The US Army has begun production of new anti-tank landmines that are launched from the air, according to a report by Breaking Defense.
Earlier this year, Textron Systems was awarded a contract to produce XM204 top attack munitions for the European theater.
Unlike conventional landmines that strike enemy vehicles from below, the weapon rains down on the ground.
New information obtained by the outlet states that the company will also produce a so-called “control knob” to set the timer for how long the weapon will be active on the ground.
If the XM204 does not detect a target when active, it self-destructs to minimize the risk of civilian casualties.
“There is a significant interest in Eastern European NATO allies that are familiar with the new system and are interested in acquiring some,” Textron vice-president Henry Finneral told Breaking Defense.
“There are no [foreign military sales] orders yet but there is a lot of interest, and we continue to anticipate that that would be a part of where many of these systems would go.”
With production already underway, the army is expected to receive its first XM204s by mid-2023.
According to the company, each XM204 anti-tank landmine has a module that is two by two feet in size.
It uses acoustic and seismic sensors to detect approaching vehicles within a 100-meter (328-foot) radius.
When the radars and sensors detect an oncoming vehicle, an airborne submunition is fired from above to help determine the best aiming point and strike the top of the vehicle.
“Our systems have redundant capability to ensure that they detonate,” Finneral stated. “If we launch a submunition and the target has changed direction or if it does not detonate, it’ll self-destruct before it hits the ground.”