|This chapter implements STANAG 2990.|
Scatterable Mines and Mine Delivery Systems
SCATMINEs are laid without regard to a classical pattern. They are designed to be delivered or dispensed remotely by aircraft, artillery, missile, or a ground dispenser. All US SCATMINEs have a limited active life and self-destruct after that life has expired. The duration of the active life varies with the type of mine and the delivery system.
SCATMINE systems enable a tactical commander to emplace minefields rapidly in enemy-held territories, contaminated territories, and in most other areas where it is impossible for engineers to emplace conventional minefields. Some systems allow for rapid emplacement of minefields in friendly areas. As with all minefields and obstacles, scatterable minefields are an engineer responsibility.
Based on the tactical plan, the maneuver commander's staff engineer determines the minefield location, size, density, and emplacement and SD times. With this information and a thorough understanding of the available systems, he can then recommend the type of minefield (conventional or scatterable) to be emplaced. If a scatterable minefield is selected, he recommends the delivery system and coordinates the minefield with appropriate staff officers.
Most US SCATMINEs have similar characteristics. SCATMINEs are much smaller in size and weight than conventional mines. For example, a standard AT SCATMINE weighs approximately 1.8 kilograms and has 600 grams of explosive; an M15 conventional mine weighs 13.5 kilograms and has 10 kilograms of explosive. Arming mechanisms, arming times, and SD times of SCATMINEs differ based on the dispensing system.
Figure 3-1. AP SCATMINEs
The M74, BLU 92/B, M77, and Volcano AP SCATMINEs are all cylindrical in shape. They are 6 centimeters high and 12 centimeters in diameter. Cylindrical AP SCATMINEs kill enemy soldiers through the combined effects of blast and fragmentation. Each mine contains 540 grams of composition B4 as its main charge. The charge detonates upon actuation and shatters the mine's metal casing to produce shrapnel. Shrapnel is propelled upward and outward from the mine and produces fatal casualties to a distance of 15 meters. Each mine has eight trip wires (four on the top and four on the bottom) that deploy after ground impact up to 12 meters from the mine. Trip wires are similar in appearance to very fine thread; they are olive-drab green in color and weighted at the free end. A tension of 405 grams applied to one trip wire is enough to create a break in the electrical circuit and cause the mine to detonate.
All AT SCATMINEs (Figure 3-2) have similar functional characteristics. They are cylindrical in shape, weigh approximately 1.8 kilograms, contain 585 grams of cyclonite (RDX) explosive as the main charge, and have a magnetically induced fuse. The characteristics of each AT SCATMINE are summarized in Table 3-2.
Figure 3-2. AT SCATMINE
AT SCATMINEs are designed to produce a K-Kill (kill the crew of the vehicle) instead of an M-Kill. They produce a kill by using an SFF warhead (created from a two-sided M-S plate). The warhead penetrates the vehicle's belly armor, and spalling metal from the vehicle (created by the mine blast or secondary explosions) kills occupants instantly. Even though the crew is killed, the drive train may be undamaged and the vehicle may continue to move. On enemy tanks with autoloaders, the detonation of rounds in the belly-mounted ammunition carousel is very likely. The mine may not achieve a kill when the track of an armored vehicle runs directly over it.
The magnetic fuse is designed to detonate as the magnetic field changes over the mine. The warhead is bidirectional, meaning that it can fire from the top or the bottom. AHDs are built into 20 percent of M70, M73, and M75 mines. Although Volcano, M76, and BLU 91/B mines do not have AHDs, they may detonate when moved, because the mine may sense a significant change from its original orientation.
Due to their small size, the reduced explosive, and the possibility of landing with an improper orientation (on their side or at an angle), AT SCATMINEs have less chance of destroying a vehicle than a conventional full-width AT mine. An armored vehicle will not always be destroyed after an encounter with an AT SCATMINE. Further, the effectiveness of SCATMINEs in water obstacles is reduced even more, because 5 centimeters of water prevents the formation of the M-S slug. Although the blast wave is accentuated by underwater placement (attacking hatches and covers), mining of banks and approaches is recommended instead.
SCATMINEs can be emplaced more rapidly than conventional mines, so they provide a commander with greater flexibility and more time to react to changes in situations. The commander can use SCATMINEs to maintain or regain the initiative by acting faster than the enemy. Using SCATMINEs also helps preserve scarce mine resources.
All SCATMINEs are remotely emplaced. This enhances battlefield agility and allows the maneuver commander to emplace mines rapidly to best exploit enemy weaknesses. SCATMINEs can be used as situational obstacles or to attack enemy formations directly through disrupt, fix, turn, and block obstacles. Modern fusing, sensing, and AHDs allow SCATMINEs to better defeat enemy attempts to reduce the minefield.
INCREASED TACTICAL FLEXIBILITY
Upon expiration of the SD time, the minefield is cleared and the commander can move through an area that was previously denied to enemy or friendly forces. In many cases, the SD period may be set at only a few hours. This feature allows for effective counterattacks to the enemy's flank and rear areas.
SCATMINEs can be emplaced by a variety of delivery methods. They can be deployed by fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, artillery, manpack, or ground vehicles. They satisfy the high mobility requirements of modern warfare. Manpower, equipment, and tonnage are reduced for their emplacement.
AT SCATMINEs utilize an SFF that is created from a two-sided M-S plate charge to produce a full-width kill. In simple terms, a metal plate is formed into a high-velocity slug that punches a hole in the belly of a tank. The effect produces an M-Kill against the vehicle's engine, track, or drive train; or it produces a K-Kill when the on-board ammunition is set off and the crew is killed or incapacitated or the vehicle's weapon system is destroyed. AT SCATMINEs are designed to destroy any tank in the world. In order to form an SFF, the mine requires a certain standoff between the vehicle and the target. Mines must also be nearly perpendicular to the target (laying on either side). The M-S plate is two-sided, so it will successfully attack the target while lying on either side.
Because SCATMINEs are a very dynamic weapon system, great care must be taken to ensure that proper coordination is made with higher, adjacent, and subordinate units. To prevent friendly casualties, all affected units must be notified of the location and the duration of scatterable minefields. Recording and reporting procedures for SCATMINEs are discussed in detail in Chapter 8, and they were specifically designed to minimize friendly casualties.
PROLIFERATION OF TARGETS
SCATMINEs may be regarded by some commanders as easy solutions to tactical problems. Target requests must be carefully evaluated, and a priority system must be established because indiscriminate use of weapon systems will result in rapid depletion of a unit's basic load. Controlled supply rates (CSRs) will probably be a constraint in all theaters.
SCATMINEs cannot be laid with the same accuracy as conventional mines. Remotely delivered SCATMINE systems are as accurate as conventional artillery-delivered or tactical aircraft-delivered munitions.
Between 5 and 15 percent of SCATMINEs will come to rest on their edges; mines with spring fingers will be in the lower percentile. If there is mud or snow more than 10 centimeters deep, the number will be in the higher percentile. When employing ADAMs or RAAMs in more than 10 centimeters of snow or mud, high-angle fire should be used and the number of mines increased. AP mines may be less effective in snow, because the deployment of trip wires is hindered. Melting of the snow may also cause the mines to change positions and activate AHDs.
For safety reasons, SCATMINEs must receive two arming signals at launch. One signal is usually physical (spin, acceleration, or unstacking), and the other is electronic. This same electronic signal activates the mine's SD time.
Mines start their safe-separation countdown (arming time) when they receive arming signals. This allows the mines to come to rest after dispensing and allows the mine dispenser to exit the area safely. Table 3-1 and Table 3-2 show arming times for individual SCATMINEs.
After the self-test, mines remain active until their SD time expires or until they are encountered. Mines actually self-destruct at 80 to 100 percent of their SD time. The time period from when the mines begin to self-destruct and when they finish is called the SD window (Table 3-3). No mines should remain active after the SD time has been reached. The probability of a live mine existing past its SD time is 1 in 10,000. Any mines found after the SD time must be treated as unexploded ordnance (UXO). For example, mines with a 4-hour SD time will actually start self-destructing at 3 hours and 12 minutes. When the 4-hour SD time is reached, no unexploded mines should exist.
|4 hours||3 hours 12 minutes|
|48 hours||38 hours 24 minutes|
|5 days||4 days|
|15 days||12 days|
LETHALITY AND DENSITY
LETHALITY AND TACTICAL-OBSTACLE EFFECT
Scatterable minefields are employed to reduce the enemy's ability to maneuver, mass, and reinforce against friendly forces. They increase the enemy's vulnerability to fires by producing specific obstacle effects (disrupt, fix, turn, and block) on the enemy's maneuver. To achieve this aim, individual minefields must be emplaced with varying degrees of lethality. During emplacement, lethality is varied primarily by changing the minefield density. Therefore, there is a direct correlation between the obstacle effect and the minefield density. In order to achieve the tactical-obstacle effect, use the following guidance when selecting minefield density:
- Low density.
- Probability of encounter: 40 to 50 percent.
- Linear density: 0.4 to 0.5 mine per meter.
- Medium density.
- Probability of encounter: 50 to 60 percent.
- Linear density: 0.5 to 0.6 mine per meter.
- High density.
- Probability of encounter: 75 to 85 percent.
- Linear density: 0.9 to 1.1 mines per meter.
- High density.
- Probability of encounter: 85+ percent.
- Linear density: More than 1.1 mines per meter.
Density is normally expressed as linear or area. For conventional mines, linear density is normally used and is expressed in the average number of mines per meter of minefield front. For SCATMINE systems, area density is normally used and is expressed as the average number of mines per square meter. Since SCATMINE systems normally employ a preset combination of AT and AP mines, the area density includes both. For example, a scatterable minefield with an area density of 0.006 mine per square meter may have an AT density of 0.004 AT mine per square meter and an AP density of 0.002 AP mine per square meter. Due to the varying dimensions of scatterable minefields that can be created by the different types of employment devices, the exact density of a scatterable minefield cannot be determined. However, an estimate of the average density can be determined by using the following formulas:
- Area density can be converted to linear density by multiplying the area density by the minefield depth. (NOTE: Converting area density to linear density is not always accurate due to the space between minefield strips.)
- Area density: 564 (200 x 650) = 0.004 mine per square meter.
- Linear density: 564 650 = 0.87 mine per meter.
- AT area density: 432 (200 x 650) = 0.003 mine per square meter.
- AP area density: 132 (200 x 650) = 0.001 mine per square meter.
- AT linear density: 432 650 = 0.67 mine per meter.
- AP linear density: 132 650 = 0.2 mine per meter.
COMMAND AND CONTROL
Due to the delivery means, C 2 of SCATMINEs is more complex than conventional mines. SCATMINEs are very dynamic weapon systems because they can be rapidly emplaced and then cleared via their SD capability. Also, the physical boundary of a scatterable minefield is not clearly defined. These characteristics require impeccable communications and coordination to ensure that all friendly units know where mines are located, when they will be effective, and when they will self-destruct.
