US 3304864 A
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Feb. 21, 1967 F. R. THOMANEK 3,304,
APPARATUS FOR FIRING AN ANTI-VEHICLE GROUND-TO-GROUND ARMOR PIERCING EXPLOSIVE CHARGE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 2, 1963 INVENTOR Franz Rudolf T/70I77G/76k ATTORNEY Feb. 21, 1967 F. R. THOMANEK 3,304,
APPARATUS FOR FIRING AN ANTI-VEHICLE GROUNDTO-GROUND ARMOR PIERCING EXPLOSIVE CHARGE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 2, 1963 INVENTOR Franz Rudolf Thomanek ATTOR N E Y claims. (Ci. run-"19.2)
This invention relates to the firing of anti-vehicle ground-to-ground armor piercing explosive charges and, more particularly, to a novel and improved method of and apparatus for firing said charges along a trajectory in elevated substantially parallel relation to the ground from a firing or launching frame.
Various types of explosive charges have been used for combating or disabling armored ground vehicles, such as tanks and the like. One arrangement involves the use of hollow explosive charges which are fired toward the target from a launching device supported on the ground. Such firing is efliectcd by means of manual remote triggering or release, and the hollow explosive charge is detonated at the armor of the vehicle by means of an impact ignition device. As a result of such detonation, the spike or point formed by the lining of the hollow charge penetrates the armor of the vehicle thus struck.
Another arrangement involves so-called projectile-forming explosive charges wherein the entire lining material is deformed into a unitary projectile-like body, upon ignition, and which attains a speed of 1000 to 2000 meters per second. Up to distances of 100 meters, a projectileforming explosive charge of this type has a very high penetration.
Both hollow explosive charges and projectile-forming explosive charges, while effective in action, have hitherto had the disadvantage that the manner of releasing, actuating, or tripping such charges has not been wholly satisfactory and does not come up to the standards of modern techniques of combating armored ground vehicles. This is because such prior art explosive charges have hitherto been actuated or triggered either manually, by means of a line, or automatically, by means of a pressure sensitive igniting means activated when the vehicle drives over an explosive charge.
An object of the invention is to provide an improved method of and apparatus for releasing or triggering a projectile-forming explosive charge of the above-mentioned types.
Another object of the invention is to provide a novel method of and apparatus for triggering or releasing such an explosive charge which latter is supported above the ground in a launching frame.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a method of and apparatus for releasing or triggering an explosive charge, as stated above, in which an optimum accuracy of impact up to distances of about 100 meters is assured.
Still a further object of the invention is to provide an apparatus for releasing 0r triggering an explosive charge and which is basically very simple as well as being independent of any particular ground conditions, of the ambient atmosphere, and of the weather, and which is characterized by reliability of operation.
To this end, the method of the apparatus involves the steps of supporting the charge for launching toward a ground vehicle along a trajectory in elevated, substantially parallel relation to the ground, placing an igniting device in operative association with the charge, and activating said igniting device responsive to the vehicle traversing at least one relatively elongated release or detection path exatent tending longitudinally from the projectile parallel to the ground.
The apparatus of the invention may be made very simple, as well as being advantageous and reliable, if the release or detecting path is in the form of a light barrier, of a radar beam pattern, or of an elongated electrical contact device which latter is located adjacent the explosive charge and extends parallel to the firing direction along the ground.
For an understanding of the principles of the invention, reference is made to the following description of typical embodiments thereof as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a longitudinal sectional view of a projectileforming explosive charge disposed in a substantially cylindrical container;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the arrangement of FIG. 1 as arranged to be fired by means of a pair of electrical contact devices extending from the charge parallel to or along the ground and in the firing direction;
FIG. 3 is a schematic wiring diagram of the triggering or releasing arrangement shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a somewhat diagrammatic illustration of an embodiment of the invention in which the igniting device is activated when a vehicle intersects or traverses a light beam; and
FIG. 5 is a view, similar to FIG. 4, of an embodiment of the invention in which the igniting device is activated responsive to a vehicle traversing or intersecting a radar beam pattern.
