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XM1060 40mm Thermobaric Grenade

The XM1060 40mm Thermobaric Grenade, developed and fielded by Picatinny within a four-month span, is the very first small arms thermobaric device released to a US war theatre. It is applauded as a critical tool for military operations in urban terrain and close-quarters cave applications.

Thermobaric cartridges provide soldiers with a significantly greater probability of kill/incapacitation within the effective radius. Thermobaric cartridges provide soldiers with a significantly greater probability of kill/incapacitation within the effective radius. The lethality effect results from a thermobaric overpressure blast rather than fragmentation. As a result of the thermobaric reaction, all enemy personnel within the effective radius will suffer lethal effects as opposed to the conventional fragmentation round.

Picatinny Arsenal, N.J.-The Armaments Research, Development and Engineering Center's Program Manager-Soldier Weapons responded to an urgent request for 40mm thermobaric cartridges in five months-an unprecedented response time from development to fielding. Program Executive Office-Soldier Commander Col. James R. Moran challenged the PM-SW office in November 2002 to produce 40mm thermobaric cartridges within four to six months.

In order to meet the short deadline, it was decided to use existing 40mm ammunition components. The 40mm 550 fuze, the M195 cartridge case and a modified version of the M583 projectile body was used along with a YJ-05 thermobaric mix (a proprietary mix from contractor Ensign Bickford). Its performance in a smaller caliber was unknown. Brought into the development were Ensign Bickford Aerospace and Defense and Milan Army Ammunition Plant for loading, assembling and packaging.

Along with several other accomplishments, the TACOM-ARDEC team expedited the design modification, preparation of Interim Hazard Classifications, the safety assessment report and completion of required energetic material testing. Milan loaded, assembled and packed 1,518 cartridges, fired 22 to see if they worked, shipped 308 to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., for safety release testing and prepared the rest for shipment. By April 8, all tests had been completed and the cartridge had passed all tests. Milan had all the cartridges ready for shipment.

Although Maj. Gen. James D. Thurman, director of training, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, decided that the rounds would not be needed for the original urgent request for Operation Iraqi Freedom, he decided the cartridges could be used for the continuing war on terrorism.

On 22 April 2003, PM-SW received an urgent need from the Combined Joint Task Force-the rounds would now be used in Afghanistan. The rounds were shipped on April 30. An e-mail from Maj. Gen. John Vines, commanding general, Combined Joint Task Force 180, made it all worthwhile. "We love it," he wrote. "We want more! The rounds work wonderfully in caves; they are quite effective. We want a boatload." In five short months, these cartridges were developed, tested and produced, and are now being used in the war on terrorism in Afghanistan. More are in the works.





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