In the early 1980’s, our local flea market would at times look more like a Picatinny Arsenal yard sale. It was there that my dad picked up this remote firing device. Years ago I took a close look at it and got a bad case of the willies… the serial number was only about No.40, and the inside looked like that after it was armed, there wouldn’t be any way to remove a battery or disconnect the receiver or the mine without firing it. I could be wrong about that part. But I was really concerned though that it might be a firing device for an atomic demolition munition (ADM) like the ones we probably have in place in Korea, or probably had in place in Vietnam. So I cut a section from the bundle of wires and removed a few things including the ID plate so that nothing of importance to the defense of the U.S. would be compromised. That was long ago. Can anyone identify it?
While your identification of the hardware may look plausible, your geographic locations then and now are not! Of course, I can neither confirm nor deny the presence of special weapons at any specific location CONUS or abroad…
Geographic locations are correct for development of non-nuclear components of atomic munitions and atomic demolition munitions (ADMs) as well as technology for other special weapons and their disposal. As example: Picatinny Arsenal’s Davy Crockett seen in attached photo. As better example: atomic munition or ADM ‘Cinderella’, which is not seen in any photo…
EODC, did “Cinderella” have a M-number?
None was mentioned. I was just given a brief run-down by my father - an ordnance engineer at that time. He was using it as an example of projects that were doomed from the start. And in this case, it was (as I was told) doomed only by the need to use fluid explosives. The idea, which would’ve allowed the atomic component to be nearly the size of the gun barrel, is interesting though. So glad it’s all history.
As for that remote munition activation arming box - whatever it’s called - it really did come from a flea market. But I believe he may have known what it was and just bought it and stuck it in a shed. He also found an experimental tank penetrator at the local salvage yard. He even had the engraved numbers checked-out at the arsenal to make certain it wasn’t spent uranium. ‘Cinderella’ though, was real. He was very convincing on that.
I just happened to trip across this thread today, I had not seen it before. I thought I’d throw my two cents in.
The title throws out a number of acronyms, none of which seem anywhere close. RAAM (not RAM or RAMS as typically used, us an anti-armor submunition dispensed from a 155mm projectile (see pics). While RAAM is a mine, there is no control unit, all settings are done before loading at the plant.
REMBASS is another item dispensed from a 155mm, but instead of a mine it is a sensor, related to the ADSID program. Again, all settings done prior to loading into the projectile, at the factory. Not related to any mine operations. (see pic)
In regard to ADMs, in the era of the box you show we only had two, the SADM and the MADM. The SADM was set on the device itself, while the MADM had nothing like the box shown. I checked my references, I have nothing listed under Cinderella. The mention of development and doomed projects is typical of projects that never made it beyond the planning or initial testing stage. They were frequently given project names or nicknames by the engineering teams, but once the project was dropped or superseded the names were lost to history. I agree with Taber however, these items were not associated with the areas mentioned.
While I cannot get into the references now, I believe that this is a control box for the 3.5-inch anti-tank rocket that was converted into an off-route landmine. The rocket was placed in a small tube that could be positioned off the trail or roadway and aimed with a sight provided. To make up for the loss of stability with the short tube, spring loaded fins were attached to the rocket. There were two finished versions of the “mine”, plus some developmental pieces. One used a pressure mat that was placed on the roadway. A vehicle would drive over the mat, firing the rocket at itself. The second version was a little more complicated, using an IR beam across the road. Each of the systems had a control and arming box to prepare the system for use.
In my collection I have some components from each of the kits, but not either full kit. Off the top of my head I don’t remember which control box I have, but you can see the similarity of my box, on the left, to the one that is in question. I believe both are related.
Sorry so late, hope this helps.
Thankyou for illustrating all the acronyms. Yes, the box you have is very much the same except that it looks more compact. I wish you had seen the post earlier. I would have gladly given you the box to fill out your collection.
You mentioned Cinderella. I only found out this past summer that my dad – while as an ordnance engineer – had worked at Picatinny Arsenal’s Atomic Ammunition Development Laboratory, Nuclear Concepts and Applications Section. So as you say, projects like that were only in conceptual stages, some maybe went a bit further.
Again, thankyou for illustrated info. John
Jeff, thanks a lot for the REMBASS image!
I understand it is from the late 1960s to early 1970s?
Were these ever fielded?
I don’t think so, I’ve only seen the one projectile, but pieces and parts of the sensor show up occasionally, especially the nose for some reason. I’ve only seen one or two pages of info on it, again leading me to believe it never made it to full production. Fielded can be a deceiving term though, I’ve got an interesting device that employed a 1oz explosive charge behind ball bearings, a micro Claymore for mounting on 2.5T trucks during Vietnam. It was given a number and went through testing and modification, then in the report I have the last information given is that 1000 were being sent to Vietnam for “field testing”. Adopted may be a better term for that time period.
Thanks for setting it straight. Of course “adopted” would be the better term here.