Cold War-era PARM anti-tank mine is back in mass production

MBDA, a leading European missile manufacturer, is reigniting the production of its PARM, a Cold War-era directional anti-tank mine. This decision comes as Germany makes a sizeable order to replenish the stock they supply to Ukraine. The mines are known for their triggering property of tripwires. 

After a 10-year standstill, Germany returns DM22 mine production
Photo credit: Reddit

In a statement on Tuesday, Germany’s Federal Office for Equipment Procurement announced the purchase of 2,600 off-route mines from TDW, an MBDA subsidiary.

Additionally, they have an option to buy up to 10,000 more. Germany’s Parliamentary Budget Committee previously gave the green light to the project, which is projected to cost approximately €68 million [about $74 million].

“The receipt of this order signifies the initial phase of our production capacity augmentation,” stated TDW Managing Director, Andreas Seitz. “Germany, along with other countries, will leverage PARM to build and enhance their territory-denial abilities.” 

The tranquility Europe enjoyed for many decades was disrupted when Russia invaded Ukraine, marking the re-emergence of high-intensity and tactical warfare. Thousands of tanks and armored vehicles were employed by both countries.

One of the significant strategies has been the use of mines to thwart attacks from either side. Germany has played its role by providing Ukraine with approximately 14,900 anti-tank mines, as evidenced by the compilation of military aid.

Starting in 2025, TDW will commence the production of a demonstration batch for the PARM DM22, with German troops expecting their first series of deliveries in 2026. Subsequent orders are manageable in 1,000-unit increments, as per the procurement office’s announcement. 

Constructed and birthed into reality during the 90s by TDW, the weapon found initial use with the German Bundeswehr. However, it fell into disuse and halted production in 1998, following the wrap-up of the Cold War.

Entering the scene again after a pause of 25 years, reintroduction of its production will necessitate its recertification, conveys MBDA Germany’s spokesperson, Günter Abel, in an email to Defense News. 

Abel suggests that the company sees promising export opportunities predominantly among NATO members in the regions of Northern and Eastern Europe. This is because these NATO and EU nations are increasingly realizing the importance of securing their borders from potential adversaries. 

“Even though PARM was initially conceptualized as an anti-tank weapon system for the Cold War, it’s proven itself as a dependable and potent tool for combatting state-of-the-art main battle tanks in present-day warfare,” stated Abel. “This is presently driving a surge in demand.”

The fully automated directional mine is a potent tool. Designed to annihilate tanks and armored vehicles, it stands proudly on a sturdy tripod. Within the PARM resides a shaped charge, potent enough to wreak havoc at a distance. It’s activated either by a sophisticated fiber-optical sensor or remotely, for more clandestine operations. 

Incredibly, a single soldier can transport this system, according to MBDA. TDW is at the forefront of anti-access/area-denial systems and warheads according to MBDA Germany’s Managing Director, Thomas Gottschild.

He continued, “The acquisition of PARM enables a return to regular production, making it the most accessible and formidable roadside counter-mobility system available.”


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