Based on how the commander wants to shape the battlefield, he must specifically delegate or withhold the authority to employ SCATMINE systems. The commander's guidance concerning SCATMINEs is found in the unit's OPORD/operation plan (OPLAN). Additional information is included in their engineer and fire-support annexes, if used.
Due to the complete control a commander has over the MOPMS, emplacement authority guidelines do not apply to the MOPMS. It is impractical for the corps or brigade commander to authorize every MOPMS protective minefield. Therefore, authority to emplace MOPMS minefields is specifically delegated. In general, units can emplace MOPMS protective minefields as required for their own self-defense and report them as they do any protective obstacle. Any MOPMS minefield used as part of an obstacle plan must be reported as a scatterable minefield.
Basic responsibilities of key commands, staff elements, and units are outlined in Table 3-5. The fire-support coordinator (FSCOORD) is involved in planning artillery-delivered (ADAM and RAAM) SCATMINEs, and the air liaison officer (ALO) is involved in planning air-delivered (Gator and Volcano) SCATMINEs. The engineer has primary responsibility for planning and employing SCATMINE systems. It is vital that coordination be conducted with all units and subunits that will be effected by the employment of SCATMINEs. A scatterable minefield warning ( SCATMINWARN) will be sent to all effected units before the emplacement of the minefield (see Chapter 8 for more details).
EMPLOYMENT AND EMPLACEMENT
Employment considerations and emplacement techniques and procedures differ for each type of SCATMINE and delivery system. This section discusses the characteristics of each delivery system and provides tactical considerations for the employment of each system on the battlefield. Techniques and procedures for emplacing minefields intended to disrupt, fix, turn, and block are also discussed; and they build on tactical-obstacle design principles discussed in Chapter 2.
AREA-DENIAL ARTILLERY MUNTIONS AND REMOTE ANTIARMOR MINES
ADAMs and RAAMs are delivered by a 155-millimeter howitzer (Figure 3-3). There are no special modifications or adaptations necessary for the firing system. Mines are contained within a projectile and are dispensed while the projectile is in the air. The effective range for the M109 howitzer is 17,500 meters, and for the M198 howitzer, 17,740 meters.
Figure 3-3. Emplacement of ADAMs and RAAMs
The M692 (long-duration) and the M731 (short-duration) ADAM projectiles deliver AP mines with different SD times. Each ADAM round contains 36 mines. The M731/M731A1 round contains M72 AP mines with 4-hour SD times; the M692/M692A1 round contains M67 AP mines with 48-hour SD times. SD times are preset during the manufacturing process and cannot be changed.
The wedge-shaped ADAM is a bounding-fragmentation mine that deploys up to seven tension-activated trip wires 6 meters away from the mine. After ground impact, trip wires are released and the mine is fully armed. The ADAM contains a metal-jacketed sphere that is filled with 21 grams of composition A5 as its main charge. A liquid-explosive propelling charge positions itself at the bottom of the sphere after impact with the ground. When the mine is jarred or tilted, or when one of its trip wires receives a tension of at least 405 grams, the sphere propels upward 0.6 to 2.4 meters and detonates. The lethal casualty radius is between 6 and 10 meters.
The M741 (short-duration) and the M718 (long-duration) RAAMs are artillery-delivered AT mines. Each RAAM round contains nine mines. The M741/M741A1 round contains M70 AT mines with 4-hour SD times; the M718/M718A1 round contains M73 AT mines with 48-hour SD times. The SD times are preset during the manufacturing process and cannot be changed. The RAAM mine utilizes an SFF warhead, has a magnetic-influence fuse, weighs 1.7 kilograms, and has a small (12 centimeters in diameter by 6 centimeters in height) cylindrical shape.
The new model ADAM and RAAM mines (designated by an A1 suffix) have a 45-second arming time; the older models have a 2-minute arming time. The new model RAAM has a built-in feature that defeats magnetic, signature-duplicating breaching devices.
The ADAM and RAAM systems were designed to provide a flexible, rapid-response mining capability. These systems provide the maneuver commander with the capability to emplace mines directly on top of, in front of, or behind enemy forces. This is one of their greatest advantages. Their responsiveness allows the mission to be executed quickly and allows the commander to effectively influence a rapidly changing battlefield. They also allow the commander to emplace minefields while maintaining maximum standoff from the target. In short, their emplacement does not require committing any force (ground or air) forward. ADAM and RAAM systems may be used for the following purposes:
- Develop targets for long-range AT weapons.
- Close gaps and lanes in other obstacles.
- Delay or disrupt attacking forces.
- Deny the enemy unrestricted use of selected areas.
- Disrupt movement and commitment of second-echelon forces.
- Disrupt and harass enemy C 2 , logistics (excluding medical), and staging areas.
- Reinforce existing obstacles.
- Disrupt or delay river crossings.
- Supplement flank reconnaissance and security forces to protect flanks along AAs.
- Suppress and disrupt enemy security elements once contact has been made.
- Hinder the withdrawal of enemy forces.
- Hinder the ability of the enemy to reinforce the objective area.
The time and the number of rounds required to install effective ADAMs and RAAMs limit their use. Their range is limited to 17,500 or 17,740 meters, depending on which howitzer (M109 or M198, respectively) is used. Many of the deep-interdiction missions that support force-projection doctrine require a greater distance. Due to the large footprint created when the minefield is fired, many mines will scatter outside the planned minefield area. It is therefore necessary to plot the safety zone in order to prevent fratricide. The fire-support element (FSE) is responsible for plotting the safety zone, and the staff engineer should be familiar with the process and the expected results. The staff engineer ensures that the safety zone is plotted on the tactical command post (TCP)/TOC operation overlay.
