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Developing New Networked Land Mines

Developing New Networked Land Mines

JANUARY 11, 2019 – An unusually frank and open discussion board amongst authorities and industry rivals yielded new insights into creating a Gator Landmine Alternative command-and-control system.

Conventional land mines have been used for many years by the U.S. Military to “shape the terrain” with a view to deny, sluggish or steer an enemy advance. Nevertheless, as soon as the mines have been deployed, the warfighter misplaced the power to regulate the sector.

Including a command-and-control structure would offer the gateway for the warfighter to remotely arm, hearth and assess the standing of the minefield.

This functionality would add an entire new dimension to terrain-shaping, with the power to selectively flip it off. To simplify, a consumer might create a dynamic munition area that would feed sensor info again to Military mission command to determine car motion within the minefield and to permit a remotely initiated deadly response or protected passage. An ageing land mine stock that wanted to get replaced created a chance at Picatinny Arsenal to push for this functionality.


The trouble is critical, as present coverage restricts using antipersonnel land mines to methods which have a human within the loop. The requirement for the alternative features a command-and-control functionality within the Gator Landmine Alternative system. (See associated article, “A New Way of Thinking,” Military AL&T ­January – March 2017, Web page 40.) Every munition subject consists of three essential elements: a backside assault functionality, a prime assault functionality and a command-and-control structure to securely community the sector again to Military mission command. A part of the problem in creating the command-and-control portion of the system is that every constructing block of a minefield, which could be made up of many constructing blocks, is 150 by 250 meters. Inside a minefield, the munitions should talk not solely with different munitions, but in addition with the operator-control station. The variety of operators required within the loop has but to be decided.

The Product Supervisor for the Gator Landmine Alternative (PM GLMR) is on an accelerated schedule—milestone A is scheduled for the third quarter of FY19, with milestone B simply 18 months later—to develop and ship the next-generation subject of munitions for the Shut Terrain Shaping Impediment (CTSO) program.

Due to the criticality and danger of integrating a command-and-control functionality in terrain-shaping materiel options, the Undertaking Supervisor for Shut Fight Methods (PM CCS) engaged industry to evaluate industry approaches and options. PM GLMR is a part of PM CCS, inside the Joint Program Government Workplace for Armaments and Ammunition (JPEO A&A, previously PEO Ammunition). JPEO A&A is headquartered at Picatinny Arsenal, the Joint Middle of Excellence for Weapons and Ammunition, in northern New Jersey.

By means of these industry engagements, PM GLMR has been conducting aggressive prototyping actions for the subsequent era of terrain-shaping obstacles since 2016. That effort culminated in a know-how roundup demonstration in January – March 2017. Lately the workplace undertook an train to slender the main target of prototyping efforts to refine necessities for the command-and-control structure and make knowledgeable selections on the place to proceed investing within the know-how maturation and danger discount part of this system.

CCS held the CTSO command-and-control discussion board on Might 15 at Picatinny, with greater than 100 authorities and industry stakeholders attending. This unusually frank and open discussion board offered the platform for industry to ask questions of not solely authorities representatives, but in addition of different members of industry, each potential collaborators and rivals.
The deputy venture supervisor for CCS kicked off the session, stating that the intent was to debate system-concept choices, to permit industry and the federal government to trade info on earlier accomplishments associated to terrain shaping and the present work every contractor was doing, and to offer a chance for dialogue and collaboration. The intention was to have free and open dialogue of program and know-how dangers. A whole lot of work had been carried out beneath authorities contracts since 2016, and it needed to be shared with the whole viewers of presidency and industry stakeholders in order that management might get correct suggestions to raised inform authorities on find out how to proceed with a command-and-control structure.

In attendance on the discussion board was a authorities panel consisting of management in addition to specialists in communication electronics, encryption and sensors from JPEO A&A; the undertaking supervisor for Positioning, Navigation and Timing inside the Program Government Workplace for Intelligence, Digital Warfare and Sensors; the U.S. Military Armament Analysis, Improvement and Engineering Middle (ARDEC); the U.S. Military Communications-Electronics Analysis, Improvement and Engineering Middle; the U.S. Military Analysis Laboratory; the U.S. Military Maneuver Help Middle of Excellence; the Air Pressure Life Cycle Administration Middle, and MITRE Corp., a federally funded analysis and improvement middle.

