PRAM was a proposed rocket-propelled 2000-lb weapon with a 500-lb warhead, which could be driven about 1 mile by its rocket. It was canceled in 1978 after having been conceived in the late 1960s. Engineering development would have begun in FY79, but reportedly its target sensor proved unworkable. Officially, it was dropped because of the Office of Management and Budget's regulation A-109, which required that the service no longer issue specifications describing projected weapons but instead focus on required performance. The regulation would allow for more alternative concepts. The navy, therefore, issued an RFP for what was called the intermediate-water-depth mine (IWDM). The competitors were Aerojet, Bendix, General Electric, Goodyear, Gould, and McDonnell Douglas. IWDM's dimensions were limited to 21 x 144 in (so that 2 could fit 1 torpedo skid). IWDM was to be laid by submarines, ships, and aircraft. It would detect, classify, and localize surface ships and surfaced or submerged submarines. Demonstration-validation contracts were awarded to General Electric and McDonnell Douglas on 30 September 1980. Although IWDM was canceled, it remains interesting as an indication of the nature of the projects that succeeded it. The demonstration/validation models were scheduled for delivery in June 1984, with operational evaluation in FY87. It was expected that 108 RDT&E models would be purchased, and that ultimately 6240 would be bought for $838.5 million (about $134,000 each). IWDM, in turn, was replaced by the new-generation mine (NGM), and then by the Anglo-American advanced sea mine (ASM) or continental-shelf mine (CSM). ASM was canceled in 1989 when Britain withdrew. There were 2 competing versions: Crusader was a rocket projectile, and Hammerhead was a torpedo. The issue was cost and capability: some have argued that any mine traveling more than about 500 m requires some degree of mid-course guidance. As of late 1989, the navy was drafting a new OR; the mine will be called Substrike.
MINE INDEX PAGE
Derick S. Hartshorn -