ADAM and RAAM mining missions are requested through normal artillery-support channels. Although the actual numbers vary based on the unit and the mission, a representative basic load for an artillery battalion consists of approximately 32 ADAM and 24 RAAM (short SD time) rounds per artillery piece. NOTE: The rounds with long SD times are normally used for preplanned targets and are issued from an ammunition supply point (ASP) on a mission-by-mission basis.
Once the proper authorization has been received to employ the mines, requests for ADAMs and RAAMs are processed in the same way as other requests for fire support, including targets of opportunity. Allocate enough time for processing the request and completing firing procedures. This ensures that the enemy has not moved out of the target area before execution. (FM 90-7 contains more information on this process.) The use of ADAMs and RAAMs for preplanned fires requires close coordination among the Assistant Chief of Staff, G3 (Operations and Plans) (G3)/Operations and Training Officer (US Army) (S3), the staff engineer, and FSE sections. Coordination should also be made with the S2 and the S3 during the development of the decision support template (DST) to identify the proper named areas of interest (NAIs), target areas of interest (TAIs), trigger points, and decision points.
- Designing the minefield to achieve the required effect.
- Ensuring the technical correctness of resourcing and delivering the minefield.
The following discussion provides general guidance for designing the minefield to achieve the desired effect and for determining the safety zone to assess the impact on maneuver. Appendix H of FM 6-20-40 serves as the primary source for technically resourcing and delivering artillery-delivered minefields.
ADAM and RAAM minefields can be emplaced to achieve disrupt, fix, turn, and block effects based on the principles outlined in Chapter 2. The engineer is responsible for deciding the required location, the density, the size, the composition, and the duration of the minefield based on the tactical-obstacle plan and the obstacle restrictions of the higher unit. The engineer provides this information to the FSE. Table 3-6 provides guidance on the minefield density and size necessary to achieve the desired obstacle effect.
The FSE determines all the technical aspects for delivering the minefield, such as the number of rounds required per aim point, the number of aim points required, the size of the safety zone, and the time required to emplace mines. There is a wide variety of factors involved in determining the number of rounds, the size of the safety zone, and the emplacement time. These factors are the range-to-target time, the battery-to-minefield angle, the high- or low-angle trajectory, and the method of firing (observer adjust or meteorological data plus velocity error [Met+VE] transfer). The FSE must tell the engineer whether the minefield mission is feasible. Feasibility is based on the number of rounds available, the scheme of indirect fires, and the availability of artillery tubes.
The engineer is primarily concerned with two technical aspects of delivery provided by the FSE--the safety zone and the emplacement time. The engineer uses the safety zone and the minefield duration to assess the impact of the minefield on the mobility requirements of the scheme of maneuver. The engineer depicts the safety zone on the obstacle overlay. He also uses the safety zone to identify requirements for minefield marking if the unit leaves or turns over the area before the SD time. The engineer and the FSE use the emplacement time to synchronize the delivery of the minefield with the tactical plan.
The Gator (Figure 3-4) has a longer range than any other SCATMINE system. It provides a means to rapidly emplace minefields anywhere that can be reached by tactical aircraft. The Gator is produced in two versions--the United States Air Force (USAF) CBU-89/B system that contains 94 mines (72 AT and 22 AP) per dispenser and the United States Navy (USN) CBU-78/B system that contains 60 mines (45 AT and 15 AP) per dispenser.
Figure 3-4. Gator SCATMINE system
The mines used with the Gator are the BLU-91/B AT mine and the BLU-92/B AP mine. They are similar to the mines used with the Volcano system. The mines are capable of three field-selectable SD times (4 hours, 48 hours, and 15 days). Both types of mines are encased in a plastic, square-shaped protective casing that is designed to aid dispersion and lessen ground impact upon delivery.
The mines are contained inside tactical munition dispensers (TMDs) that are attached under the wings of high-performance, fixed-wing aircraft. The TMD is a USAF dispenser that was designed for common use with cluster munitions. The Gator is compatible with the USAF A-10, F-4, F-15, F-16, B-1, and B-52 aircraft and with the USN A-6, A-7, F-4, FA-18, and AV-8B aircraft.
The TMD is released in the air and allowed to fall free. Four linear charges along the edge of the TMD cut the outer casing, and the mines are aerodynamically dispersed. The maximum delivery speed is 800 knots at altitudes of 75 to 1,500 meters. The area of minefield coverage depends on the number of munitions carried, the aircraft speed and altitude, and the altitude where the fuse functions and opens the dispenser. The average area covered is approximately 200 by 650 meters.
Gator missions are primarily used at long range to disrupt, fix, turn, or block enemy troop movement beyond the fire-support coordination line (FSCL). For use in interdiction missions beyond the FSCL, submit requests for Gator missions as early as possible to nominate targets for the theater air-tasking order. Gator munitions are well-suited for placing minefields on specific concentrations of forces (artillery, logistic, and C 2 ) that are out of range of conventional artillery.
While the Gator can provide close combat support, deep-interdiction mining is expected to be its primary mission. Gator minefields are normally employed in conjunction with other deep indirect-fire attacks, such as area of interest (AI), battlefield air interdiction (BAI), or joint air-attack team (JAAT). However, a Gator minefield may be employed in conjunction with close air support (CAS) and covered by close indirect- and direct-fire systems. Typical mining missions include--
- Isolating objectives.
- Countering ADA/artillery fires.
- Denying terrain.
- Disrupting and disorganizing support activities.
- Inflicting personnel and equipment losses.
