US 3565009 A
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United States Patent Inventors John M. Allred Houston, Tex.; Bernard vanZyl, Altamonte Springs; Robert L. Hoch, Orlando, Fla.
Appl. No. 808,707
Filed Mar. 19, 1969 Patented Feb. 23, I971 Ass g The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy, by mesne assignments AIMED QUADRANT WARHEAD 17 Claims, 8 Drawing Figs.
US. Cl 102/56 Int. Cl F42b 3/08 Field of Search 102/24 Primary Examiner-Verlin R. Pendegrass An0rneysE. .l. Brower, A. L. Branning and T. 0 Watson, Jr.
ABSTRACT: A cylindrical warhead having four separate explosive quadrant sections which contain destructive fragments. Any one quadrant section can be ejected to expose the destructive fragments and the opposite quadrant section detonated to propel the fragments in a selectable direction.
PATENTEU FEB23 |97| SHEET 2 [1F 2 STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST The invention described herein may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field ofthe Invention The present invention relates to a warhead and, more particularly, to a warhead in which destructive fragments can be directed into any one quadrant surrounding the longitudinal axis of the warhead.
2. Description of the Prior Art Prior art warheads usually incorporated fragments positioned on the outer surface of the warhead to either be propelled radially of the warhead or axially of the warhead. The fragments were prepositioned and thus their direction of travel once the warhead had been launched was fixed. Also in the prior art were mechanically aimed warheads. warheads of this type are oriented in the missile to fire toward the target by mechanical actuators which respond to fusing signals in the warhead. This arrangement is not very practical since the warhead must be moved within the missile during flight. Movement of the warhead involves high inertial loads which cause long response times. Also, movement of the warhead during flight induces moments into the missile which can affect its flight.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention overcomes the problems of the prior art by providing a cylindrical warhead having separate quadrants of explosives. In the center of the cylindrical warhead are provided destructive fragments. Any one of the four quadrants can be ejected from its position surrounding the fragments and the explosive quadrant opposite from the ejected quadrant can be detonated thereby propelling the destructive fragments through the space left by the ejected segment. In this way, the direction of travel of the fragments can be controlled by a signal causing ejection of any one of the quadrants and causing subsequent detonation of the segment opposite to the ejected segment.
An object of the present invention is the provision ofa warhead, the destructive effects of which can be channeled into a chosen direction.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a cylindrical warhead containing destructive fragments, several portions of the warhead being selectively openable to project the fragments in a chosen direction.
A further object of the present invention is the provision of a warhead having a section which can be ejected from the warhead to provide an opening through which destructive fragments can be propelled upon detonation of the warhead.
Other objects, advantages and novel features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 shows one embodiment of applicants warhead having a portion thereof cutaway;
FIG. 2 shows two quadrant halves of applicants warhead joined with a connecting rod and having an explosive ejection unit therebetween;
FIG. 3 shows the explosive ejection unit of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 shows two quadrant halves of applicants warhead joined with a connecting rod and having a propellant ejection unit therebetween; and
FIGS. 5 through 8 show schematically the operation of applicants warhead.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 which illustrates the preferred embodiment of the warhead shows a missile generally designated 11 including a missile skin 12. A warhead generally designated by 14 is carried with the missile skin. The warhead is made up of four sections, only three of which 15, 16 and 18 are shown in FIG. 1 Each quadrant includes two sections of explosives. As can be seen in FIG. 1, quadrant 15 contains segments 19 and 20 and quadrant 18 contains segments 21 and 22. Between the explosive segments of each quadrant is an ejection means as shown at 24 and 25. More than one type of ejection means can be used and two of the alternatives will be discussed below. The segments of each quadrant are connected to each other with a connecting rod such as 26 and a detonator 28 is provided at both ends of each quadrant. At the center of the warhead is a plurality of layered destructive fragments-29.
The purpose of the ejection means 24 and 25 is to eject the halves of a selected quadrant thereby exposing the fragments. FIGS. 2 and 3 show one type of ejection means that can be used. FIG. 2 shows two halves of a quadrant, such as 19 and .20 having holes 29 and 30 therein and a connecting rod 26 in the holes. Rod 26 may be slightly force-fitted into the holes to retain the halves together until a certain amount of parting force is applied to them. To apply the parting force applicants provide a metal plate 31 having ribs 4 thereon and an explosive cord 32 wound between the ribs, see FIG. 4. Each side of the plate is sandwiched between the two halves. When both cords are initiated the resulting explosion overcomes the retaining effect of connecting rod 26 and halves 18 and 20 are parted thereby exposing the fragments inside the warhead. The size of explosive 32 should be chosen to be large enough to quickly part the two halves but at the same time small enough not to detonate the two valves before they are clear of the warhead.
