Intelligent Munition System (IMS)

To meet upcoming challenges while addressing budget constraints, in early 2007 the Army directed adjustments to the Future Combat Systems (FCS) program. These adjustments during the '08-13 POM to reduce FCS family of systems from 18 to 14, deferring Intelligent Munition Systems. The Standalone IMS program remained intact to meet national land mine policy.

The Intelligent Munition System (IMS) consists of a hand-emplaced dispensing module, an integrated sensor system, lethal and non-lethal munitions and a command and control gateway node. The IMS is a key program in the Army's modernization effort and is presently in development to provide the Future Combat System (FCS) with both offensive battle space shaping and defensive force protection capabilities. The IMS is comprised of anti-vehicle and anti-personnel munitions, sensors located both on the munitions and as stand alone devices, and a communication system which allows wireless inter-component communication. Incorporating a networked communications system, IMS is expected to include anti-vehicle, anti-personnel, urban, and non-lethal weapons variants. Intelligent Munition System (IMS), one of two unattended munitions programs included in the US Army Future Combat Systems (FCS) unmanned systems (Annex E) program.

The IMS solution allows for the location and destruction of enemy forces, enables reliable battle damage information, and enhances the ability of the commander to employ forces more effectively. IMS contributes significantly to a more comprehensive and accurate common operating picture than currently available to the warfighter. Situational awareness nodes provide sensing and communications to next-generation intelligent munitions. The scalable lethality of these munitions overwhelming defeat all potential threat targets, including armored or light vehicles. The munitions use a proven scatterable mine warhead technology developed and fielded over the past 25 years. In addition, IMS meets all requirements of the National Landmine Policy and provides interoperable control of the Spider antipersonnel landmine alternative.

This is a weapons program that combines three different weapons systems, including the so-called "Antipersonnel Landmine-Alternative" (APL-A). It is, as a point of departure, designed not to fall within the definition of an antipersonnel landmine in Article 2 (1) of the Convention. The system consists of a number of explosive charges that may be detonated by an operator who has been alerted of the presence of a person because of the person's contact with a sensor. This system is called "man-in-the-loop", which indicates that it is an operator and not the target that activates the explosive charge.

Despite the fact that the US is not a party to the Landmine Convention, there has for several years been a domestic political debate on the country's adaptation to its standards. In a report [US House of Representatives, Report 107-732] from the US House of Representatives from 2002 it is stated: "The conferees direct that the Army clearly define the requirements for a next generation intelligent minefields and ensure compliance with the Ottawa Convention, and report back to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees with detailed plans for such a system."

The IMS SO1 assessment was conducted using the Army's Combined Arms and Support Task Force Evaluation Model (CASTFOREM) in a non-force-on-force mode with Maneuver Support Center-approved vignettes. Threat offensive engagements were limited to munition field encounters only with no play of the combined arms teams. AMSAA analysis showed that IMS achieves its anti-vehicle KPP and is in fact significantly more effective than the currently fielded capability.

ATK is working with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems to develop the Intelligent Munitions System (IMS) for the Army's Future Combat System to ensure battlefield mobility for the current and future force. The PM-CCS awarded two contracts for the initial phase of IMS development to General Dynamics and Textron Defense Systems in 2003. Textron Systems Corp., Wilmington, Mass., was awarded on April 10, 2003, a $34,913,682 increment as part of a $34,913,682 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for the Intelligent Munitions System. Work will be performed in Wilmington, Mass., and is expected to be completed by Dec. 10, 2005. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There were three bids solicited on May 31, 2002, and three bids were received. The U. S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., is the contracting activity (DAAE30-03-C-1094).

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Bloomington, Minn., was awarded on April 10, 2003, a $31,498,537 increment as part of a $31,498,537 cost-plus-incentive fee contract for the Intelligent Munitions System. Work will be performed in Bloomington, Minn., and is expected to be completed by Dec. 10, 2005. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There were three bids solicited on May 31, 2002, and three bids were received. The U. S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., is the contracting activity (DAAE30-03-C-1095).

The Future Intelligent Munition (FIM) will provide the FCS Intelligent Munition System (IMS) with an improved munition, which covers a greater area of terrain with fewer munitions and supports remote delivery at tactical and operational ranges using a variety of delivery platforms (i.e., artillery, rocket, missile, vehicular, and mortar).

The FY2008 Non-Lethal Weapons Science and Technology Broad Agency Announcement for Applied Research and Technology Development Efforts, released 19 July 2007 by the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD), expressed specific interest in soliciting proposals for research, development, integration, and demonstration of NL payloads and capabilities that would fulfill the requirements of the unattended autonomous non-lethal Intelligent Munition System (IMS). General research goals include efforts to: 1. Non-lethally counter personnel and/or vehicles using the IMS Dispenser Module (DM) as the payload carrier. The NL payload shall fit within the DM footprint of 24"L x 24"W x 14.5"H. Total volume available is approx 7,390 in3. 2. Non-lethally counter personnel and/or vehicles using the IMS DM as the control source for a NLW. NLWs would not be part of the DM footprint but a stand alone effect that receives a fire command from the DM and must interface to the SPIDER Mission Adapter Module (MAM) connection or current Miniature Grenade Launcher DM ports.

Currently no viable solutions have been identified to remotely emplace the Intelligent Munition System (IMS) with precision. When emplaced, the IMS requires the components to be precisely positioned with respect to each other in order to effectively cover the prescribed coverage area in both complex and open-field terrains. Presently the only effective emplacement method available to the user is by hand. Current remote emplacement methods do not provide the inter-component accuracy required to effectively emplace a field whereby component area coverage is optimized and data sharing by components over a wireless communication network is achievable. Large emplacement errors may reduce such a system's effectiveness and will require the user to emplace many more components to overcome the shortcomings of the emplacement system. The known air drop parachute/parafoil type delivery systems using Global Positioning Systems and Inertial Navigation Systems do not meet the desired precision emplacement requirements, especially for small size devices, and are susceptible to weather and topography variations.

Current wireless sensor networks are typically powered by batteries. This approach is acceptable when it is feasible to replace batteries or when it is acceptable to discard sensors after the batteries have run down. However, if individual sensors are difficult to get to (e.g. in hostile territory), or if the sensor network consists of a large number of nodes distributed over a large geographic area, then it may not be possible to replace batteries when required. A self sufficient power source deriving its power from the environment and thus not requiring any maintenance would be very desirable in these instances. In order for any system to be self sufficient, it must harness its energy exclusively from its surrounding environment and store this harnessed energy for later use. Under most conditions the amount of power obtained can be expected to be quite small, thus application will be limited to small duty cycle applications to allow for self sustainable operations (for example transmits data / collect data for 50ms out of every minute while harnessing energy the rest of the time). In the context of military sensing/surveillance node placement may be in difficult to reach locations and may need to be hidden. This precludes the use of solar cell technologies because light is typically not available.

The ERDC-developed TopAttack smart munition sensor simulation model was recently configured for the Intelligent Munition System (IMS) being developed by the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) in Picatinny Arsenal, NJ. Models are subject to a rigorous verification, validation and accreditation analysis when used in acquisition decisions. IMS TopAttack was scrutinized by a team of engineers from Textron Defense Systems, an IMS contractor. This four-month effort examined each component of the model to assure prediction accuracy relative to the actual hardware IMS being engineered by Textron. Numerous modifications and improvements were identified, implemented and tested.

An initial operational capability was planned to be available in 2009.

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