The extended range of the Gator system, together with its speed and responsiveness, makes it one of the most influential weapon systems on the deep battlefield. The primary limitations of the Gator are the availability of high-performance aircraft to emplace the mines and the system's relative ineffectiveness on units in column. During any conflict, aircraft will be in high demand and will not always be immediately available for a Gator mission when required. Communications may also pose a problem because mission execution is a joint US Army-USAF operation.
The Gator is well suited to support contingency operations and amphibious landing operations in an immature theater when there is no danger to friendly forces or host-nation assets. Gator minefields are one of the light-force commander's few durable, long-range antiarmor weapons.
As an aircraft-delivered munition, the Gator is a corps asset. The Gator is a BAI mission and is controlled by the tactical air control center (TACC). Missions should be requested as early as possible (no later than 36 hours in advance) through fire-support channels to the corps FSE. As a mine system, Gator missions must be approved by corps. The corps FSE passes the mission to the theater or army air headquarters to be included on the theater air-tasking order for execution. In support of BAI or CAS, Gator sorties may be allocated down to battalion level, with final control exercised by the battalion ALO. Immediate Gator missions can also be requested directly from the maneuver unit's TACC. The same records and reports applicable to other SCATMINE systems are used with the Gator mine system. Close cooperation and coordination among the G3/S3, the staff engineer, and the ALO are required for planning and executing Gator missions.
As with artillery-delivered minefields, the engineer is primarily responsible for identifying the minefield location, size, duration, and density. Minefield density is varied by changing the orientation of the minefield with respect to the target AA. Figure 3-5 illustrates how minefield orientation is changed to achieve a fix or block effect. Normally, Gator is employed as a fix obstacle with a front of 650 meters. Emplacing a fix-obstacle group along a battalion AA (1,500 meters) requires two Gator sorties, each delivering one minefield. Each Gator minefield would have a front of 650 meters and a depth of 200 meters. The minefields would be delivered at different locations so that the group covers the entire AA and affects the entire enemy battalion.
Figure 3-5. Gator minefield
The M38 Flipper is a manual mine dispenser that is designed to emplace M74 AP and M75 AT mines (Figure 3-6). It is a simple dispensing system and uses little automation to load and dispense mines. In short, mines are loaded by hand into a feeder chute. The operator determines the pattern by manually pivoting the dispenser across a 180-degree arc. Mines are dispensed in a 35-meter arc from the host vehicle. The Flipper provides the commander with great flexibility because it can be mounted on M113 armored personnel carriers (APCs), M548 cargo carriers, 2-ton trucks, and 5-ton trucks with no modification.
Figure 3-6. Flipper mine dispenser
The Flipper weighs approximately 58.5 kilograms and uses the electrical power system of the host vehicle. It can dispense six mines per minute, and deployment requires only two people--the mine loader and the vehicle operator.
The Flipper has two disadvantages--the emplacement method requires the crew to be exposed during operation, and it is difficult for soldiers to dispense mines on the move. However, when mounted on a tracked vehicle, the Flipper's mine-dispensing capability can keep up with maneuver forces during movement; and the Flipper can emplace a minefield quickly in response to a threat. An additional advantage is the system's versatility when emplacing mines. It can be used to emplace standard tactical minefields, small point minefields, or protective minefields relatively close to friendly positions. Flipper minefields can be used to reinforce existing obstacles and to reseed gaps and lanes in minefields. Manually aiming the dispenser allows engineers to emplace SCATMINEs with great accuracy on a point target or in restrictive terrain.
Use stop-and-dispense laying procedures to minimize the risks to the Flipper operator. If it is necessary to dispense mines while the host vehicle is in motion (roll and dispense), speed restrictions on the host vehicle must be applied. Personnel should not operate the Flipper dispenser when the prime vehicle speed exceeds 8 kilometers per hour (kph) on highways or 2.8 kph off the road.
All personnel must be cautioned about operating the Flipper in a hazardous area. If a mining mission requires dispensing mines over hilly terrain, mining should be accomplished while traversing across the top of the hill or going uphill. Mining missions should not be accomplished when descending a hill, because the mines may roll to the base of the hill.
The operator can vary Flipper minefield density by adjusting the number of mines dispensed at each stopping point. Minefield composition is determined by the number of AT and AP mines the operator dispenses at a given stopping point.
When emplacing a standard minefield (disrupt, fix, turn, or block) with the Flipper, the crew uses a set stop-and-dispense procedure. During site layout, dispensing markers are placed every 35 meters along the centerline. These markers are offset from the centerline, half the width of the vehicle, to the left (relative to the direction of emplacement). This allows the vehicle driver to guide on the markers during movement and allows the vehicle to remain on the centerline.
The driver stops the vehicle when he reaches a dispensing marker. He then traverses the dispenser to the zero-degree position (at a right angle to the direction of emplacement, toward the enemy) as shown in Figure 3-7. This is the Number (No) 1 mine position. The operator dispenses the mines in the order shown, traversing the dispenser in a 180-degree arc from the enemy side to the friendly side. The target angles shown are a guide that can be used to achieve the optimal spacing between mines and to achieve uniform linear density. All angles arc relative to the No 1 mine at zero degrees. Crews may want to fabricate an aiming circle and mount it to the Flipper to make dispensing more accurate. As a general guide, the operator should traverse 15 to 20 degrees between each mine. For standard minefields, the operator dispenses 10 M75 AT mines (two sleeves) at each dispensing point. For block minefields, he dispenses 5 M74 AP mines (one sleeve) in addition to the AT mines.