Referring to FIG. 1, an explosive charge 1 is illustrated as disposed within a thin-walled preferably cylindrical container 2, the charge 1 being positioned adjacent the forward end of the container 2. Within the container 2, and behind the charge 1, there is a free space 3 which may be used for storage of an electrical igniting device 4 and detecting or triggering devices 5 arranged to activate the device 4 to detonate the charge 1. FIG. 1 illustrates the assembly as arranged for transportation, with the device 4 and the triggering means 5 packed in the space 3 which is then closed by a cover or lid 6.
In the explosive device illustrated in FIG. 1, charge 1 has a conical recess in its forward end with the base of the cone facing in the direction of firing. However, it should be understood that the charge 1 need not have a cone-shaped recess in its front end, and need not by cylindrical. Within the scope of the invention, the container 2 could contain an explosive charge of cone shape. Alternatively, the recess 7 could be a substantially hemispherical recess.
Recess 7 has a metal lining 8 which, upon detonation of charge 1, is deformed to provide an integral projectilelike body which is fired in the axial direction of the charge 1 and strikes the target with a high penetration capacity. Ignition of charge 1 may be effected in a known manner through a fused detonator 9 connected by a conductor or electric line 10 with igniting device 4.
FIG. 2 illustrates the explosive charge in operative position for firing at a ground vehicle. For supporting the charge above and in substantial parallel relation to the ground, legs 11, 12 and 13 are secured to container 2. By proper adjustment of these legs, the initial trajectory of the explosive charge may 'be set to a height H of about 1.0 to 1.5 meters and so as to be substantially parallel to the ground surface. To facilitate the aiming and alignment of the explosive charge in the direction of the target, a rear sight 14 and a front sight 15 are provided on the upper side of container 2.
As stated, igniting device 4- and contact or detecting devices 5 are transported in free space 3 of container 2. When the container 2 is at the point of use, lid 6 may be removed and igniting device 4 and detectors are taken out of the container. In accordance with the invention, these relatively elongated contact strips or detectors are positioned adjacent the explosive charge to extend in a direction parallel to the firing direction along the ground and at lateral spacings a and b from the firing axis of the explosive charge.
The detecting or contact devices may have -a known type of construction and such construction is therefore not shown in detail. For example, each detecting device 5 may comprise a perforated strip of dielectric material surrounded by an insulting and protecting tube. Opposite surfaces of the strip of dielectric material have metal foil strips secured therealong. The size of the perforations and the thickness of the dielectric strip, as well as the composition of the metal .foils and their thicknesses, de termine the sensitivity of the detecting devices to a pressure load. When a target vehicle rolls or drives over the detecting devices 5, the metal foils on the opposite surfaces of the dielectric strip are brought into contact and this completes a circuit to the igniting device 4 to activate the latter to detonate explosive charge 1.
In order to guard against inadvertent triggering of the explosive charge, such as, for example, by one stepping on a detector 5 or by a detector 5 being struck by a stone or the like, the arrangement of FIG. 2 provides two relatively elongated detectors extending in spaced, preferably parallel relation, to each other. The distance a+b between the two detector strips amounts, in dependence upon the assumed width of the target vehicle, to between 1.0 and 5.0 meters. The two detector strips 5 are connected in series with each other in an electric circuit, so that charge 1 is detonated only when both strips are contacted simultaneously by the target vehicle as when the vehicle moves or drives over both strips at the same time.
FIG. 3 is a schematic wiring diagram of igniting device 4 which is enclose-d within the casing. Device 4 includes an igniting condenser 16 having a discharge path including the combination of a spark gap and an associated parallel resistance, illustrated at 17, a charging resistance 18, a battery 19, a safety switch 20, and a time clock 21. The detectors 5 are schematically illustrated as switches 22 and 23 arranged in series with each other in the char ing circuit of condenser 16.
