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M86 Pursuit Deterrent Munition (PDM)

PDM is a manually-activated Area Denial Artillery Munition (ADAM) with a hand grenade-type release firing mechanism. It deploys up to seven trip wires and possesses the ADAM self-destruct capabilities. For safety purposes, arming will occur one minute after the firing mechanism is released.

The Pursuit Deterrent Munition is the first munition designed especially for Special Forces, by the SWCS Directorate of Combat Developments. SF unites operating in hostile territory take every precaution to prevent discovery or confrontation with the enemy. But if discovery does occur, the need to break contact with the enemy is critical- otherwise there is often no chance of extraction, resupply or accomplishing the mission. Current munitions to protect withdrawals are slow and hazardous to emplace. The use of these munitions requires units to record their position, since they do not have a self-destruct mechanism and will remain in place.

Only 3 1/2 inches height and approximately three inches in diameter, the PDM weighs one pound and can easily be thrown or emplaced by hand. The PDM i self-destructing : it will detonate automatically aft re a predetermined period of time.

Several activated PDMs dropped behind withdrawing SF elements would create an obstacle: The pursuing enemy forces would either take casualties, stop and breach the mined area or divert their route. Any of these options would give the SF unite time to break contact.

Powered by a build-in battery, the PDM is activated by pulling a pin and removing an arming strap. Once activated the PDM automatically deploys sever 20-foot trip wires. the PDM can be triggered by disturbing these wires, by its anti-tampering mechanism or by the expiration of its self-destruction time. When triggered, a small preliminary charge throws the main charge to approximately shoulder-height before it explodes.

The M86 pursuit-deterrent munition ( PDM) is wedge-shaped and is similar in configuration and functioning to the ADAM. The PDM is a manually activated mine. It has an arming time of 25 seconds and can deploy up to seven trip wires.Once the PDM is armed, disturbing it or any of its trip wires will initiate the munition. The munition contains a liquid propellant that rests under a kill mechanism and propels upward approximately 2.5 meters. The kill mechanism detonates in the air and propels fragments in all directions. If the munition is not disturbed, it will self-destruct in 4 hours.

This system was fielded in 2QFY91. The PDM is issued as a Class V item of ammunition. Since PDM is used mostly by Special Forces personnel, extensive training is not required.

This munition is employed primarily by Special Operations Forces to support hit-and-run, ambush, harassing, and urban warfare missions. PDM is also employed by Infantry, Light Combat Engineers, and Rangers where mission warrants the use of this device. The PDM is used as a deterrent by special-operations forces (SOF) and in operations where units may be pursued by an enemy force.

The ADAM and PDM are not of the kinetic energy "penetrator" type design. These munitions contain an extremely small amount of DU and not categorized as "DU ammunition". The resin which forms the body of the ADAM mine wedge contains a small amount of DU in the "hardener" portion of the resin. The DU is less than 0.15% (0.024 oz) of the total resin and is present only as a chemical agent that allows the resin to cure at less then 160F in less then 12 hours. These cure characteristics are required to efficiently produce the mine and to protect the electronic components during manufacture.

Sources and Resources

  • FM-20-32 Mine/Countermine Operations 1998
  • Special Warfare - Fall 1989 Vol 2 No.4

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 12:36:29 ZULU