MATRIX / Spider
To respond to a myriad of situations across the range of military operations and to defeat attacks against forward operating bases, US forces must have improved capabilities that enable scalable force protection measures while enhancing operational and tactical flexibility.
Matrix is a portable, reusable, soldier-in-the-loop system that can be used in either a lethal, or a non-lethal mode. This new, smart barrier defense system called MATRIX enables both lethal and non-lethal area defense. Matrix is a portable, battery-operated munitions control system that allows soldiers to identify an appropriate target and select a proper defensive attack from a remote location. The Matrix system uses a laptop computer to remotely control both lethal M-18 claymore munitions and nonlethal M-5 modular crowd-control devices, which contain rubber pellets. Matrix is ideal for firebase security, landing-zone security, and both infrastructure and check-point protection.
Alliant Techsystems [ATK] developed Matrix with its joint venture partner Textron Systems for the Project Manager Close Combat Systems and the U.S. Army Armaments, Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), both based at the Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey.
Alliant and Textron, based in Providence, RI, won a $54 million contract in 2002 to begin developing the weapon system in a 50-50 joint venture. On 21 January 2005 Alliant Techsystems was notified that the U.S. Army will accelerate fielding of the Matrix remote munitions control system. Twenty-five Matrix systems will be delivered to U.S. forces in Iraq by June 2005. The Army will field Matrix in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with its newest fighting force, the Stryker Brigade. Harris Corporation, a leading supplier of secure, tactical radios for defense forces worldwide, announced 17 February 2005 that it had been awarded a contract from the US Army to provide radio equipment as part of the Army`s Matrix remote munitions control system.
A follow-on program to Matrix is the ATK/Textron Systems Spider program, an advanced man-in-the-loop area denial system designed to give US forces unmatched capability for perimeter defense, flank protection and more. The Spiders won't be available to US troops until at least 2006.
Spider is an advanced, man-in-the-loop, area denial munition. It will protect the warfighter by laying down either a lethal or non-lethal field of fire yet puts complete command and control in the hands of the soldier. Spider offers remotely controlled force protection while enhancing the operational and tactical flexibility of forces in the field.
Spider gives U.S. forces an unmatched capability for perimeter defense and flank protection. It can be used for offensive or defensive engagements. Spider systems can be easily recovered and readied for a new deployment if they have not been fired.
After the battle is over, Spider systems will deactivate so that they do not pose a threat or residual hazard. Not only is a soldier in complete control of the munition at all times, the soldier can select to engage the enemy with individual munitions rather than the entire system and can chose lethal or non-lethal options.
Spider is being developed by ATK with its joint venture partner Textron.
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