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DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 11 | JUL 2015
Picatinny tests 81mm mortar for LTVs
In certain battlefield conditions, such as the mountainous
terrain and unimproved roads of Afghanistan, large-
calibre indirect-fire weapon systems lack the mobility and
manoeuvrability required to successfully execute an assault.
To resolve this concern, engineers at Picatinny Arsenal
are developing a revolutionary weapon system called the
Automated Direct Indirect-fire Mortar (ADIM), which can be
fired while mounted on a light tactical vehicle (LTV) such as
the High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV)
or its replacement, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).
The ADIM, currently an 81mm mortar weapon system,
uses ‘soft recoil’ to reduce the firing loads transmitted to
the platform by a factor of eight, well within the limits of the
HMMWV or other LT V of similar capacity. This enables
mounted firing and supports rapid mobile operations.
An associated benefit of the soft recoil system is the ability
to fire the weapon (direct) at low quadrant elevations (QE) as
well as (indirect) at high QE to either compensate for terrain
interferences or take advantage of the reduced time of flight
associated with low QE firing solutions.
ADIM functions are automated so that operations normally
conducted manually can instead be executed via electro-
mechanical actuators controlled by the weapon Actuator
Control System (ACS), which was also developed by
Picatinny engineers and is a government owned technology.
Automation of key functions reduces soldier burden while
ACS operation is directed by the Automated Fire Control
System – Mortar (AFCS-M) which is an enhanced version of
the fielded M95 Mortar Fire Control System. The AFCS-M
provides the human interface for controlling the loading/
unloading, emplacing, aiming and firing of the ADIM.
A key capability associated with the AFCS-M is the
incorporation of an inertial navigation unit and GPS receiver,
which enable full-time emplacement of the ADIM and thus
eliminate the long set-up and reset times of several minutes
associated with traditional surveying and aiming stake methods.
The ACS and AFCS-M combination enables rapid
execution of mobile ‘shoot and scoot’ operations to reduce
soldier exposure to enemy fire and susceptibility to counter-
fire. AFCS-M also provides the ability to operate the ADIM via
remote control as an unmanned weapon system operated by
soldiers in a protected fire direction centre (FDC) location. An
ideal application for this is forward operating base protection.
Although the ADIM can be fired remotely, it is designed to
require a soldier to identify the target and make the decision
to fire as prescribed in the Department of Defense Directive
3000.09 Autonomy in Weapon Systems.
ADIM was demonstrated at the Army Expeditionary
Warfighter Experiment (AEWE) Spiral J event at Fort Benning,
Georgia, in January 2105. AEWE is the Training and Doctrine
Command’s premier live fire, prototype experimentation
ADIM participated in the AEWE live-fire exercises, which
included soldier training, simulated and live fire exercises.
Simulated missions were executed using radios for voice
communication between the remotely located FDC operator
and the ADIM passenger (Chief of Section), and digital
communication of firing missions sent directly from the FDC
to the ADIM.
Due to interim safety release limitations, soldiers were
not permitted to be in the HMMWV while the ADIM was
firing. Instead, shoot-and-scoot missions were executed with
simulated firing to demonstrate the ability for soldiers to:
• Receive a call for fire
• Stop the vehicle
• Initiate the mission
• Execute automated pointing and firing
• Resume driving in less than 50 seconds
During two days of AEWE live-fire exercises, 174 rounds
were fired from ADIM via remote control. Several multiple
aim-point missions were executed with rounds fired at
multiple targets in succession, demonstrating ADIM’s ability
to rapidly engage multiple targets.
Multiple target suppression missions (one round per target
and then target sequence repeated) and automated search
and traverse (or single gun sheaf) missions (firing multiple
rounds into an area surrounding a specified target) were
ADIM is being developed by the Weapons Systems and
Technology Directorate of the US Army Armament Research,
Development, and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal.
Plans are underway for the ADIM to participate in Manned Un-
Manned Teaming exercises as part of the Network Integration
Evaluation 16.1 at Fort Bliss, Texas, in October 2015.
Source: Picatinny Arsenal Public Affairs
The 81mm ADIM live firing via remote control.
Images: Picatinny Arsenal
ADIM is designed to provide highly manoeuvrable firepower
in combat scenarios where the terrain makes it difficult to use
large-calibre indirect-fire weapons systems.
• Qualified with 5.56/7.62/12.7 mm, 40 mm AGL and cannon to 30 mm
• High precision mobile engagements with moving targets
• Up-down compatibility and inter-operability with hunter-killer 30-40 mm
turret systems and C4I compatible across LAND 400 platforms
• Global benchmark in RWS since 1993 with over 1500 units sold in 9
countries including deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq with Australian,
US and Netherlands forces
• Training systems deployed in Australia
• Designed, produced and supported in Australia with established
supply chain and depot
Advanced Weapon Systems
55a Monaro Street Queanbeyan NSW 2620 Australia
T +61 2 6298 8000 F +61 2 6299 2477 E firstname.lastname@example.org
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