US Army Says Its Looking for New Anti-Tank Mine Systems

The army is hoping to have systems that shoot munitions into the air to sense and attack oncoming enemy vehicles.
Fabienne Lang

The U.S. Army's Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey posted an official contracting announcement on April 1 stating it's looking for submissions of anti-tank mines capable of detecting enemy vehicles. 

As the description reads, the Army is looking to "identify vendors with potential solutions for a lethal, command and control capable Terrain Shaping Obstacle (TSO) Top Attack prototype."

This anti-tank mine system should be capable of blasting submunitions into the air so as to detect and attack enemy vehicles, like oncoming tanks, explains The WarZone.

Eventually, the entire system of weapons should be able to be linked as one network with other mines, so that innocent bystanders or friendly forces don't mistakenly step on them. An issue that, unfortunately, still has consequences in heavily networked minefields around the world, reports Deutsche Welle.

What the Army is looking for

With regards to the U.S. Army's call for submissions, the description in the announcement outlines what it's looking for: a three-part Common Anti-Vehicle Munition (CAVM) system.

To kick things off, the Army is first looking for ideas for its first increment (Increment 1), which is the Terrain Shaping Obstacle's (TSO) Top Attack prototype. The other two components of the three-part CAVM system will come later down the road, and will include an advanced "Bottom Attack" component (Increment 2), followed by "Full Network Capability" (Increment 3). 

Increment 2 will essentially be a land mine, and Increment 3 will be the system that links all surrounding minefields through a "Remote Control Station" (RCS) that can be used via an app on a tablet-like tactical computer further away, explains The Warzone. This remote-controlled system should be able to control "at least 12 fields [that are 490 ft by 820 ft (150 m by 250 m)] located up to 3 miles (5 km) away from the RCS," reads the announcement.

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"The top attack system is envisioned to consist of the Common Anti-Vehicle Munition (CAVM) top attack munition, the top attack dispenser launcher module (DLM), the Remote Control Station (RCS), and an obstacle planning capability."

"The CAVM top attack munition shall have improved lethality over previous generations of top attack munitions (M93 Hornet and XM204)."

On top of that, the Army is looking for submissions of systems that are able to operate on standby mode for up to six months, and be able to transition to a target engagement mode for 30 days. 

As for the top attack mines, they should be able to engage with targets up to 164 ft (50 meters) away, among other requirements. 

The ultimate aim of the Army is to develop advanced anti-tank mines with networks and subsystems attached to them to improve defense systems to keep the enemy at bay

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