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Publication numberUS3218976 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 23, 1965
Filing dateJul 8, 1960
Priority dateJul 8, 1960
Publication numberUS 3218976 A, US 3218976A, US-A-3218976, US3218976 A, US3218976A
InventorsNooker Eugene L
Original AssigneeNooker Eugene L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multi-projectile warhead
US 3218976 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 23, 1965 F'IG. 1.

(O8; ON W ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,218,976 MULTI-PROJECTILE WARHEAD Eugene L. Nooker, Silver Spring, Md., assignor to the United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy Filed July 8, 1960, Ser. No. 41,707 3 Claims. (Cl. 102-58) This application is a continuation-in-part of patent application Serial No. 734,806, filed May 12, 1958, and entitled Multi-Projectile Continuous Rod Warhead.

This invention relates generally to Warheads for missiles; more particularly, it relates to improvements in continuous rod Warhead structures of the type shown in U.S. patent applications Serial Numbers 590,077, 590,078, 590,079 and 734,806.

In copending patent application Serial Number 590,079 there is shown a Warhead including a projectile consisting of rods of rectangular cross-section arranged in layers and With their alternate opposite ends rigidly connected, so that When the Warhead is detonated, the projectile Will be propelled as a single continuous ring (continuous rod Warhead). Notwithstanding the best available fuzing, the single-shot probability of a single ring-type projectile striking a moving target at a point of maximum vulnerability is not as high as is desirable, due to variations in the projectile itself, spatial approach conditions, and other factors. In an attempt to increase the probability of striking targets of widely varying size and speed With available fuzing, a multi-projectile continuous rod Warhead has been proposed.

In copending application Serial Number 734,806 there is shown a Warhead utilizing a plurality of continuous rod ring-shaped projectiles which, following Warhead burst, will be spaced along the trajectory of a target (missile or airplane). Such a Warhead greatly increases the probability of moving targets of widely varying sizes, speeds, and trajectories being struck at a point of maximum vulnerability. The present invention relates to an improved Warhead design for obtaining the desired spacing of the ring-shaped projectiles.

It is, therefore, the principal object of this invention to provide a multiple-projectile, continuous rod Warhead so constructed that upon explosion thereof a plurality of continuous rod projectiles Will be propelled toward a target along spaced, substantially parallel paths so that the probability of one or more of them striking a vulnerable point on said target Will be substantially increased.

Another object of the invention is to provide a multipleprojectile, continuous rod Warhead having time-delay means to insure that the projectiles Will be expelled so as to obtain a desired spacing therebetween.

It is also an object of the invention to provide a multiprojectile, continuous rod Warhead employing means for assuring expulsion of said projectiles as continuous rings and without breakage of the rods constituting said rings.

Other objects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection With the accompanying drawings, Wherein:

PIG. l is a diagrammatic view showing the manner in which a Warhead incorporating five projectiles functions to destroy relatively fast and slow and relatively large and small targets;

FIG. 2 is an axial section of a multi-projectile Warhead constructed according to the invention;

FIG. 3 is an axial section of a portion of a multiprojectile Warhead, showing one form of time delay plug;

FIG. 4 is an aXial section of a portion of a multi- 3218,976 Patented Nov. 23, 1965 projectile Warhead, showing a modified form of the time delay plug of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is an aXial section of a portion of a multiprojectile Warhead, showing another form of time delay plug; and

FIG. 6 is an axial section of another embodiment of the invention.

In order to obtain maximum effectiveness from a multiple-projectile, continuous rod Warhead, it is proposed that the rod-type projectiles be propelled outwardly along paths that are substantially parallel and that are spaced apart a predetermined distance. In the present invention the spaced-apart relationship is obtained by individually expelling the projectiles With a short time delay (of the order of a few milliseconds) between each expulsion. Because the missile carrying the Warhead is moving during expulsion of the projectiles, the short time delay results in the projectiles traveling outwardly along spacedapart paths. By combining this time delay concept With a Warhead design Wherein each projectile is propelled outwardly at the same angle with respect to the axis of the Warhead, the desired spaced-apart, substantially parallel projectile paths are obtained.