F IG. 4 shows another type of propellent means that can be used. Halves l9 and 20 contain cavities 35 and 36 and extensions of these cavities 38and 39. Within cavities 35 and 36 is provided container 40 for a propellen't material which can be ignited by fuse 41. Connecting rod 26% is fitted into cavity extensions 38 and 39. Upon initiation of fuse 41 liquid propellant is ejected from either end of container 40, thereby overcoming the retaining effect of rod 26and parting halves l9 and 20 to expose the fragments within the warhead.
OPERATION Regardless of which of the ejection arrangements used, the general operation of applicants warhead is the same and can be seen inFIGS. 5 through 8. The preferred method of operation is to determine, once the missile has been launched and is in the vicinity of the target, in which quadrant relative to the longitudinal axis of the missile the target lies. The means for doing this forms no part of the invention. One possible means would be a proximity arrangement such as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,136,251 to Witow. Such an arrangement could be provided in the missile to detect the target and to activate the proper ejection means and after a time lag, the opposite detonators. When it is determined in which quadrant the target lies, the quadrant of the warhead is ejected by initiation of the ejection means as seen in FIGS. 5 and 6. After a time lag, which in experiment has been approximately 2 milliseconds,
the quadrant opposite to the ejected quadrant is detonated at both of its ends, FIG. 7, thereby detonating the entire warhead and ejecting the destructive fragments through the quadrant of the missile which had contained the ejected sections. This can be seen in FIG. 8.
Another possible method of operation is to preset the warhead before launch to eject a particular quadrant and to initiate the opposite quadrant and then to aim the warhead anywhere in the proper quadrant surrounding the target.
The means for fusingand actuating; the warhead form no part of this invention and this can be carried out by techniques known in the art. Obviously, for proper operation of the warhead the missile will have to be provided with some means, for example, a gyroscope, to prevent it from rotating randomly about its longitudinal axis.
Applicants have provided a warhead in which the destructive effects can be directed in a single quadrant surrounding its axis. This permits construction of a lighter warhead having the same destructive effects in the chosen quadrant as larger prior art warheads or the construction of a warhead having the same weight as the prior art warhead with muchgreater destructive effects in the chosen quadrant.
Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in view of the above teachings. For example, any means to retain the quadrant halves until a certain amount of parting force is applied can be used and a retaining rod is not the only means possible. Further, other ejection arrangements for parting the quadrant would be possible. Also, the warhead could be divided into sections smaller than quadrants such as sixths or eighths and the destructive effects channeled into their smaller area. Similarly, it could be divided into large sections, for example, thirds or halves and the destructive effects channeled into this larger area. Also, the quadrant sections do not necessarily have to be initiated at both ends, however, applicants have found that this produces much higher fragment velocities than detonation at a single point. The explosive segments can be self-contained or possibly could be contained within a casing of very light metal. Similarly, a casing of very light metal could be provided for the fragments at the center of the warhead. The fragments themselves could contain explosive or could be layered in explosives to increase their destructive effect. These are examples of just a few of the many modifications possible in view of the above teachings.
1. A warhead comprising:
a plurality of separate explosive segments defining a central cavity in said warhead;
destructive fragments with said cavity;
means for removing any of said explosive segments to expose said central cavity; and
means for detonating the remaining explosive segments.
2. The warhead of claim 1 wherein said means for comprises an explosive element for propelling said segment away from the warhead.
3. The warhead of claim 2 wherein each of said segments is made up of two sections and said explosive element is positioned between said two sections to propel them apart.
4. The warhead of claim 1 wherein said means for removing comprises a propellant for propelling each segment away from the warhead.
5. The warhead of claim 4 wherein each of said segments is made up of two sections and said propellant is positioned between said two sections to propel them apart.
6. The warhead of claim 1 wherein each of said segments is made up of two sections, said means for removing is positioned between said two sections and there is provided means for releasably retaining said two sections together.
7. The warhead of claim 6 wherein said means for removing is an explosive element.
8. The warhead of claim 6 wherein said means for removing is a propellant.
9. The warhead of claim 6 wherein each of said two sections has a hole therein and said retaining means comprises a rod force-fitted into the holes.
10. The warhead of claim 1 wherein said warhead is cylindrical and each of said segments forms one quadrant of said cylindrical warhead.
11. The warhead of claim 10 wherein each of said segments is made up of two sections in end-to-end relation and said removing means is provided between said two section.
12. The warhead of claim 11 wherein means are provided for releasably retainin said two sections together.
13. The warhead 0 claim 12 wherein each of said two sections has a hole therein and said retaining means comprises a rod force-fitted into the holes.
14. The warhead of claim 13 wherein said detonating means is provided at both ends of each quadrant, the quadrant opposite from the'removed quadrant being detonated simultaneously at both of its ends.
15. The warhead of claim 14 wherein said removing means comprises an explosive element.
16. The warhead of claim 14 wherein said removing means comprises a propellant.
17. The warhead of claim 15 wherein said explosive element comprises a metal plate, each side thereof having a plurality of substantially parallel ribs thereon and an explosive cord wound on each side of said plate between said ribs.