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Physics of Kinetic Energy Rod Warheads Against TBM Submunition Payloads

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New warhead technologies have been designed and developed to obtain high lethality against chemical and biological ballistic missile payloads. These new kinetic energy KE rod warheads slowly deploy high density metal penetrators in the targets direction. A high spray density cloud is generated which flood loads the payload inflicting catastrophic damage. These new warhead devices deploy 16 times more mass in the target direction compared to todays blast fragmentation concepts. The idea is to deploy a curtain of rods at low ejection velocities and let the missile and target closing velocities supply the kinetic energy. Testing combined with analytical endgame analysis has shown that a dense spray pattern can obtain high lethality against thick walled submunitions. Parametric lethality trades show rods with small mass are a better choice compared to fewer larger projectiles. Given, a fixed warhead weight, it is better to have many small rods rather than a few large ones. A new penetration code, which accounts for flood loading, is currently being developed to better model multiple rod impacts. Current endgame shotline codes raytrace each rod through the target, not distinguishing between the first, second or last impacts. A new model is developed which accounts for the first rod penetration compared to the last. This technique takes away target pieces along the penetrated shotline. These pieces are removed and if rods strike near the shotline, they penetrate with the benefit from the first rod. KE rod warheads are extremely lethal against TBM submunition payloads and are viable warhead candidates of future anti-ballistic missile systems.

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  • Ammunition and Explosives
  • Antimissile Defense Systems

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