US 3714897 A
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Feb. 6, 1973 PARKER 3,714,897
DIRECTED WARHEAD Filed April 4, 1958 DETONATOR SELECTOR AND INITIATOR FLATENING CHARGE SELECTOR AND INITIATOR LELAND L. PARKER INVENTOR" FIG.2 BY
United States Patent 3,714,897 DIRECTED WARHEAD Leland L. Parker, Corona, Calif., assignor to the United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy Filed Apr. 4, 1968, Ser. No. 720,436 Int. Cl. F42b 1/02 U.S. Cl. 10256 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A warhead containing a liquid or plastic explosive is forced into a desired shape to give directional effect to the explosive for directing the major warhead blast towards a target.
The invention herein described 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.
It is the function of a wardhead to inflict damage on and destroy the target. In the case of air targets, the target occupies only a small segment of the space surrounding the warhead. Dissipation of energy in all directions around the warhead involves a great waste of warhead energy.
Progress toward directing warhead energy has been: (1) to confine its main lethal effects into an equatorial band around the warhead,'which is still extremely wasteful of warhead energy since a target occupies only a narrow sector of this band; (2) to construct warheads that direct a concentrated beam of energy by one of several techniques employing a solid explosive in combination with metal fragments. Such system requires rotating or directing the beam mechanically toward the target, and the limitation in this type system lies in the relatively long time required to mechanically align the warhead to intercept the target. This time period is as yet incompatible with missile-target closing velocities; (3) to construct focusing warheads that can be initiated from a number of locations, each causing an increase in lethal effects in whatever direction chosen to initiate the warhead charge. The first does not accomplish sufficient directivity to take full advantage of the warhead capacity; the second has serious limitations in accommodating the missile-target velocities and the third is limited to broad sectors of the warhead and does not provide for a means to shift the bulk of lethal effects into the direction of its beam.
New developments in explosives have made it feasible to provide the high explosive filler for warheads in a liquid or plastic state, and these developments make it possible to use entirely new techniques to direct or focus the lethal effects of warheads in a desired direction.
To understand the present invention it must be understood that to detonate military high explosives (warhead fillers) requires an initiator with special qualities. Many pyrotechnics and propellants (low explosives) which burn fast with explosive-like character are incapable of detonating high explosive fillers. The invention herein described uses these non-high-explosive charges to quickly shape the warhead and its liquid or plastic contents so that both explosive output and fragmenting patterns are concentrated in a narrow conical sector that can be made to intersect a target, thereby bringing a greater portion of the warhead energy to be expended against the target.
It is an object of this invention therefore to provide a warhead that can be aimed quickly by explosive deformation.
Other objects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will become readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the 3,714,897 Patented Feb. 6, 1973 ice following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of the invention taken along line 11 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 2 is a partially cut-away elevational view of a warhead of the present invention.
FIG. 3 illustrates the change in the cross-sectional shape of the warhead of FIGS. 1 and 2 following explosive deformation.
FIGS. 4a and 4b illustrate another embodiment of the invention.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a cylindrical warhead is provided comprising an outer fragmentation cylinder 10 and an inner cylinder 11 with an explosive 12 between them. Fragmentation cylinder 10 may be scored with a fragmenting pattern as desired. Explosive 12 may be a liquid or low density plastic type explosive which can readily be reshaped, such as composition C-4, a plasticized explosive with approximately the same detonation velocity as PBXC'113. A plurality of flattening charges 14, of lowexplosive material such as used for propellants are positioned about the outer periphery of cylinder 10. A ballistic case 15, for example, may be provided about the warhead and flattening charges 12 if desired. A number of detonation devices 16, equal to the number of flattening charges 14, are positioned about the interior of the warhead for selectively detonating explosive 12. If desired, pairs of detonators 16 may be used, as shown in FIG. 2, at opposite ends of the warhead and fired simultaneously. When initiated, flattening charges 12 burn fast with explosive-like character suflicient to explosively deform the warhead cylinders and explosive but incapable of fracturing the cylinder and detonating the high explosive filler 12.
Selectively initiating charge A, for example, of flattening charges 14 will explosively deform without fracturing the cylindrical fragmentation warhead into the configuration shown in FIG. 3, focused in a direction of aim. Then by selectively firing detonator B of detonation devices 16, on the side of the cylinder directly opposite to flattening charge A, explosive 12 will initiate and direct the explosive charge in the aimed direction. Aiming circuitry 22 for selecting and initiating the desired flattening charge 14 is coordinated with firing circuitry 24 for detonating the proper detonator 16 on the opposite side of the warhead.
