Along came a spider
The Spider XM7 Network Command Munition is a hand-emplaced, remotely controlled, man-in-the-loop, anti-personnel munitions system. Through positive radio control and positive target identification, the Spider meets 2004 Ottowa Treaty and National Landmine Policies. It replaces earlier landmine and anti-personnel systems that were often remote detonated.
Sgt. Jesse Bacon of Edmonson County Kentucky, assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas employed the Spider XM7 during Network Intergration Evaluation 13.1 field manuevers at Dona Ana range complex.
"The Spider is designed to be used with tripwires to provide early warning of intrusion and can be used to control Spider XM7 six-portal grenade launcher system or six claymore anti-personnel mines simultaneously," said Bacon. "It can be used long-term to provide perimeter defense at a forward operating base or patrol base."
The Spider uses a Remote Control Unit and transmitter to signal Munition Control Units to detonate military munitions up to 1,000 meters away from the operator. It can be used for forward operating base or command outpost defense, as well as hasty protection or ambush while on patrol.
"The Spider contains no explosive materials, it simply attaches to, and controls deployed explosives in the field," said Anthony Burg of Savage, Minn., also assigned to Alpha Co.
The Spider is always under positive command and control of all munitions in the field and target identification must be realized prior to detonation.
"If we have to put in for the night and we need better security, this system would provide early warning further out, and require less men on the line," said Bacon.
All the components of the Spider XM7 system are recoverable and reusable, including any munitions that were not detonated.
"With the structure of the brigade combat teams, there are engineer personnel assigned to every brigade, making this equipment available to practically every unit in the Army," said Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Russel of Seattle, assigned to Alpha Company.
Maneuver and engineer units employ Spider to augment force protection or as a stand-alone obstacle to shape the battlefield of the future. The Spider XM7 has been undergoing upgrades since the initial evaluation in 2010.
Article by Sgt. Barry St. Clair, Army.mil