Infantry: October 9, 2000


For nearly twenty years, American engineers have been trying to build a mobile, intelligent land mine for use against vehicles. In the early 1980s, the effort was directed against hundreds of thousands of Soviet combat vehicles and trucks aimed at Western Europe. The concept then was to use crab like claws to drag itself around. A tiny computer and radio would enable a group of the mines to rearrange themselves if some of the mines were destroyed. Sound and movement sensors used to detect targets allowed the "herd" of mines to detect approaching enemy, or friendly, vehicles and move according to preloaded plans, or radio commands from friendly troops. This project never got very far, for the weapons technology (now in use as "SADARM") took priority. Then the Cold War ended and many projects were stalled. But not forgotten. With anti-personnel now forbidden to law abiding nations, the mobile mine is fashionable once more. This because anti-tank mines have traditionally been guarded by anti-personnel mines. This made it more difficult to clear the larger, and easier to spot, anti-tank mines. So work in on to develop a mine similar to the early 1980s model, except that this one would use a pneumatic piston to pop the mine 30 feet into the air. This would force enemy troops to spend a lot more time trying to clear these mobile anti-vehicle mines. Meanwhile, the mines could also radio friendly artillery to fire a few shells to the mine field. While anti-personnel mines are illegal, artillery is still legit. 




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