By Staff Sgt. Joel SalgadoAugust 3, 2015
FORT CAMPBELL. Ky. -- Engineers from the 101st Airborne Division came together recently with Project Manager Close Combat Systems to field the M4 selectable lightweight attack munition here July 21-24.
"The SLAM adds an additional counter-mobility tool to the unit's arsenal," said 2nd Lt. Garret Gile, the commander of 3rd Platoon, Company B., 21st Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Abn. Div. "Utilized in a pre-planned and opportunistic manner, the SLAM could be combined with a claymore or AT4 and M302 to have a greater success rate of vehicle or mobility kills."
The M4 SLAM, which Soldiers began fielding Army wide late 2014, is a multipurpose 2-pound munition designed to increase a unit's lethality against multiple targets.
The SLAM is designed to be employed against light vehicles, parked aircraft, bunkers and petroleum storage sights. It has four operating modes, with each offering a unique capability to the user requiring less explosives than would traditionally be required, said Mike Pellegrino, chief of new equipment training and media production branch at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J.
The bottom-attack mode allows the user to place the device in or on a surface and the device will trigger when an object disturbs its magnetic field trigger, causing it to project an explosively-formed penetrator through the bottom of the vehicle.
The side-attack mode operates similarly to the bottom attack with the magnetic trigger being replaced with an on-board passive infrared sensor that causes the munition to detonate upon the disturbance of the PIR beam.
The timed and command detonation modes operate similarly in that the object is placed at a fixed location and detonates after a preset time or at the command of the operator.
To train on the multiple functions of the device prior to the live demolitions testing, the engineers used the M320A1 inert trainer that functions in the same manner without the explosive hazard.
After gaining the necessary training to safely employ the SLAM, engineers from 2nd and 3rd Brigade Combat Teams tested the SLAM against multiple targets, giving them a chance to see firsthand the outcome of employing the device.
"The effect on target after a successful hit though is astounding when you really take in the size and weight of the SLAM," said Gile. "A device smaller than some Soldiers hands and much lighter than an AT4 that can achieve a solid mobility kill is a great force multiplier and becomes a great asset to have, especially when units must adapt even faster to the changes in warfare."