US Army

PEO Monthly Update – June 2015

Representatives from the National Armaments Consortium (NAC), National laboratories, all Services, and PEO Ammo participated in the Joint Insensitive Munitions Technology Panel (JIMTP), chaired by OSD. During the JIMTP, each Munitions Area Technology Group discussed their near, mid, and long-term strategies for enhancing warfighter safety without compromising performance. FY14/15 presented programs of interest included DEMN explosives for the M67 Grenade and IM formulation for the GP Bomb.

PM CAS, ARDEC, and BAE Systems energetics teams have been awarded the NATO Munitions Safety Information Analysis Center 2015 Technical Achievement Award which acknowledges achievements and encourages progress in Munitions Safety and IM technology. This award recognizes successful IMX-104 development and implementation into Mortar High Explosive Cartridges, which significantly reduces the probability of premature detonation from unplanned stimuli such as fire, sympathetic detonation, bullet impact, or shaped charge jet impact.

Abrams tank crews from 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division successfully fired M830 High Explosive Anti-Tank Tracer (HEAT-T) cartridges as part of a crew live-fire event at the National Training Center (NTC), Fort Irwin, CA. PM MAS supported the event on-site, providing assistance to the TCM-ABCT and the NTC live-fire team. The team turned this into a win-win situation for the Army by meeting the Brigade Commander’s training intent to increase armor crew combat readiness by shooting combat HEAT-T, while also utilizing end-of-service life combat ammunition excess that would otherwise be demilitarized.

PM CCS completed NET and Doctrine, Tactics, and Training with the 810th and 848th Engineering Companies (EN CO), 878th Engineer Battalion, Georgia Army National Guard. Training was conducted with 16 combat engineers by teams from the ARDEC MNET and Fort Leonard Wood, Contractor Logistics Support FSRs. This completes the M7 Spider FMR fielding to the 810th and 848th EN COs. The Spider system provides combat engineers a capability that will be used in the close and rear battles to provide force protection and to shape the terrain in ways to impede enemy mobility and to maintain friendly mobility.

Picatinny Arsenal opened its gates to allow members of the local media and public to witness the projects, programs, and technologies in development and execution on the arsenal. The event included tours of various facilities and demonstrations of several weapon systems to include the M119A3 Howitzer, Selectable Lightweight Attack Munition (SLAM), Spider, and Military Working Dogs, amongst others. PM Soldier Weapons also conducted a live-fire range to allow attendees to fire various military weapons. The Media Day was widely attended and a great success, giving the public a unique opportunity to see the inside of the Arsenal since restricting access in 2001.

DOT&E approved the Spider M7E1, Dispensing Set, Munition, Network Command Increment 1A (SI1A) Test and Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP). The TEMP was updated to complete the Engineering and Manufacturing Development Phase in support of Milestone C and will guide test development and activities leading to an Initial Operational Test (IOT) in 2Q FY16. The Spider M7E1 Increment 1A system provides Engineer Soldiers a protective obstacle capability using man-in-the-loop, operator-controlled effects via a network of munition control units, and lethal and non-lethal effects. Increment 1A provides a simplified user interface using “Wizards” to guide Soldiers through emplacement, setup and engagements, seamless interoperability with the tactical network, and a color map display.

PEO Ammo attended the Additive Manufacturing (AM) Community of Practice (CoP), chaired by ARDEC and hosted by the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center-Rock Island Arsenal. The meeting was held to inform the community of planned and ongoing AM activities for the purpose of coordinating activities and ensuring technology programs are properly focused. The PEO Ammo representative presented the PEO Ammo top-level strategy and focus areas related to AM. The main discussion focused on process and product qualification issues and the ability to consistently produce the quality and quantity of parts required. AM is an emerging science, so these issues are only beginning to be addressed, however topics like these are the reason the CoP was established. The meeting concluded with a tour of JMTC’s facilities and the new Quad Cities Manufacturing Lab which will be run by the University of Illinois and focused on experimenting with new manufacturing processes like AM.

PM CCS completed NET and Doctrine, Tactics, and Training with the 416th Theater Engineer Command. Training was conducted with 21 combat engineers from the 364th (KS USAR), 374th (CA USAR), and 402nd (IA USAR) Engineer Companies at Fort Leonard Wood, MO by teams from the ARDEC MNET and Fort Leonard Wood, Contractor Logistics Support FSRs. This fielding represents the first US Army Reserve fielding of COMPO 3 Sapper Companies to receive Spider.

ARDEC won the 2014 National Institute of Packaging, Handling, and Logistics Engineers Best in Show Award. The project, sponsored by PM CAS, eliminated the 60mm Mortar wirebound box by adding stiffeners to the existing metal can. By removing the wirebound box overwrap, the Soldier gains faster access to the munition; additionally, the logistic footprint is reduced by increasing the number of cartridges per pallet from 384 to 448. Each can is individual, versus the two-can wirebound box configuration, reducing weight. A substantial cost savings is realized per cartridge in addition to reduced transportation costs to depot.

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