The industry panel consisted of management and technical groups from Incredible Knowledge; Northrop Grumman Mission Techniques; Northrop Grumman Innovation Techniques (previously Orbital Alliant Techsystems), which beforehand fielded legacy Household of Scatterable Mines; Textron Techniques, which fielded the M7 Spider mine system and developed the follow-on XMX1100 Scorpion: Clever Munitions System; and NAL Analysis Corp.

In preparation for the assembly, the federal government help group created 12 questions to assist assembly facilitators spur dialog. These important questions encompassed the main focus areas of security, similar to protected passage for friendlies; safety and encryption of knowledge; long- and short-haul communication capabilities; acquisition, supportability and basic subjects. The questions have been employed a number of occasions to pressure industry briefers to share extra perception into their options.

With such a big listing of gamers, it was not a simple activity for PM GLMR management to coordinate and achieve settlement from every group or firm to help and temporary their respective command-and-control experience. Nondisclosure agreements between potential rivals needed to be created and signed. Moreover, the federal government ready internally an inventory of subjects that may be off-limits to guard industry’s mental property and keep belief from the industry individuals. These off-limits subjects have been distributed among the many key assembly facilitators in order that dialogue subjects have been recognized by all assembly attendees earlier than the beginning. Doing this created a way of mutual understanding between the federal government and industry that mental property can be protected and freer-flowing dialog would outcome.

Individuals within the daylong discussion board from authorities and industry introduced greater than eight hours of briefing materials to the viewers. This consisted of technical particulars of the varied industry approaches that have been investigated, adopted by dialogue of the varied trade-offs of every strategy.

Individuals mentioned command-and-control high-level functionality necessities, reminiscent of dealing with of the message info, encryption, knowledge resilience and safety classification. For instance, the Implausible Knowledge group described its strategy of making an internodal community the place knowledge might movement between each munition on the sector. The Northrop Grumman Innovation Methods workforce mentioned its strategy to attaining long-haul communications by integrating Iridium satellite tv for pc connectivity into the munition area. Textron Techniques went into element on its short-haul and long-haul communication ideas. NAL Analysis described its street map to get to a system-on a-chip answer.

Authorities and industry panels candidly recognized schedule and efficiency dangers for every industry and authorities strategy, which, in some other discussion board, can be sidelined for personal conferences individually held between every industry member and authorities representatives. Nevertheless, with the bottom guidelines agreed upon and the fitting individuals in attendance, the chance couldn’t be missed to have these discussions with a purpose to get real-time, trustworthy suggestions.

This was additionally a discussion board to current authorities options, providing alternatives to realize perception into alternate approaches as danger mitigations. The federal government workforce introduced key networking ideas and encryption approaches to steer the dialogue on trade-offs. Business members benefited by listening to about authorities advances akin to a brand new, miniaturized encryption chip developed by the Air Pressure that permits unattended munition methods to deal with encrypted info, a functionality that gives a broader take a look at all potential choices for command-and-control approaches. A few of the authorities options have been provided as much as industry for additional evaluation and applicability to their ideas.

General, the discussion board was a singular alternative for info change amongst industry members and the federal government. Its uniqueness was that it was not only a government-to-industry trade of data, but in addition allowed for industry-to-industry dialogue. This trade offered CCS with a chance to listen to industry rivals ask questions and critique one another’s approaches, giving the federal government priceless perception for future selections and investments.

Armed with the knowledge introduced, CCS is narrowing the main target of its efforts for terrain-shaping ideas and directing that features of the system be carried out in future phases of this system whereas making certain that they don’t seem to be duplicating work throughout the varied contractors. In a single occasion, the deputy undertaking supervisor for CCS offered candid suggestions on to one of many contractors on modifications to its strategy after seeing what others had introduced.

The discussion board additionally delivered to mild different applied sciences that weren’t beforehand recognized by both this system workplace or the system contractors, such because the Air Pressure’s encryption chip. The perception and information gained at this discussion board will allow this system to drive partnerships amongst industry companions and slender down potential options for the CTSO functionality. This sort of venue is one thing this system workplace will definitely look to pursue once more.

For extra info, contact the authors at or

by Waliul Mizan and Sean Stevens

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