Military


Non-Self-Destructing Anti-Personnel Landmine Alternatives (NSD-A)

The Non-Self Destruct Alternative is designed to replace non-self destructing 'dumb' M16 antipersonnel landmines. Under current policy, the M16 mine is only used on the Korean peninsula. The NSD-A is hand emplaced, contains an integral intrusion detector, and features radio frequency control. It may be command destructed and has a re-setable self-destruct time. If recovered prior to self-destructing, it may be reused. The NSD-A is compatible with the Tactical Internet.

The hand emplaced, Non Self Destruct Alternative (NSD-A) will consist of three main hardware items; a hand emplaced munition, a repeater and a controller. All concepts require a man-in-the-loop for system operation. The munition will consist of a sensor, a communications package to transmit detection back to the man-in-the-loop and receive fire commands, and a final effects mechanism which can be lethal, non-lethal, or a combination. A repeater will be included when tactical operations require a greater separation between the munition field and the man-in-the-loop or require non-line-of-sight communications. The man-in-the-loop performing munition field overwatch would operate a controller console. Through the controller, the operator would be provided alerts signals when an intruder was detected by the munition. The operator would then verify the hostile intrusion and would send a fire command to the munition. The controller would have additional features such as command destuct but would not have the capability to turn the system off and on.

The NSD-A relies on the man-in-the-loop concept to eliminate indiscriminate engagement of the lethal mechanism. With this feature, a soldier or Marine makes a conscious decision to engage a target with a lethal mechanism. This prevents fratricide and addresses the humanitarian concerns of non-combatants entering a mined area.

The Non-Self-Destructing Anti-Personnel Landmine Alternatives (NSD-A) program was put on hold in September 2000 after the Army selected the ATK-Textron joint venture to design and produce the munition. A few months later, the outgoing Clinton administration deferred all land mine issues to its successor and work had been frozen since.

Textron Systems and Alliant Techsystems have joined forces to create "Spider" -- a weapon system designed to provide force protection and serve as a humanitarian alternative for anti-personnel land mines. On 31 October 2002 the joint venture between ATK Integrated Defense, Plymouth, Minn., an operating company of ATK (Alliant Techsystems,, and Textron Systems, Wilmington, Mass., a subsidiary of Textron Inc., was awarded a $53.8 million development contract to jointly complete development of a hand-emplaced munitions system that will serve as an alternative to or replacement for current non-self-destructing anti-personnel landmines.

The system will allow the soldier/Marine to remotely monitor/control, fire, or deactivate individual munitions within the munition field. This enhanced capability will also minimize injuries to friendly troops and non-combatants during hostilities and following a conflict.

The work will be performed under the U.S. Army's Non-Self Destruct Alternative (NSDA) program. The NSDA program is a key element of the Army's Anti-Personnel Landmine Alternatives (APL-A) initiative.

The 50-50 joint venture will work with the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC) and Project Manager, Close Combat Systems at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., to develop an NSDA system that will include "man-in-the-loop" operation and "off-on-off " munition controls. Type classification of the system is expected in 2005.





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