Figure 3-7. Flipper stop-and-dispense point
Figure 3-8 shows the pattern for Flipper disrupt and fix minefields. These minefields have a front of 245 meters and a depth of 70 meters. Emplacing fix and disrupt minefields with the Flipper requires four dispensing points; the first one is 35 meters from the centerline start point. Disrupt and fix minefields require 70 M75 AT mines (14 sleeves).
Figure 3-8. Flipper disrupt and fix minefields
Figure 3-9 shows the pattern for Flipper turn and block minefields. These minefields require two centerlines, 170 meters apart. The minefield front is 490 meters and requires 14 dispensing points on each centerline. The total minefield depth is 240 meters. Turn and block minefields require 280 M75 AT mines (56 sleeves). Block minefields require an additional 140 M74 AP mines (28 sleeves). Optimally, two Flipper dispensers are used to emplace turn and block minefields so that both strips are emplaced simultaneously. However, one Flipper can emplace both strips, one at a time.
Figure 3-9. Flipper turn and block minefields
The Volcano multiple-delivery mine system (Figure 3-10) can be dispensed from the air or on the ground. It can be mounted on any 5-ton truck, an M548 tracked cargo carrier, a heavy expanded mobility tactical truck (HEMTT), a palletized load system (PLS) flat rack, or a UH-60A Blackhawk helicopter. The Volcano uses modified Gator mines and consists of four components (Figure 3-11)--the mine canister, the dispenser, the dispenser control unit (DCU), and the mounting hardware (aircraft also requires a jettison kit). The Volcano uses M87 and M87A1 mine canisters. The M87 mine canister is prepackaged with five AT mines, one AP mine, and a propulsion device inside a tube housing. The M87A1 mine canister is prepackaged with six AT mines and no AP mines. The mixture of mines is fixed and cannot be altered. Mines are electrically connected with a web that functions as a lateral dispersion device as the mines exit the canister. Spring fingers mounted on each mine prevent it from coming to rest on its edge. All canisters are capable of dispensing mines with 4-hour, 48-hour, and 15-day SD times. The SD times are field-selectable prior to dispensing and do not require a change or modification to the mine canister. The arming times are 2 minutes 30 seconds for AT mines and 4 minutes for AP mines. Reload time (not including movement time to the reload site) for an experienced four-man crew is approximately 20 minutes.
Figure 3-10. Volcano mine system
Figure 3-11. Volcano components
The dispenser consists of an electronic DCU and four launcher racks. Four racks can be mounted on a vehicle, and each rack can hold 40 M87-series mine canisters. The racks provide the structural strength and the mechanical support required for launch and provide the electrical interface between the mine canisters and the DCU. Mounting hardware secures the racks to the vehicle or the aircraft. Mounting hardware for the Blackhawk includes a jettison subassembly to propel the Volcano racks and canisters away from the aircraft in the event of an emergency.
The operator uses the DCU to control the dispensing operation electrically from within the carrier vehicle. The DCU provides controls for the arming sequence and the delivery speed and sets mine SD times. The DCU allows the operator to start and stop mine dispensing at anytime. A counter on the DCU indicates the number of remaining canisters on each side of the carrier.
Mines are dispensed from their canisters by an explosive propelling charge. For ground vehicles, the mines are dispensed 25 to 60 meters from the vehicle at ground speeds of 8 to 90 kph. The average time to emplace one ground Volcano load (160 canisters) is 10 minutes.
The primary mission of the Volcano is to provide US forces with the capability to emplace large minefields rapidly under varied conditions. The Volcano can be rapidly attached to air or ground vehicles. It is used to emplace tactical minefields; reinforce existing obstacles; close lanes, gaps, and defiles; protect flanks; and deny probable enemy air-defense sites. Volcano minefields are ideal for providing flank protection of advancing forces and for operating in concert with air and ground cavalry units on flank guard or screen missions.
The air Volcano is the fastest method for emplacing large tactical minefields. When employed by combat aviation elements in support of maneuver units, close coordination between aviation and ground units assures that Volcano-dispensed mines are emplaced accurately and quickly. Although mine placement is not as precise as it is with ground systems, air Volcano minefields can be placed accurately enough to avoid the danger inherent in minefields delivered by artillery or jet aircraft. Air Volcano minefields can be emplaced in friendly and enemy territory. They should not be planned in areas of enemy observation and fire because the helicopter is extremely vulnerable while flying at the steady altitude, the speed, and the path required to emplace the minefield. The air Volcano is the best form of an obstacle reserve because a minefield can be emplaced in minutes.
The ground Volcano is designed to emplace large minefields in depth. It is normally employed by combat engineer units. These mounted dispensers are primarily used to emplace tactical minefields oriented on enemy forces in support of maneuver operations and friendly AT fires. The system is vulnerable to direct and indirect fires, so it must be protected when close to the FLOT. It is ideal for use as an obstacle reserve, employed when the enemy reaches a decision point that indicates future movement. Obstacles can then be emplaced in depth on the avenues the enemy is using, leaving other avenues open for friendly movement.
The principles and procedures of Volcano emplacement are significantly different for air- and ground-delivery systems. This section outlines the use of the ground Volcano system to emplace disrupt, fix, turn, and block minefields. The air Volcano system is discussed in detail in Appendix D. Both air and ground Volcano systems are capable of emplacing nonstandard minefields. However, the emplacement norms below streamline identifying resource requirements and conducting emplacement drills.
Air and ground Volcano systems emplace a minefield with an average AT linear density of 0.72 mine per meter and an AP linear density of 0.14 mine per meter. These densities may vary slightly since some mines will fail the arming sequence and self-destruct 2 to 4 minutes after dispensing. Additionally, some mines may not orient correctly, will not deliver their full mine effect, and will not produce a K-Kill. The probability of failing the arming sequence and misorienting is relatively small and does not appreciably degrade the minefield's lethality. For tracked vehicles, the AT density yields more than 80 percent probability of encounter. Volcano AT mines do not have AHDs but are highly sensitive to any movement once they are armed. Any attempt to remove the mines will likely result in detonation.