Referring to the drawings, in FIG. l thereof there is shown diagrammatically at A a multi-projectile, continuous rod-type Warhead which consists of five rod-type projectiles arranged on a common axis, the direction of travel of a missile carrying the Warhead being indicated by the arrow B. The position of the Warhead A at the time of expulsion of the first of the five rod-type projectiles is indicated at T1, the position at the time of subsequent projectile expulsions being shown in broken lines, as indicated at T2, T3, T4 and T5. The continuous rod projectiles are shown in their Optimum extended positions (after detonation of their associated Warhead-contained explosive charges) at C1, C2, C3, C4 and C5, the path followed by the projectiles during their outward expansion being indicated by straight broken lines extending between each projectile and the section of the Warhead from which it came. The parallel arrangement of the paths which the projectiles follow insures uniform spacing between them at any point during their expansion to Optimum extended positions.

A relatively large target, such as a bomber aircraft, is shown diagrammatically at D in FIG. l. The position of the target D along its course is represented in full lines at D1, assuming that the target is moving rapidly, and in broken lines at D2, assuming that it is moving relatively slowly. Beneath the target D in FIG. l is a relatively small target E, such as a guided missile. The position of a relatively fast moving target E is shown at E1, Whereas a relatively slow moving target E is shown at E2. From a study of FIG. ll it will be clearly seen that a multiple-projectile, continuous lrod Warhead, such as is indicated at A, would, if detonated at a point parallel to the trajectory of the target D or the target E, intersect either of said targets, eithe-r fast or slow moving, With at least one of the projectiles C1 to C5. Thus, it Will 'be obvious that the employment of a multiple projectile Warhead constructed as herein described Will avoid at least some of the previously indicated limitations of 'a continuous rod Warhead utilizing but one continuous rod projectile.

Attention is now directed to FIG. 2, Wherein there is shown one embodiment of the present invention. The Warhead of FIG. 2 comprises a pair of generally cylindrical high explosive charges 2 and 4, the charges shown being of the shaped type With hollow interiors, altho-ugh it is to be understood that charges of other configurations may be employed.

Surrounding the charges 2 and 4 are continuous rod-type` o projectiles 6 and 8 which are of the kind disclosed in patent application Serial Number 590,079, filed June 7, 1958, entitled Double Layer Warhead, The projectiles 6 and 8 are spaced from each other medially of the Warhead by an annular band of a material that is chemically inert with respect to the material of the charges 2 and 4, such as steel or glass fibers, which band also serves to anchor the corresponding inner ends of the said projectiles. The corresponding outer ends of the projectiles 6 and 8 are retained in position by hoops 12 and 14,

of re'ctangular cross-section. It should be understood that the band 10 and the hoops 12 and 14 are welded or otherwise suitably connected to the confronting end faces of the rod elements 6 and 8 to thereby retain the Warhead parts in assembled relationship, and that said hoops and band also cooperate to control the rod end portions so that, upon detonation of the Warhead, tum'bling or twisting of the rod elements will be largely prevented and continuity of the projectiles will be thus maintained. A thin liner 16 is shown Within the interior of the hollow charges 2 and 4. The structure thus far descri'bed is similar to that disclosed in patent application Serial No. 734,806.

As is disclosed in said application, by proper design of the explosive charges and the other elements of the Warhead the several projectiles can be made to expand along predetermined paths. Thus, in the subject invention, the Warhead can be so designed that the several projectiles will expand along parallel paths.

Positioned between charges 2 and 4, 'and under band 10, is a time delay plug, generally designated by broken lines at 18, the purpose of which is to cause charge 4 to be detonated a short time after the detonation of charge 2. Disposed at the closed end of charge 2, and on the central axis thereof, is a detonator 20, which may be of any suitable type.

Disposed within the hollow 'interior of the charges 2 and 4, and lying under the time delay plug 18, is a wave and gas block 21. In the absence of the block 21 the wave and gas effects emanating from the explosion of charge 2 might pass through the hollow interior of the Warhead and cause the premature detonation of charge 4, thereby by-passing the time delay plug 18. The block is employed to prevent such by-passing, and is constructed of a material having a relatively low density. The specific configuration of the 'block for any particular Warhead is a matter of design.

