US 3720168 A
High explosive or shaped charge modules are sandwiched between offset elliptical plates, and a series of such elliptical sections pack into a cylindrical, roll-stabilized air-to-surface missile body when inclined to the missile axis at a nominal dive angle. A preformed fragmentation or modified continuous rod shell surrounds the high explosive sections and when detonated above ground a horizontal orientation is obtained for maximum lethal effects.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Unite States atent 1 [111 3,720,168
Sylwester l 1March 13, 1973 s41 ELLIPTICAL WARHEAD 2,935,020 S/l960 Howard etal. ..1o2 2o 3,218,976 11/1965 Nooker ..102/58  Inventor: Alfred V. Sylwester, China Lake,
Calm Primary ExaminerVerlin R. Pendegrass  Assignee: The United States of America as Atmmey R sclascla and Amand rNeg'yesented-by the Secretary of the ABSTRACT  Filed, Dec 14 1970 High explosive or shaped charge modules are sand- Appl. No.: 97,455
wiched between offset elliptical plates, and a series of such elliptical sections pack into a cylindrical, roll-stabilized air-to-surface missile body when inclined to the missile axis at a nominal dive angle. A preformed fragmentation or modified continuous rod shell surrounds the high explosive sections and when detonated above ground a horizontal orientation is obtained for maximum lethal effects.
7 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures THIS PORTION EXPLODES IN NORMAL MANNER. NORMAL TO AXIS HIGH EXPLOSIVE SANDWICHED BETWEEN ELLIPTICAL PLATES. PREFORMED FRAGMENTS SURROUNDING HIGH EXPLOSIVE ELLIPTICAL WHEELS NORMAL TO VERTICAL WHEN MISSILE AXIS INCLINED E DEGREES TO HORI- ZONTAL THIS PORTION EXPLODES IN NORMAL MANNER. NORMAL TO AXIS PATEHTEDHAR 1 31973 SHEET 1 BF 2 FIQEI PmmDm PATENTFIIHIR I 3l975 SHEET 2 0? 2 VERTICAL ".4 FLTITUDE I E V 0 B A G N D N E T X E S T E G R A T L L A FUZING ALTITUDE SUSTAIN FRAGMENTATION DAMAGE FIG.3
HIGH EXPLOSIVE SANDWICHED BETWEEN ELLIPTICAL PLATES. PREFORMED FRAGMENTS SURROUNDING HIGH EXPLOSIVE ELLIPTICAL WHEELS NORMAL TO VERTICAL WHEN MISSILE AXIS INCLINED E DEGREES TO HORI- ZONTAL THIS PORTION EXPLODES IN NORMAL MANNER. NORMAL TO AXIS THIS PORTION EXPLODES IN NORMAL MANNER. NORMAL TO AXIS ALFRED V SYLWESTER I NVENTOR.
ATTORNEY ELLIPTICAL WARHEAD 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.
The warhead of this invention does not rely for maximum effectiveness on a cooperative enemy to provide a signal which identifies the target to the fuze together with the sophisticated fuzing, which is necessary for maximum utilization of the damage potential of axially symmetric warheads. The present warhead focuses the damage potential of the warhead near the surface, where surface targets are located, and hence does not dissipate a major part of the warhead energy in fruitless directions as does an axially symmetric or an isotropic warhead. This invention utilizes shaped charge, continuous rod, focused blast, and fragmentation warhead technologies more productively against surface targets than do conventional warhead configurations.
With the present invention a non-rotating missile, on descent, includes an elliptical ring of fragments or projectiles, lying in a generally horizontal plane. High explosive is sandwiched between spaced elliptical plates, and hemicyclinders on either end of warhead are used to provide expanded angular coverage. Fragments or rods surround the peripheries of the elliptical plates and these are projected horizontally on detonation. The warhead is detonated by an altimeter fuze for maximum lethality against surface targets. Multiple sets of discs can be detonated in sequence.
It is an object of the invention to provide a warhead for a roll stabilized guided missile which when detonated will provide a horizontally oriented pattern of maximum lethality.
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 following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 illustrates the deficiency of axially symmetric warheads against surface targets versus the elliptical warhead of the present invention.
FIG. 2 also illustrates the limitations to axially symmetric warhead patterns against surface targets.
FIG. 3 illustrates the explosive pattern of the elliptical warhead.