The basic site layout is extremely important, and it is the same for air and ground Volcano minefields. The limits of Volcano minefields are marked before emplacement when the situation (planned targets within the main battle area [MBA] of a defensive operation) allows it. The minefield is not premarked when the situation (offensive operations or situational obstacles) does not allow it. If the mines have not self-destructed, the minefield is marked before the unit leaves the area or turns it over to an adjacent unit. Minefield marking must include the safety zone, which is 40 meters from the start and end points and 80 meters to the left and right of the centerline. The start and end points of the strip centerline are marked based on the minefield front and the number of strips. For a ground Volcano minefield, guide markers are emplaced along the path of the centerline but are offset left to allow the host vehicle to remain on the centerline. When using a ground-delivery system, minefield marking must leave a gap along each centerline for vehicle entrance and exit. The number of guide markers used depends on the terrain and the visibility. Guide markers are not required for an air Volcano minefield because the pilot will use the start and end points of the centerline as reference points.
Figure 3-12 illustrates the emplacement pattern for standard disrupt and fix minefields using the ground or air Volcano. Disrupt and fix minefields use only one centerline to give a minefield depth of 120 meters (ground) or 140 meters (air), not including the safety zone. The strip centerline is 277 meters (ground) or 278 meters (air) long. The host vehicle moves toward the start point, achieving and maintaining the ground or air speed selected on the DCU. The operator depresses the launch switch on the DCU when the vehicle passes the start marker, and he stops dispensing mines when the vehicle passes the end marker. The operator dispenses 40 canisters (20 on each side) along the centerline. One full load of ground or air Volcano emplaces four disrupt or fix minefields. For ground emplacement, the vehicle moves out of the minefield, marks the exit, and waits a minimum of 4 minutes before approaching the minefield. This delay allows faulty mines to self-destruct.
Figure 3-12. Volcano disrupt and fix minefields
Turn and block minefields (Figure 3-13) are emplaced using the same basic procedures as those used for disrupt and fix minefields. However, turn and block minefields use two strip centerlines along a front of 555 meters (ground) or 557 meters (air). During site layout, centerlines are separated by at least 320 meters for both ground and air delivery. This gives a total minefield depth of 440 meters (ground) or 460 meters (air). The operator dispenses 80 canisters along each centerline (40 on each side); therefore, turn and block minefields require a total Volcano load of 160 canisters. One full load of ground or air Volcano emplaces one turn or block minefield. Wherever possible, two ground Volcanoes are employed simultaneously on turn and block minefields. When only one ground delivery system is used, the crew must wait 4 minutes after dispensing the first strip before dispensing the second strip. This allows mines that fail the arming sequence to self-destruct. For air delivery, two sorties are also optimal; but demands for sorties elsewhere in the division may preclude the simultaneous employment of two Blackhawks.
Figure 3-13. Volcano turn and block minefields
MODULAR PACK MINE SYSTEM
The MOPMS (Figure 3-14) is a man-portable, 162-pound, suitcase-shaped mine dispenser that can be emplaced anytime before dispensing mines. The dispenser contains 21 mines (17 AT and 4 AP). The mines have leaf springs along their outer circumference that are designed to push the mines into proper orientation if they land on their side.
Figure 3-14. MOPMS
Each dispenser contains seven tubes; three mines are located in each tube. When dispensed, an explosive propelling charge at the bottom of each tube expels mines through the container roof. Mines are propelled 35 meters from the container in a 180-degree semicircle (Figure 3-15). The resulting density is 0.01 mine per square meter. The safety zone around one container is 55 meters to the front and sides and 20 meters to the rear.
Figure 3-15. MOPMS emplacement and safety zone
Mines are dispensed on command using an M71 remote-control unit ( RCU) or an electronic initiating device. Once mines are dispensed, they cannot be recovered or reused. If mines are not dispensed, the container may be disarmed and recovered for later use.
The RCU can recycle the 4-hour SD time of the mines three times, for a total duration of approximately 13 hours. Mines with a 4-hour SD time will begin to self-destruct at 3 hours and 12 minutes. All active mines must be recycled within 3 hours of the initial launch or last recycle. This feature makes it possible to keep the minefield emplaced for longer periods if necessary. The RCU can also self-destruct mines on command, allowing a unit to counterattack or withdraw through the minefield, as necessary, rather than waiting until the SD time has expired. The RCU can control up to 15 MOPMS containers or groups of MOPMS containers from a distance of 300 to 1,000 meters via separate pulse-coded frequencies. Coded frequencies defeat threat electronic countermeasures directed against the system.
If the M71 RCU is unavailable, a direct wire link is used in conjunction with an M32, M34, or M57 blasting machine. By using the M32 10-cap blasting machine, one MOPMS dispenser can be detonated at a maximum range of 1,000 meters. The M34 50-cap blasting machine can detonate one MOPMS at a maximum range of 3,000 meters. (Due to internal resistance, the maximum range is decreased by 400 meters for each additional MOPMS connected in series.) The M57 claymore-type FD can fire only one MOPMS at a maximum range of 100 meters. When controlled by direct wire, MOPMS dispensers cannot be command-detonated, and the SD time cannot be recycled.
