Antipersonnel Landmine Alternatives (APL-A)

The use of antipersonnel landmine (APL) alternatives can be traced to World War II when they were developed for use in antitank minefields to discourage foot soldiers from disabling antitank (AT) mines. Because the bulk of the mines still in use around the world are neither self-deactivating nor self-destructing, the humanitarian consequence of deploying these mines led to an effort to achieve a global ban on AP landmines.

In response to this effort, Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 48 announced a new APL policy. The Directive allowed the U.S. to retain its mixed AT, self-destructing mine systems and directed the Department of Defense to develop and field alternatives to pure APL systems throughout the armed forces. The APL Alternatives program began as a two-track approach. A second directive, PDD 64, provided additional direction for mixed landmine systems and added a third track to the program.

Examples of Antipersonnel Landmine Alternative Being Developed and/or Fielded by Picatinny

RADAM is a repackaging of seven Remote Anti-Armor Mines (RAAM) and five Area Denial Artillery Munitions (ADAM) into a single 155mm artillery projectile. The munitions will have preset self-destruct times of either 4 or 48 hours. The combination of both antitank and antipersonnel munitions into a single artillery round results in a better dispersion of munitions on the ground and more effective minefield. Firing only one type of round also reduces the logistics burden and the number of aiming points for the firing units.

The Non-Self Destruct Alternative (NSD-A) is designed to replace non-self destructing "dumb" M16 antipersonnel landmines. The NSD-A is hand emplaced, contains an integral intrusion detector and features radio frequency control. It may be command destructed and has a re-settable self-destruct time. If recovered prior to self-destructing, it may be reused. The NSD-A relies on the man-in-the-loop concept to eliminate indiscriminate engagement of the lethal mechanism. With this feature, a soldier, or Marine makes a conscious decision to engage a target with a lethal mechanism. This prevents fratricide and addresses the humanitarian concerns of non-combatants entering a mined area.

The Mixed Minefield Alternative was established to explore a wide range of material and operational concepts as alternatives to AP submunitions within current mixed landmine systems and to all mixed systems. Efforts were aimed at identifying and evaluating concepts that could provide militarily advantageous, cost-effective and safe alternatives.

At the initiation of the Mixed Minefield alternative effort, a Landmine Alternatives Concept Exploration Team was formed to look at solutions that could act as a force multiplier to collectively defeat mounted and dismounted forces in offensive and defensive operations. The process included a Broad Agency Announcement that solicited industry for ideas that would potentially result in new alternative solutions for further explorations. After completing multiple downselects, two material alternatives were selected to continue into program development. Both system alternatives rely on man-in- the-loop initiation of antipersonnel effects; the Mixed Minefield Alternative leverages existing Volcano systems with advanced sensors and communications and features antitank and antipersonnel munitions; the Remotely Deployed Hornet leverages the existing Wide Area Munition with advanced sensors and communications and features separate antitank and antipersonnel munitions.

This approach to developing antipersonnel landmine alternatives is ongoing. The goal is to enable the U.S. to sign the appropriate, enforceable international agreements if suitable alternatives can be identified and fielded.