Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Better Warheads Through Plastics

Date:
December 3, 2002
Source:
Office Of Naval Research
Summary:
The Office of Naval Research's Reactive Materials Enhanced Warhead Program seeks to demonstrate missile warheads that achieve visible catastrophic structural defeat of cruise missiles and manned aircraft. These new warheads enhance the kinetic energy of inert fragments with chemical energy released when reactive fragments hit the target.

Shooting down enemy air threats--whether they're ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, or aircraft--is a tactical problem that leaves little room for error. The targets move fast and must be verifiably, catastrophically, destroyed. An incoming missile hit and broken into pieces by an air defense missile can be as dangerous as one that lands intact. The Iraqi Scud missile that killed so many American troops at their Saudi base during the 1991 Gulf War is sad evidence of that risk--it had apparently been hit by a Patriot missile on its way down, but its warhead functioned on impact nonetheless. So the Navy's goal in improving the effectiveness of its air defense warheads is to enable them to inflict enough damage on an incoming missile to destroy it at a safe distance.

Related Articles


The Office of Naval Research is working toward this goal. ONR's Reactive Materials Enhanced Warhead Program seeks to demonstrate missile warheads that achieve visible catastrophic structural defeat of cruise missiles and manned aircraft. These new warheads enhance the kinetic energy of inert fragments with chemical energy released when reactive fragments hit the target. (Kinetic energy is simply the energy a body has by virtue of its motion--a linebacker brings down a running back through application of his kinetic energy; a thrown rock breaks a window by transferring its kinetic energy to the glass. Chemical energy is released in the form of heat and pressure, as when something burns rapidly--a gas main explosion or the detonation of stick of dynamite are good examples of the release of chemical energy.) The Reactive Materials Warhead combines both effects to increase the odds of destroying the target.

The new warhead uses a carefully designed chemical reaction to release heat and overpressure. These add to the destructive effect of the warhead fragments' kinetic energy as they strike the target. The fragments are composed of an advanced composite material made of powdered metal embedded in a plastic matrix that survives the explosive launch typical of warhead fragmentation. It promises potential lethality improvements of up to 500%.

This new reactive composite material was recently incorporated into a prototype warhead and used in a live-fire explosive static arena test against real and threat-representative targets. The demonstration showed that the new type of warhead has twice the lethal radius of its predecessors and improved structural target damage. The test results and engineering tool sets developed from this program are now being used to prepare the Reactive Material Enhanced Warhead for transition into Navy missile programs that include the STANDARD Missile, the High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM), the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM), the Sidewinder, and the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Office Of Naval Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Office Of Naval Research. "Better Warheads Through Plastics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/12/021203074910.htm>.
Office Of Naval Research. (2002, December 3). Better Warheads Through Plastics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/12/021203074910.htm
Office Of Naval Research. "Better Warheads Through Plastics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/12/021203074910.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Toyota presented its hydrogen fuel-cell compact car called "Mirai" to US consumers at the Los Angeles auto show. The car should go on sale in 2015 for around $60.000. It combines stored hydrogen with oxygen to generate its own power. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) China and "one or two" other countries are capable of mounting cyberattacks that would shut down the electric grid and other critical systems in parts of the United States, according to Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and hea Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Latest Minivan Crash Tests Aren't Pretty

Latest Minivan Crash Tests Aren't Pretty

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Five minivans were put to the test in head-on crash simulations by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins