Fire Ant EFP Tank Killer (must see)

sferrin

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Anybody ever heard of this before?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syuu_g7svoE&feature=channel_page
 

Pioneer

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The art of a shaped charge!!!!!!!! ;D
 

cluttonfred

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compton_effect said:
Now that is one expensive landmine.

Maybe so, but if a remote-controlled all-terrain vehicle with cameras and an explosively-formed penetrator on top seeks out and destroys a multi-million dollar main battle tank, the economics don't look so bad.
 

Firefly 2

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I see the advantages over conventional landmines. It's easy to place and deplace moving it around on a potential battlefield without a lot of trouble or specialised vehicles. There's no cleanup cost after a conflict, etc ... Etc...

I do have my doubts about survivability though. It seems like a very fragile system in an environment where high speed metal is flying around.
 

smurf

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Couldn't you put wings on it and get it there a bit faster?
 

John21

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It says it can wait days, months....years. Does this mean it is COMPLETELY automated? Wouldn't it need some kind of maintenance/software upgrades every now and than? The targeting screen for the system seemed to imply that it may not require any human control.
 

Jemiba

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"Does this mean it is COMPLETELY automated? Wouldn't it need some kind of maintenance/software upgrades every now and than?"

AFAIK, systems with very similar capabilities are already combat ready for quite a number of
years : Sea mines ! And there are types, that are just torpedoes, waiting at the bottom, so
mobile on demand, just as the Fire Ant. Of course, clearing an area of a number of Fire Ants
seems to be easier, than clearing the same area at sea ...
 

compton_effect

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Hmm. I just thought of something. If the shaped charge could be tilted upwards you'd have a very interesting anti-helicopter concept as well.
Same concept as the current one, but if it detects a incoming helicopter it tilts the charge to the required angle, turns in that direction and seriously spoils someone's day.
 

ouroboros

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If I remember correctly, research was suspended on the project after a live fire exercise. Because the military didn't really have a doctrine/policy on unmanned ground vehicles with autonomous threat identification and fire control at the time, they didn't really want to start going that path and decided to stop at the tech demo stage.


Land mines are typically stationary, so there is less risk involving civilians, in theory anyways. To a greater or lesser extent, one can make the argument that a victim of a land mine is directly involved in triggering it, and aside from weight/force sensors for triggering anti-vehicle mines, such munitions normally have no inherent target discrimination capability and fall under the "everybody loses" category. A UGV that thinks a school bus is a troop transport and fires on it is a whole other beast.


That said, a mobile suicidal UGV that lays in wait for enemies is interesting, especially if you can mass produce the chassis at low cost. Bonus points if you can reduce the chassis size and use explosively driven piles/rocket anchors to stabilize the vehicle before firing, reducing necessary vehicle mass for firing stability. I suppose there could be some interesting work in incorporating solar cells with COTS embedded computers and sensors on an oversized RC truck chassis. Having a small horde of the things rushing your positions after they pop out from the bushes would be utterly terrifying and difficult to defend against due to sheer numbers.
 

cluttonfred

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compton_effect said:
Hmm. I just thought of something. If the shaped charge could be tilted upwards you'd have a very interesting anti-helicopter concept as well.
Same concept as the current one, but if it detects a incoming helicopter it tilts the charge to the required angle, turns in that direction and seriously spoils someone's day.

While helicopters are a lot more fragile than tanks, I am not so sure that the theory works. Slat armor and other passive defenses seriously degrade the effectiveness of a shaped charge by detonating less than a meter away. I am not so sure that the jet of hot plasma that is the pointy end of a shaped charge will still be effective after 100 m or even 10 m.
 

sferrin

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This is an EFP- Explosively Formed Penetrator, NOT a shaped charge. Different beast. (Go back and look at the video and check out the distance between the vehicle and the target when it explodes.)
 

Wembley

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In fact it was one of the largest EFPs made (there are some big home-made EFPs in Iraq these days), the range would be several hundred charge diameters.

I gather that the idea was refined and rather than using it as a suicide vehicle, the UGV would emplace the EFP and then scoot to a safe distance. However, it was all discontinued when lethal UGV became unfashionable. However, there's no reason why you couldn't mount one on a modern UGV...or even a UAV.
 

cluttonfred

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It seems to me that a reuseable system, with or without a soldier in the loop, would be even more interesting. The smart "skeet" warheads used in the CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapon (BLU-108 smart submunition) would be very easy to adapt to a simple mortar tube (or maybe even a pneumatic or hydraulic arm to launch them skeet-style). The smart warheads only weight 10 pounds each, so even a very small UGV or UAV ought to be able to carry up to a dozen with no problem--now those swarms of unmanned vehicles just got even nastier. See the Textron Defense page on the Selectively Targeted Skeet (STS) submunition for more info.
 

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compton_effect said:
Hmm. I just thought of something. If the shaped charge could be tilted upwards you'd have a very interesting anti-helicopter concept as well.
Same concept as the current one, but if it detects a incoming helicopter it tilts the charge to the required angle, turns in that direction and seriously spoils someone's day.

Its already been done, several anti helicopter mines are on the market with shaped charge as well as conventional blast fragmentation warheads. Insurgents in Iraq have also improvised bombs that blew a secondary charge in the air to detonate about 100 feet up. This is very deadly to small unarmored choppers like OH-58. You don’t hear all that much about the factory anti chopper mines because the only people that can easily afford ones with good fusing are western militaries that don’t need them.

http://defense-update.com/products/a/AHM.htm
 

Grey Havoc

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On a related note, the Remote Security Station (RSS): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a240078.pdf
 

jsport

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http://www.defenseone.com/threats/2015/12/pentagon-nervous-about-russian-and-chinese-killer-robots/124465/?oref=defenseone_today_nl
 

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