landmines for future combat
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – Army leaders see a future battlefield with networked minefields a commander can see from across the globe through satellite communications and that can be scattered in minutes but also retrieved and reused when needed.
The push is an effort to keep landmines of various types in the weapons portfolio while still meeting the agreements made to get out of the old school “dumb” landmine use.
Smart mines being developed now are a way to replace some of the aging stocks in the “Family of Scatterable Mines” run by the Army’s Program Manager Close Combat Systems.
The program actually runs nearly half of all munitions from non-lethals to hand grenades to shoulder-fired rockets and counter explosives equipment.
The portfolio, its challenges and what’s happening now were laid out for attendees at the annual National Defense Industrial Association’s Armament Systems Forum in June.
Top of the priority lists are some simple munitions needs — more hand-grenade fuzes and better shoulder-fired weapons.
But the big ticket items that need problem solving are how to use “terrain shaping obstacles,” or landmines, that can be delivered to close, middle and deep distances and then controlled to avoid the problems of scattering mines across war zones and then leaving them for an innocent passerby to trigger years or decades later.