Another embodiment of the invention, as shown in FIG. 4, involves a cylindrical ballistic case 40 containing a liquid or pliable plastic high explosive filler 41 which only partially fills the case allowing suflicient space for re-distribution of explosive. Explosive 41 may be contained inside a deformable or pliable plastic sac inside case 40. A fragment or pellet bundle 42 is retained in the desired position in ballistic case 40, but not necessarily required. A plurality of low-explosive charges 44 are positioned about the interior of ballistic case 40 between the case and high explosive 41. Initiation of any one charges 44 forces pliable high explosive 41 to occupy the space away from the point of initiation of this lowexplosive charge, thus forming high explosive 41 into a shaped charge with its focus directed toward the point at which the low-explosive shaping charge 44 was initiated. A number of detonating devices 46 equal in number to charges 44 and capable of initiating the high explosive 41 are positioned so that when paired with corresponding shaping charges 44, they will yield maximum directivity to the warhead high explosive charge 41.
In either of the described embodiments, to obtain maximum effectiveness of the warhead, the circuitry in the weapons system, having determined in what equatorial sector a target will pass, selects the proper flattening or shaping charge and corresponding detonating device by virtue of established fuzing techniques, The fuze circuitry first initiates the flattening or shaping charge to focus the high explosive warhead toward the sector that the target is expected to pass, and at the precise time detonates the selected warhead detonating device, to bring to bear the maximum damage to the target. These systems offer means of directing greater lethal effects of a warhead toward an expected target within a very small time interval, particularly when targets in the air or space are involved.
What is claimed is:
1. An explosive warhead for directing a concentrated beam of energy in a desired direction and being quickly aimable by explosive deformation, comprising:
(a) a pliable high-explosive charge in the form of a hollow cylinder having a deformable casing thereabout,
(b) a plurality of low-explosive shaping charges positioned circumferentially about the outside of the casing of said high-explosive cylinder charge; each said shaping charge on being fired operable to deform said high-explosive cylinder and casing without detonating the high explosive,
(c) a plurality of high-explosive detonating means, equal in number to said explosive shaping charges, positioned within said high-explosive cylinder charge and circularly about the cylinder axis; each of said detonating means on being selectively fired operable to detonate said high-explosive charge,
((1) means for selectively firing a desired one of said explosive shaping charges to deform said high-explosive cylinder charge and then selectively firing a desired one of said detonating means on the opposite side of said higher explosive cylinder charge from said desired one of said shaping charges for detonating said high-explosive warhead charge, thus directing a concentration of energy in a desired direction,
(e) fragment means operable to be directed in the direction of said concentration of energy.
2. A warhead as in claim 1 wherein said fragment means comprises the outer casing about said pliable highexplosive warhead charge which is deformed without fracturing by said explosive shaping charges.
3. A Warhead as in claim 1 wherein said high-explosive is initially contained in a casing of flexible plastic.
4. A warhead as in claim 1 wherein said high-explosive detonating means comprise aligned pairs of detonators positioned in the high-explosive toward opposite ends thereof and said aligned pairs of detonators being aligned parallel to the central longitudinal axis of the cylinder.
5. A warhead as in claim 1 wherein a ballistic casing is provided thereabout.
6. A warhead as in claim 1 wherein said pliable high explosive is a low-density plastic explosive.
7. A warhead as in claim 1 wherein said pliable highexplosive is a liquid explosive.
8. A Warhead as in claim 1 wherein said fragment means comprises a bundle of fragments positioned centrally inside said Warhead.
9. A warhead as in claim 1 wherein said pliable highexplosive charge is initially retained in the form of a hollow cylinder by concentric warhead casings which are also deformed by the firing of any of said explosive shaping charges.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,487,317 11/1949 Davidson 10224 2,925,965 2/1960 Pierce 10270.2 P 2,972,949 2/1961 MacLeod 10267 3,129,665 4/1964 Evans 102-56 3,136,251 6/1964 W'itow 10270.2 P 3,280,743 10/1966 Reuther 102-24 HC 3 VERLIN R. PENDEGRASS, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.
102-22, 24 HC, DIG 2