As has been explained hereinabove, the time delay plug 18 causes charge 4 to be detonated a short time after the detonation of charge 2. Because the missile carrying the Warhead is moving during such detonation period the projectiles 6 and 8 will be expelled in spaced-apart relationship, thereby achieving maximum kill probability. More specifically, when the missile carrying the Warhead reaches the vicinity of a target a firing circuit employ'ing a suitable infiuence type fuze, or other similar device, will detonate the detonator 20, which in turn will detonate charge 2 and thereby expell the projectile 6. The detonation of charge 2 Would, in the absence of plug 18, also detonate charge 4 at almost the same instant. However, the plug 18 is of a construction to cause the desired time interval between the detonation of charges 2 and 4.

The time delay plug 18 may be of any of a number of constructions. High explosives such as are herein employed are normally of a type that are detonated by intense local heat con'centrations, or shock Waves, or combinations thereof. Thus, the time delay plug must be so constructed as to delay the action on charge 4 of such effects resulting from the detonation of charge 2 as would cause the detonation of said charge 4. There are several possible ways in which the desired time delay can be obtained.

Three possible constructions for a time delay plug are illustrated in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, respectively. In each of said views the charges 2 and 4, the outer ring 10, the projectiles 6 and 8, the liner 16, and the block 21 are 4 identical to those shown in FIG. 2. The time delay plug 22 of FIG. 3 consists of a body, shaped as an annular ring, of a material which Will pass a shock wave at a rate slower than Would be the case if the material were not present, i.e., if no time delay plug were employed. In FIG. 3 the detonation of charge 2 creates a detonation wave wh-ich impinges on plug 22, thereby establishing a shock wave in the material thereof. This shock wave is transmitted through the material and impinges on charge 4, Where its effect is to create the shock and/ or intense heat necessary to detonate said charge. The length of the time delay between the detonation of charges 2 and 4 is determined by the amount of time required for the shock wave to traverse the plug 22, which time in turn is determined by the dimensions and density of the material of the plug. Such materials as lead oxide and porous fuzed quartz are believed to possess the desired qualities.

A modified form of the time delay plug of FIG. 3 is shown at 24 in FIG. 4, said plug consisting of an outer ring 26 and an insert ring 28. The purpose of the two element construction of the plug 24 is to make it possible to obtain a variety of time delays by the use of but one plug. The material and thickness of the insert 28 may be varied to obtain the desired time interval, the outer ring 26 functioning not only as a permanent, preset time delay, but also to maintain the elements in their respective positions regardless of the presence, absence, or of the particular dimensions of the insert 28. The outer ring 26 can be of a material capable of causing the greatest time delay interval considered necessary. If a lesser time interval is desired, the insert 28 may be of a material causing less delay in the movement of the shock wave than is caused by the material of ring 26. The Wave Will then pass through the material of insert 28 more quickly than through the material of ring 26, thereby causing detonation of charge 4 at a time earlier than Would be possible with ring 26 alone.

Another manner of obtaining the desired time delay is to construct a time delay plug in such a manner and of such a material that the detonation of the first charge will cause the material to be greatly heated, or even melted, the hot material then, in turn, detonating as econd charge. In this instance the time delay occurs because of the short period of time required for the material to heat and/or melt and to act upon the second charge. Such a time delay plug is shown in FIG. 5 at 30, the plug consisting of an annular body 32 having a plurality of bores 34 therethrough and annular recesses 36 and 38 in the outer end faces thereof. The body 32 may be of any of a number of materials, such as lead oxide, etc. 'The bores 34 are each filled with a relatively low melting point material 40. Disposed Within each of the recesses 36 and 38 are deposits 42 and 44 of a material having the characteristic, upon gnition, of rapidly burning With high heat. The action of the time delay plug of PIG. 5 is as follows. Detonation of charge 2 Will cause deposit 42 to be ignited, said deposit reacting rapidly and producing high heat. The heat thus generated will melt the material 40, which will then, in turn, ignite deposit 44, the deposit 44 thereupon detonating charge 4. This procedure Will result in a time delay between charges 2 and 4, the precise length of the delay, as above, being determined by the dimensions and materials of the time delay plug.