The igniting device 4 used with the detectors 5 operates in the following manner: Aifter electric fuse or ignitor 24 has been inserted into the explosive charge, the battery 19, which previously has been checked as to voltage, is connected thereto and the time clock 21 is set to a predetermined time interval. After the expiration of this time interval, which may be set, for example, to be from 5 to minutes, safety switch closes the circuit to battery :19 so that change 1 is ready for firing. When both detectors 5 are contacted simultaneously, as when a target vehicle passes thereover, switches 22 and 23 are closed, this corresponding to contact of both detectors '5 of FIG. 2 at the same time. After charging of the igniting condenser 16, the latter discharges to activate the igniting device 24.
Instead of using two parallel elongated detector devices disposed adjacent each other as shown in FIG. 2, the charge could be detonated responsive to contact of the target vehicle with a single detecting device. Such an ar rangement has the disadvantage already mentioned, so that the explosive charge 1 could be released inadvertently. However, the invention contemplates the use of a single detecting device in cases where this might be suitable 'for :a particular purpose.
If two contact devices are disposed adjacent each other as shown in FIG. 2, and extend over a relatively long path such as one having a length of about 100 meters, it sometimes disadvantageously occurs that the distance between the two detecting devices is too great, and if the target vehicle has a relatively high speed, then after triggering of the explosive charge, the detonated projectile will not hit the target vehicle but will pass behind the vehicle. On the other hand, if the distance between the detecting devices is made too small, and if the speed of the target vehicle is relatively slow, then the vehicle, as it comes adjacent the explosive charge, would not be fully hit by the charge but would be hit only in its front portion. This has the disadvantage, for example, that, with respect to tanks or other armored vehicles, the target vehicle would no be completely immobilized but would be only partially damaged and thus would be capable of continuing in action.
According to further embodiments of the invention, these disadvantages are eliminated by substituting, for the electrical contact strips or detectors 5, a light ray or jet formation in such a manner that the firing direction of the projectile for-ms a symmetry line for the rays which diverge toward the vicinity of the charge. Such arrangements are shown in FIGS. 4 and 5.
In FIG. 4, a light barrier is substituted for the contact strips 5 of FIG. 2. Referring to FIG. 4, a light source 25 is illustrated as provided with a reflector 26 and an optical system 27 for providing a concentrated light beam 28 reflected by a mirror 2) disposed at a predetermined distance from light source 25. After reflection by mirror 29, the light beam 28 is operative upon a receiver 30, such as a photo responsive device, positioned laterally at a distance from light source 25 while in the vicinity of the igniting device 4 and explosive charge 1. Device 34 is electrically connected to igniting device 4 by means of an electrical line 31.
The operation of this arrangement is similar to that of the arrangement of FIG. 2. When the light beam is traversed or intersected by the target vehicle, it is interrupted. This effects activation of the electrical circuit of the igniting device 4 in a manner such as to effect detonation of the explosive charge.
In the arrangement of FIG. 5, detonation of the explosive charge is effected in response to operation of a radar system. In FIG. 5, the radar system includes a transmitter 32 having an antenna 33 and a parabolic r flector 34. At the same height as the transmitter 32, or on the level therewith, a receiver 35 is positioned laterally of the transmitter and connected electrically to igniting device 4 through an electrical line 36. The target vehicle is indicated at 37. When vehicle 37 penetrates into the radar beam pattern 38, pulses reflected from vehicle 37 to receiver 35 effect operation of ignition device 4 to detonate the explosive charge.
In the arrangement of FIG. 4, the explosive charge is arranged between light source 25 and light sensitive device 30, with the firing direction of the projectile forming substantially the symmetry line of the sector enclosed by the rays 28. By contrast, in FIG. 5, the explosive charge has its firing direction forming the symmetry line of the radar beam 38 radiated by transmitter 32.
