By Audra Calloway, Picatinny Arsenal Public AffairsApril 1, 2016
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J.--The Program Executive Office Ammunition at Picatinny Arsenal formally unveiled its newest product management office, Product Manager Gator LandMine Replacement, or PdM GLMR, during an Assumption of Command ceremony on Feb. 9.
The PdM will fall under PEO Ammunition's Project Manager Close Combat Systems (PM CCS). During the ceremony, PdM Area Denial was deactivated and its programs transferred to PdM GLMR.
Area denial munitions provide a range of capabilities to Soldiers and can be used to protect perimeters and flanks during attack, reinforce light forces, and deny enemy movement, explained Lt. Col. O'Neal Williams, the Product Manger GLMR.
The office of the Project Manager Mines, Countermines, and Demolitions was established in 1961, making it one of the first PMs in the Army. The capabilities have evolved from hand-emplaced mines, to mines that were delivered by artillery, air or vehicle launchers, to today's current networked munitions that control terrain by command initiated lethal and non-lethal munitions.
Product Manager Area Denial was formed in 2013 as part of a restructuring of PM CCS and it replaced the office of the Product Director Area Denial.
Munitions that will transition to the new PdM Gator LandMine Replacement include the Claymore, Modular Pack Mine System, Pursuit Deterrent Munition, Selectable Lightweight Attack Munition and the Volcano Multiple Delivery Mine System. The M7 Spider Networked Munition and it follow-on Increment 1A, a hand-emplaced, remotely controlled, human-in-the-loop munition system, will also fall under PM GLMR.
In the future, Gator LandMine Replacement and Spider will remain under PdM GLMR and the other products will transition to other product management offices in PM CCS. This will allow PdM GLMR to focus only on networked munitions.
The Gator LandMine Replacement is a developing networked munition system. The PdM GLMR office will lead the effort to develop a deep-delivered, terrain shaping capability that will protect strategic forces, deny enemy access to weapons of mass destruction, and use non-lethal means to keep non-combatants from dangerous areas.
Networked munitions are designed to replace traditional anti-personnel persistent and non-persistent munitions.
"Before, munitions were dumb," Williams explained. "Fire and forget them, or lay them on the ground and let them perform the function that they're designed to perform. Now, they're getting smarter."
When an adversary walks through a networked munitions field, the systems sensor and communications capability will relay back to the Soldier that something is near the munition. A Soldier will then determine if it is friend or foe, and can choose to either detonate or not detonate an anti-personnel munition.
"Gator LandMine replacement is focused on networked, protective obstacle munitions," he explained. "Networked munitions contain a human-in-the-loop capability so that if a sensor is tripped, the Soldier has the ability to investigate the situation and discern whether the sensor was activated by a combatant, non-combatant, vehicle, or an animal. Once the Soldier determines what caused the alert, he or she has the ability to eliminate the threat or log the incident."
The M7 Spider, also a networked munition system now managed by PdM GLMR, has some similar characteristics to GLMR. However, Spider is hand emplaced and the GLMR will be vehicle-emplaced and contain a vehicle killing munition. Soldiers will typically emplace Spider to defend an area they already occupy. GLMR will be dropped by a vehicle, like a Black Hawk or fixed wing aircraft, in enemy terrorrity when Soldiers want to delay or deny enemy forces from an area of concern.
Spider was fielded in 2011under a conditional materiel release.
GLMR is a pre Major Defense Acquisition Program and anticipated to become an Acquisition Category 1D program. The program is budgeted for $340 million in the FY16 President's Budget, with a total program budget planned for more than $2.4 billion through 2025.
"Senior leaders within DoD wanted project management oversight of this important program from the very early stages in the acquisition life-cycle," said Ken Heider, Deputy PdM GLMR.
PdM GLMR will be working with industry during this pre-milestone A phase to build prototype systems for demonstration. The system demonstartions will aid in assessing the state of technology against high risk development areas, system affordability, and the ability to meet a projected IOC (initial operation capabilities) goal of 2025.