Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT April-June 2016 Contents to simulate the changing conditions during a 24-hour period.
Constant changes in temperature and humidity could weaken
or degrade seals, cause surfaces to deform or warp and cause
joints to separate, which may break electrical circuits and pre-
vent the flow of electricity when needed.
As samples are removed from the test chambers, they are checked
to determine if they are still operable, whether they are working
as they were originally designed and how much degradation has
been encountered. Mathematical analysis provides an estimate
of predicted lifespan. The shelf life study is scheduled to be com-
pleted by September 2016.
PAST ITS USE-BY DATE
While battery shelf life is a concern, it is not the sole failure mode
for advanced munitions. Plastics and electronic components are
also subject to deterioration over time. Potting material may lose
its integrity and no longer provide the physical support required
for high G-forces during launch and ground impact. From the
electronic side, solder can break down and cause the growth of
“tin whiskers” that can create unwanted paths for current to flow.
Additionally, circuit boards can delaminate, breaking needed
pathways for current flow.
With the Volcano system, ARDEC began its support by review-
ing the various system and subsystem technical data packages
to identify modern replacements for the obsolete legacy compo-
nents. TACOM then developed a new repair-and-replacement
process at its depot facility to refurbish the aging Volcano sys-
tems. TACOM proved out this program on a limited quantity of
Volcano systems in FY15, and is now planning to continue the
sustainment work when funding is made available.
PM CCS and ARDEC initiated a long-term study of currently
fielded FASCAM systems to look for evidence of deterioration
as the result of the different failure modes mentioned previously.
The goals of this study include determining remaining shelf life
of the systems and applying lessons learned to the development
of new FASCAM systems.
SCATTERABLE MINES 101
Both air and ground platforms deliver the current U.S.
scatterable mine systems. Air Force and Navy aircraft
deliver the GATOR system from dispensers mounted
on the aircraft. Each dispenser delivers antitank (AT) and
antipersonnel (AP) mines. These mines have self-destruct
times of 4 hours, 48 hours and 15 days. Mines self-
destruct to eliminate residual hazards on the battlefield.
The Modular Pack Mine System (MOPMS) is
a man-portable, 160-pound, suitcase-shaped mine
dispenser that contains 17 AT mines and four AP mines
dispensed on command through hardwire or radio. The
dispenser may be emplaced long before dispensing
mines. The mines self-destruct at 4 hours, but this can be
recycled up to four times.
The Area Denial Artillery Munition (ADAM) and
Remote Anti-Armor Mine (RAAM) systems are
both launched from 155 mm howitzers inside modified
projectile housings. One ADAM contains 36 AP mines.
These mines have self-destruct times of 4 hours, 48
hours and 15 days. One RAAM projectile contains nine
magnetically fuzed AT mines; each mine has the same
self-destruct times as the ADAM.
The M139 Volcano Mine Dispensing System is a
scatterable mine deliver y system developed and fielded
in the late 1980s and early 1990s that delivers 960
mines per mission by Black Hawk helicopter or ground
vehicle. These mines are either AT only or a mix at a ratio
of five AT to one AP mine. It also has self-destruct times of
4 hours, 48 hours and 15 days. It is one of the most vis-
ible and important legacy systems receiving expanded
support, as the resurgence in its use has driven a holistic
surge in sustainment activity from the Soldier level to DA.
Efforts to re -educate the field on the system, recapitalize
it, renew repair-parts stockage and integrate the system
on modernized prime movers are ongoing.
FASCAM systems employ munitions that contain self-
destruct features. Thus they are nonpersistent mine
systems and were allowed for use in combat situations
as required. Since Jan. 1, 2011, U.S. forces have not
been authorized to employ non-self-destructing, non-
self-deactivating or nondetectable land mines. Beyond
the danger to noncombatants that self-destruction
removes, munitions that self-destruct enable friendly
forces to move through previously seeded areas after
the self-destruction window.
22 Army AL&T Magazine
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