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CBU-89 Gator Mine

The CBU-89 Gator Mine, a 1,000-pound cluster munition containing antitank and antipersonnel mines, consists of a SUU-64 Tactical Munitions Dispenser with 72 antitank mines, 22 antipersonnel mines, and an optional FZU-39 proximity sensor. Mine arming begins when the dispenser opens. Mine detonation is initiated by target detection, mine disturbance, low battery voltage, and a self-destruct time-out. The antitank mine is a magnetic sensing submunition effective against tanks and armored vehicles. The antipersonnel mine has a fragmenting case warhead triggered by trip wires. The US Air Force employed 1,105 CBU-89s during the Gulf War.

The Gator mine system provides a means to emplace minefields on the ground rapidly using high-speed tactical aircraft. The minefields are used for area denial, diversion of moving ground forces, or to immobilize targets to supplement other direct attack weapons.

The GATOR family of scatterable mines is another favorite interdiction weapon by fighter aircrews. The dispenser holds 72 anti-armor mines and 22 anti-personnel mines. These mines arm immediately upon impact. The GATOR has two integrated kill mechanisms, a magnetic influence fuze to sense armor, and deployed trip wires that activate when personnel walk on or disturb it. Another feature of the GATOR is the random delay function detonating over several days for highly effective area denial and harassment operations.

Gator consists of two companion systems. The Air Force CBU-89/B is a 1000-pound class cluster weapon using the SUU-64/B Tactical Munitions Dispenser (TMD). The TMD is the same general configuration used for the CBU-87/B Combined Effects Munition. This commonality allows for high-rate, low-cost production of the dispenser. The Navy CBU-78/B is a 500-pound class cluster weapon that uses the Mk7 Rockeye dispenser. Rockeye has been in high-rate production for many years; the Mk7 dispenser is also a low-cost item.

Both systems contain a mix of BLU-91/B antitank (AT) and BLU-92/B antipersonnel (AP) mines -- 72 AT and 22 AP for the CBU-89/B; 45 AT and 15 AP for the CBU-78/B. Commonality of mines for both systems also contributes to high-rate, low-cost production. The BLU-91 /B AT mine is the heart of the Gator system. Microelectronics in each mine detect targets, discriminate armored vehicles, and detonate the mine when the target reaches the most vulnerable approach point. A Misznay-Schardin explosive charge defeats the belly armor of most vehicles. The BLU-92/B AP mine serves to discourage minefield clearing. Upon activation, the AP mine explosion sends high-velocity fragments in a horizontal plane over a wide area.

Both mines have a programmable self-destruct feature which permits the battlefield commander to control the timing of a counterattack or defensive maneuver. The self-destruct time is set just prior to aircraft takeoff using a simple selector switch on the dispenser. This feature permits a high degree of tactical flexibility during combat operations.

The size of the Gator minefield is determined by the opening height of the dispenser. After dispenser opening, the mines are self-dispersed using aerodynamic forces. The mine pattern on the ground is directly proportional to opening altitude, which is controlled by either the dispenser electromechanical faze or an optional proximity sensor.

Aerojet Ordnance Company (AOC) is the system integration prime contractor for Gator. All elements of the system are either procured by Aerojet or furnished by the US Government. The company is responsible for total system performance, including live testing. Each month three Gator systems are randomly selected from the production line and flight tested. Aerojet Ordnance Company warrants system performance for five years, assuring Gator reliability.

Alliant Techsystems, Accudyne Operations, Janesville, Wisconsin, was awarded on May 13, 1995, a $5,752,805 modification to a firm fixed price contract for 20,081 body assembly BLU-92/B in support of the CBU-89 A/B Air Force Gator. Work was performed in Janesville, Wisconsin, and was expected to be completed by March 28, 1997. There were two bids solicited on April 6, 1995, and one bid received. The contracting activity is the U.S. Army Armament, Munitions, and Chemical Command, Rock Island, Illinois (DAAA09-93-C-0485).

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:50:50 ZULU