June 12, 2024
The U.S. Army Is Building a Smarter Land Mine
According to the Army Times, the service’s future mine systems, “must have a 2 to 300km communications capability, an ability to be switched on and off, remotely modified self-destruct or deactivate mechanisms, self-report status so that users will know if they’ve been tampered with or if a mine went off.”
According to the Army Times, the service’s future mine systems, “must have a 2 to 300km communications capability, an ability to be switched on and off, remotely modified self-destruct or deactivate mechanisms, self-report status so that users will know if they’ve been tampered with or if a mine went off.”

The U.S. Army is working on a new generation of land mines and mine-like battlefield munitions. The weapons, all of which are designed to be left unattended on the battlefield, have to fulfill the sometimes competing interests of being useful against high-tech enemies while at the same time not becoming a long-term hazard to civilians.

The U.S. Army utilizes a wide variety of battlefield munitions. As Army Times writes, the service’s inventory runs from the Vietnam War-era Claymore mine to the new Gator anti-tank/anti-personnel mines. The service wants to replace all of them with a new generation of mines that can pose a credible threat to high-tech armies as well as “phone home” and report enemy troop movements.

Mines are munitions that are emplaced on the battlefield in order to modify enemy behavior. Mines are meant to slow down enemy forces, forcing them to gently pick through their route, giving friendly forces enough time to detect and then respond to them. Alternately, mines could force an enemy to avoid certain areas and take a particular path advantageous to the U.S. military. In some cases, mines like the Claymore can be used to augment defensive firepower, the defenders placing them on enemy routes of advance before the battle and triggering them by remote control.

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