Engineer Soldiers just completed testing the Army’s newest explosive that will help them shape the battlefield. Sappers from the 59th Combat Engineer Company – Armored (CEC-A), 36th Engineer Brigade learned how to employ the XM204 Top Attack Munition, a landmine designed to destroy combat vehicles. The XM204 Operational Assessment allowed test unit Engineers the opportunity to learn about a new capability while enhancing Soldier and equipment readiness. During six days of testing, soldiers conducted missions against an operationally realistic enemy in both day and night conditions. They planned and emplaced nearly 20 obstacles of varying types that included traditional wire obstacles and mine fields, to test the XM204’s ability to destroy an enemy or alter their route.
Master Sgt. Jonathan Stevenson, OTC’s Maneuver Support and Sustainment Test Directorate NCOIC and Combat Engineer with nearly 20 years of experience said,”The XM204 is an important new capability for the Army. The XM204 provides Combat Engineers with a semi-flexible smart munition that can be utilized to shape the battlefield and will ultimately enhance the ability of our Soldiers to destroy the enemy”.
“The XM204 Operational Assessment provided a great opportunity for the organization to continue to refine our critical mission essential tasks while enhancing our Soldiers’ lethality and providing feedback in support of Army modernization priorities,” said Capt. Abraham Orozco, Company Commander of the 59th CEC-A.
As the Army’s only independent operational tester, USAOTC enlists the “Total Army” (Active, National Guard, and Reserve) when testing Army, joint, and multi-service warfighting systems in realistic operational environments, using typical Soldiers to determine whether the systems are effective, suitable, and survivable. USAOTC is required by public law to test major systems before they are fielded to its ultimate customer — the American Soldier. The Maneuver Support and Sustainment Test Directorate conducts operational tests of combat engineer, chemical, transportation, military police, quartermaster, ordnance, and medical service systems to provide our senior leaders with the necessary information to field the highest quality equipment for the warfighter.
The XM204 Top Attack Munition is a hand-emplaced explosive that can detect enemy vehicles, shoot an explosive submunition into the air that fires a projectile capable of destroying vehicles in the blast area. In the case of a small element of Soldiers facing the threat of being outnumbered and outmaneuvered by an adversary with heavy tracked vehicles, the portable and easily-emplaced XM204 can help them hold their own until reinforcements arrive. The size of a large suitcase, the launcher module bears four top attack munitions that, when triggered, launches a top attack submunition into the air. The submunition tracks and identifies threat vehicles and then fires an armor-piercing slug at the target. The ruggedized launcher module has a mechanism to indicate whether the system is armed or not.