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U.S. Army test new battlefield smoke generating system

Posted by Dylan Malyasov on


U.S. Army engineers recently finished testing a new battlefield smoke-producing system mounted to a Stryker Combat Vehicle, according to a recent service news release.

As many as four of the XM75 smoke-screen producing modules were mounted to a Stryker Combat Vehicle that was driven across punishing terrain over the course of weeks of endurance testing at Yuma Proving Ground.

The smoke is generated by injecting fog oil from the obscurant reservoir into a turbine inside the obscuration generator unit that creates and disperses the smoke screen into the atmosphere.

“The fog oil is never burnt: it just becomes atomized,” said Michael Shine, test officer. “Then it gets injected out and coalesces into fog. The fog oil used to generate the smoke is purchased in accordance with tight specification and is as harmless as vegetable oil.”

The XM75 will likely return to YPG for additional testing prior to being fielded within the next three years.

It is worth mentioning that 4th Infantry Division Soldiers also finished the cold-weather phases of testing a new XM75 smoke-producing system to conceal units during combat at Fort Carson, Colorado.

During the test, Soldiers from A Troop, 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, employed the SOM platform in multiple configurations.

“Each Soldier learned the features and capabilities of the SOM through hands-on training and practical exercises during New Equipment Training of the SOM over the course of a beautiful autumn week at Fort. Carson,” said Holmes.

Photo by Capt. Christopher Biddie, Test Officer, U.S. Army Operational Test Command
Photo by Capt. Christopher Biddie, Test Officer, U.S. Army Operational Test Command

The SOM will increase platform survivability and Soldier protection levels of maneuver forces by degrading enemy forces ability to detect U.S. targets in the visual and near infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The SOM will utilize miniaturized obscuration generator technology to produce an effective visual obscuration cloud to screen against enemy forces. The individual Soldier or team will employ SOM devices on open and complex terrain.

Currently, the Army uses the M8 smoke pot or the M56 Coyote smoke generator to produce smoke.

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