The MOPMS provides a self-contained, on-call minefield emplacement capability for all forces. It can be command-detonated, reused (if mines are not dispensed), and directly emplaced to provide complete and certain coverage of small or critical targets. The ability to command-detonate mines or extend their SD time provides an added flexibility not currently available with other SCATMINE systems. With its unique characteristics, the MOPMS is ideally suited for the following minefield missions:
- Emplacing hasty protective minefields.
- Emplacing deliberate protective minefields (cases emplaced, but mines not dispensed).
- Emplacing nuisance minefields (trails, crossing sites, landing zones [LZs], drop zones [DZs], and road junctions).
- Emplacing tactical disrupt and fix minefields.
- Closing gaps and lanes in existing minefields.
- Temporarily closing counterattack routes.
- Supporting ambushes.
- Supporting military operations in built-up areas (MOBA) operations.
When the MOPMS is used to close lanes, the container is positioned and dispensed by personnel in an overwatch position from a safe standoff. The MOPMS is ideally suited for creating a small disrupt obstacle in support of engineers executing a reserved demolition target. Engineers prepare the reserved target for demolition and emplace several MOPMS units on the enemy side, just out of target range. When the last forward element passes through the target, the firing party detonates the charges. If something goes wrong or the firing party needs more time, MOPMS mines can be dispensed to disrupt the enemy before it reaches the target.
The MOPMS provides light and special forces with a versatile, compact system for emplacing nuisance minefields. It can be used in low-, mid-, and high-intensity conflicts and in a variety of environments. The MOPMS cannot be transported long distances by hand because of its weight, so its use is limited.
MOPMS dispensers are issued as standard Class V munitions and are drawn from an ASP on a mission-by-mission basis. RCUs are organizational issues of equipment and are assigned to engineer and combat arms units. Due to the weight of the system, it will normally be transported by vehicle, as close as possible to the emplacement site, where it can easily be hand-emplaced by four soldiers using the four foldout carrying handles.
To ensure that the minefield will be dispensed in the proper location, the container should be carefully sited by the noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC). Several containers can be used together to provide a greater area of coverage or a higher mine density. If mines are not dispensed immediately, containers should be camouflaged and, if possible, buried. When placed in sand or snow, brace the containers to prevent them from moving during mine dispensing. Designate a firing point that gives the operator clear observation of the area to be mined. Firing systems must be inspected according to MOPMS operating instructions. If mines are dispensed immediately, remove empty containers to avoid revealing the minefield location.
The MOPMS can be employed to emplace disrupt and fix tactical minefields. Emplacement procedures are the same as for protective minefields above. However, MOPMS containers are arranged in a specific pattern to achieve the necessary depth, front, and density. Once the minefield is marked (to include the safety zone), MOPMS containers are arranged as shown in Figure 3-16 for a disrupt minefield. The safety zone is 55 meters from the front and sides and 20 meters from the rear of the container. The disrupt minefield uses four MOPMS containers that are spaced 70 meters apart to give a minefield front of 280 meters. Other MOPMS containers are offset from the baseline by 35 meters to give the minefield a depth of 70 meters. All containers are fired using the same RCU or FD.
Figure 3-16. MOPMS in a disrupt minefield
Figure 3-17 illustrates the arrangement of MOPMS containers for a fix minefield. The basic layout is the same as the disrupt minefield; however, the fix minefield has one additional MOPMS that is placed 70 meters forward of the baseline to act as an IOE. This gives the same 280-meter minefield front but increases the minefield depth to 115 meters.
Figure 3-17. MOPMS in a fix minefield
MOPMS can be used to construct turn and block tactical minefields using the principles outlined in Chapter 2; however, turn and block minefields require more containers than are normally available to a unit.
The maneuver unit that is responsible for the area of ground in which the minefield is emplaced is also responsible for marking the minefield. This normally requires direct coordination between elements of the maneuver command (usually the engineer) and the delivering/emplacing unit. However, it is unrealistic to expect units to mark artillery-delivered ADAM and RAAM, air-delivered Volcano, or Gator minefields. For this reason, units operating in the vicinity of these minefields must know calculated safety zones and use extreme caution. Scatterable minefields are marked to protect friendly troops as shown in Table 3-8. Flipper and ground Volcano minefields are marked according to the guidelines below.
|Enemy forward area||Unmarked|
|Friendly forward area||Sides and rear marked|
|Friendly rear area||All sides marked|
A safety zone is an area where a stray or outlying mine has a chance of landing and laying to rest. The commander must prevent friendly forces from maneuvering into the safety zone during the minefield's life cycle. Depending on its specific location on the battlefield, the safety zone may be marked with a fence.
Figure 3-18. Flipper minefield
Figure 3-19. Ground Volcano minefield
FRAGMENT HAZARD ZONES
If an AT mine that is oriented on its side self-destructs, the EFP can theoretically travel 640 meters. This is the maximum fragment hazard zone; however, the chances of being struck are negligible at this distance. Tests indicate that the acceptable risk distance is 235 meters from the outer edges of the minefield's safety zone. This fragment hazard zone is also associated with the Gator and MOPMS AT mines. When the MOPMS is used for protective minefield missions, commanders must be made aware of the fragment hazard zone.
Fencing for ground Volcano minefields (Figure 3-19) is emplaced 80 meters beyond the centerline of the minefield and 40 meters from the start and stop points. Fencing should be no closer than 20 meters from the nearest mine.
Air Volcano minefields are not normally marked by fencing. However, if air Volcano minefields are emplaced in friendly areas, they are marked with fencing to protect friendly personnel. Fencing is installed before delivering an air Volcano, and it is located 100 meters from the centerline of the minefield and 100 meters from the start and end points. Appendix D contains detailed information pertaining to air Volcano minefields.
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