Although only two charges, and their associated projectiles, have been illustrated, it is obvious that additional sets of charges and projectles may be added to those shown, a suitable time delay plug being inserted between each such set.

A modified form of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 6, wherein there are employed high explosive charges 60, 62 and 64, projectiles 66, 68 and 70, annular hands 72 and 74, hoops 76 and 78, a detonator 80, Wave and gas blocks 81 and 83, and liners 82 and 84, these elements being of a construction similar to that of the corresponding elements in FIG. 2. In this modification of the invention the high eXplosive charge upon which the detonator first acts (the charge 60) is positioned between two other charges of the Warhead (the charges 62 and 64), time delay plugs 86 and 88 of any desired configuration being positioned between the charges.

The Warhead of FIG. 6 functions in a manner similar to that of FIG. 2, the time delay plugs 86 and 88 causing the projectiles 68 and 70 to be expelled at a suitable predetermined time after expulsion of the projectile 66.

The present invention provides a Warhead of relatively simple mechanical construction, only one detonator being necessary to obtain the desired spaced expulsion of the projectiles of the Warhead.

In the Warhead configuration shown, the single detonator Will, When initiated, detonate the high explosive charges of the Warhead in the manner already explained. Such detonation of the charges will cause the projectiles associated therewith to be propelled outwardly as continuous rings, substantially as indicated at C1 to C5 in PIG. 1. The detonation of the charges Will, of course, break the ends of the rod elements from their respective bands and hoops.

Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.

What is claimed is:

1. A Warhead comprising a plurality of spaced hollow cylindrical high explosive charges arranged on a common axis, said charges being open at their confrontng ends, projectile structure surrounding each of the charges, an annular band of material that is chemically inert With respect to the material of the charges, said band spacing the projectile structures from each other and anchoring confronting ends of said structures, an annular time delay plug positioned between the confronting ends of adjacent charges and disposed radially inwardly of the band, a detonator mounted in one of the charges, and a wave and gas block mounted radially inwardly of the time delay plug and having portions extending into said charges, said Wave and gas block being of hollow cylindrical contour, said detontaor upon initiaton first exploding the charge in which it is mounted and, after a time delay imposed by said plug, subsequently exploding an adjacent charge, said Wave and gas block guiding gases from the explosion of the charge first exploded past the adjacent charge for preventing premature explosion of said adjacent charge.

2. A Warhead as recited in claim 1, wherein said time delay consists of an outer ring and an insert ring concentric with the outer ring, the outer ring being capable of imposin-g a predetermined relatively long time delay for the passage of explosive forces between the charges, and said insert ring being capable of imposing a predetermined relatively short time delay in shock wave passage between the charges, said insert ring permitting a shock wave to by-pass said outer ring.

3. A Warhead as recited in claim 1, wherein said time delay plug comprises an annular body having a plurality of bores, said body having recesses at its opposite ends and communicating with the bores, a deposit of low melting point material in each of the bores, and a deposit of rapid burning, high heat producing material in each of the recesses.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 202,203 4/ 1878 Urquhart 1112-69 X 424,482 4/1890 Justin 102-59 2,359,777 10/1944 Moore 102-56 2,782,715 2/1957 Udry 1092-20 F OREIGN PATENTS 881 1863 Great Britain.

BENJAMIN A. BORCHELT, Primary Examner.


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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3720168 *Dec 14, 1970Mar 13, 1973Us NavyElliptical warhead
US4655139 *Sep 28, 1984Apr 7, 1987The Boeing CompanySelectable deployment mode fragment warhead
US4658727 *Sep 28, 1984Apr 21, 1987The Boeing CompanySelectable initiation-point fragment warhead
US4662281 *Sep 28, 1984May 5, 1987The Boeing CompanyLow velocity disc pattern fragment warhead
US4823701 *Apr 27, 1987Apr 25, 1989The Boeing CompanyMulti-point warhead initiation system
DE2945478A1 *Nov 10, 1979May 21, 1981Messerschmitt Boelkow BlohmControlling detonation wave direction e.g. in war head - with foam or sinter glass, light ceramic or rigid foam
U.S. Classification102/474
International ClassificationF42B12/30, F42B12/02
Cooperative ClassificationF42B12/30
European ClassificationF42B12/30