FIG. 4 shows elliptical sections forming the present warhead.
FIG. 5 illustrates elliptical wheels of shaped charges.
FIG. 6 shows the elliptical sections of the warhead wrapped with a continuous rod bundle.
The explosive pattern of a conventional expanding axially symmetric warhead in a roll-stabilized air-tosurface at a nominal dive angle is shown in FIG. 1. Prior type warheads provide the horizontal coverage required against surface targets by utilizing a section of an isotropic pattern as shown in FIG. 2 or they do not provide complete horizontal coverage at all. When an isotropic pattern is implemented, a major part of the damage potential is dissipated in unnecessary directions since surface targets are generally on or near the horizontal surface. Non-isotropic warheads provide a lethality pattern which is symmetric about the missile axis and hence are effective against only those surface targets which lie between the angular limits of the fragmentation beam. Because of guidance deviations, missiles armed with symmetric warheads achieve maximum effectiveness only when fuzing is target sensitive. An uncooperative enemy can often deny the fuze the identifying target source necessary for the fuze sensory pattern to aim the fragmentation beam. I-Ience altimeter of slant range type fuzing is generally also required; a contact fuze may be considered to be a zero altitude fuze.
FIG. 3 illustrates how the explosive force of the elliptical warhead extends horizontally upon detonation when the axis of the missile is inclined at a dive'angle E. This horizontal pattern is also shown in FIG. 1 for comparison to the axially expanding pattern of a conventional symmetric warhead.
The present warhead is composed of elliptical sections or wheels of the missile body (a cylinder) with hemi-cylinders at each end as shown in FIG. 4. The elliptical sections 20 in FIG. 4 are normal to the vertical of a roll stabilized missile as in FIG. 3 when the axis of the missile is inclined at the expected terminal dive angle E. As shown in FIG. 4, high explosive 23 is sandwiched between elliptical plates 24; preformed high explosive fragments, for example, are packed to form the outer portion of elliptical wheels 20. The end wheels can be detonated first, if desired, with sequenced detonation toward the central wheel. The warhead hemi-cylinders 26 and 27 at each end are utilized to provide expanded angular coverage forward and aft in the horizontal plane.
The elliptical wheels 20 can be packed with shaped charge modules, as shown in FIG. 5. Successive wheel packs can be rotated slightly in successive sections. The pattern upon detonation approximates the N spokes of a horizontally oriented wheel, as shown in FIG. 3, where N is the total number of shaped charge modules.
A continuous rod bundle 30 can be wrapped around the surface of several elliptical wheels as shown in FIG. 6. Detonation of the warhead at E degrees to the horizontal then would result in a horizontally oriented expanding ring of metal capable of cutting diaphanous" type target configurations such as radar antennas, guy wires, supporting beams, masts, etc..
The use of many elliptical wheels 20 loaded with high explosive, and sequenced detonation of the wheels will provide a focused blast wave with horizontal orientation and greater range than prior warheads. Elliptical focusing plates 24 may be of steel or other suitable material having high explosive 20 such as PBX, for example, sandwiched therebetween. I-Iemicylinders 26 and 27 are also PBX or the like. Conventional detonator means can be used for detonating the high explosive sequentially as above mentioned or simultaneously, as desired. Also, hemi-cylinders 26 and 27 augment the fragmentation pattern in the directions which are sensitive to the dive angle E of the missile to maintain horizontal coverage.
What is claimed is:
1. In a roll-stabilized missile, a directional detonatable warhead, comprising:
a. a plurality of elliptical sections comprising a plurality of 7 high explosives sandwiched between a plurality of parallel elliptical plates,
b. said elliptical plates being inclined to the missile axis and being normal to the vertical when said roll-stabilized missile is at a predetermined terminal dive angle toward a surface target,
c. said elliptical plates providing a focused blast wave with horizontal orientation and extended range upon detonation of said high explosive to provide complete horizontal coverage against surface targets.
2. A directional warhead as in claim 1, wherein hemicylinders of high explosive are provided at each end thereof to provide expanded angular explosive coverage forward and aft in the horizontal plane upon detonation of the warhead.
3. A directional warhead as in claim 1 wherein said elliptical warhead sections are detonated in sequence from the end sections to the center section.
4. A directional warhead as in claim 1 wherein said