While specific embodiments of the invention have been shown and described in detail to illustrate the application of the principles of the invention, it will be understood that the invention may be embodied otherwise without departing from such principles.
What is claimed is:
1. Apparatus for fighting ground vehicles travelling along a path comprising, in combination, an explosive charge including a shaped explosive, formed with a hollow cavity facing in the firing direction, and a metal lining in said cavity, and which metal lining, upon detonation of the shaped explosive charge and in a known manner, forms a projectile; a stationary firing base supporting said charge above the ground with its firing direction axis extending substantially parallel to the ground toward such path; an igniting device operable, when activated, to detonate said charge; and target detector means operable to activate said igniting device, said target detector means including a pair of relatively elongated ground surface engaging detector elements extending from said igniting device and intersecting such path of travel to define therealong a detection zone of substantial width substantially centered on such axis; the width of said zone being of the order of, but less than, a horizontal dimension of the ground contacting portion of the ground vehicle to be attacked; said target detector elements being connected with each other and with said igniting device in a manner such as to activate said igniting device only when both detector elements are concurrently engaged by the ground vehicle to be attacked.
2. Apparatus, as claimed in claim 1, including a relatively elongated tubular container, said explosive o'ha-rge being placed adjacent one end of said container and there being a free space behind said explosive charge; said free space accommodating said detector means and said igniting device during storage and shipment.
3. Apparatus, as claimed in claim 2, including a sighting device on the exterior of said container.
4. Apparatus for fighting ground vehicles travelling along a path comprising, in combination, an explosive charge including a shaped explosive, formed with a hollow cavity facing in the firing direction, and a metal lining in said cavity, and which metal lining, upon detonation of the shaped explosive charge and in a known manner, forms a projectile; a stationary firing base supporting said charge above the ground with its firing direction axis extending substantially parallel to the ground toward such path; an igniting device operable, when activated, to detonate such charge; and a pair of relatively elongated electrical contact strips connected in series with each other to said igniting device and extending from said igniting device and intersecting the path of travel in laterally spaced relation with each other to define therealong a detection zone centered on such axis; the Width of said zone being of the order of, but less than, a horizontal dimension of the ground contacting portion of the ground vehicle to be attacked; said contact strips constituting a activating circuit for said igniting device which is closed only upon engagement of a vehicle concurrently with both of said contact strips.
5. Apparatus for fighting ground vehicles travelling along a path comprising, in combination, an explosive charge; a stationary firing base supporting said charge above the ground with its firing direction axis extending substantially parallel to the ground toward such path; an igniting device operable, when activated, to detonate said charge; and a pair of relatively elongated ground engaging electric contact thresholds connected in series with each other to said igniting device and extending from said igniting device and intersecting such path of travel in laterally spaced relation with each other, and symmerically on either side of said axis, to define, along said such path, a detection zone centered on such axis, the width of said zone being of the order of, but less than, a horizontal dimension of the ground contacting portion of the ground vehicle to be attacked; said electric contact thresholds constituting an activating circuit for said igniting device which is closed only upon engagement of 'a vehicle concurrently with both of said electric contact thresholds.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,330,205 9/1943 Cox 102-19.2 X 2,472,136 6/ 1949 Whitlock 89-28 2,830,538 4/1958 Dodge 102-8 2,975,350 3/1961 Mahoney 20086 X 3,052,772 9/1962 Koenig 200-86 X 3,204,054 8/1965 Ouellette ZOO-61.09
FOREIGN PATENTS 78,853 1919 Austria. 494,330 1937 Great Britain.
564,158 .1944 Great Britain.
' OTHER REFERENCES Ordnance, vol. XXXIII, No. 169, July-August 1948, UF 1 A 8, pp. 49-51, Secrets of the Shaped Charge, by Clark.
BENJAMIN A. BORCHELT, Primary Examiner. W. C. ROCH, Assistant Examiner.