US 3757694 A
1. A warhead for a guided missile comprising A FRAGMENTATION CORE; A RADIALLY SEGMENTED BURST CHARGE SURROUNDING SAID FRAGMENTATION CORE, EACH SEGMENT OF SAID SEGMENTED BURST CHARGE BEING APPLIED TO BE INDIVIDUALLY JETTISONED FROM SAID WARHEAD; AND MEANS FOR JETTISONING A PREDETERMINED SEGMENT OF SAID SEGMENTED BURST CHARGE, UPON THE JETTISONING OF SAID PREDETERMINED SEGMENT, THE SUBSEQUENT EXPLOSIVE OF THE REMAINING SEGMENT OF SAID SEGMENTED BURST CHARGE WILL CAUSE SAID FRAGMENTATION CORE TO BE PROPELLED IN THE DIRECTION OF SAID PREDETERMINED SEGMENT.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Talle y et al. [451 Sept. 11, 1973 15 FRAGMENT CORE WARHEAD 3,298,308 1/1967 Throncr; 102/67 [75 lnventors: James C. Talley, Dahlgren, Va.; Fred )9 H1967 Phlhpchuk 02/67 1. Grace, State College, Pa.; Francis Mccleskey, Dahlgren Va Primary Exammer Verlm R. Pendegrass Attorney-R. S. Sclasc|a and T. 0. Watson , Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy, Washington, DC. EXEMPLARY CLAIM  Filed Oct 22 1965 l. A warhead for a guided missile comprising I a fragmentation core;  Appl. No.: 502,712 a radially segmented burst charge surrounding said fragmentation core, each segment of said 52 l. segmgmed charge being applied to be 1 8 32312; individually jettisoned from said warhead; and 581 Field of Search ..l02/56-59, 63, 67, 68, 70.2 l jemsming predeemined said segmented burst charge, upon the ettlsonmg of said predetermined segment, the subsequent  References Cited explosive of the remaining segment of said segmented burst charge will cause said UNITED STATES PATENTS fragmentation core to be propelled in the direction Pierce P of aid prgdete mined egment 3,136,251 6/1964 Witow.... 102/67 3,263,612 8/1966 Throner 102/67 5 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures Patented Sept. 11, 1973 INVENTORS James 6. Talley ce Fred 1. 6m
Francis R. MC/es/rey BY 4 w 4 4' ATTORNEY FRAGMENT CORE WARHEAD 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.
This invention relates to a warhead fragmentation system and more particularly to a method and means for making the fragmentation charge in a warhead highly directional and of greater mass velocity in range than has heretofore been possible.
It is not uncommon for an anti-aircraft missile not to make direct contact with the target aircraft. In such a case, it is desirable that such a near-miss not result in failure, and the target aircraft can be destroyed if the missile can be called upon to explode while it is near the target and propel fragments or charges against the aircraft in a destructive manner. To accomplish such a result, a sensing or proximity system may be provided as a part of the missile contained fire control system, to indicate to the missile when it is within range of the target aircraft and at that moment command the warhead to explode, causing shrapnel or shell fragments to hit the target.
In the prior art devices, the fragmentation portion of the warhead has generally been fired out in all directions from the missile. Although this insures complete circular coverage, there is no real aiming of the fragments and, therefore, all except those few which are in the sector of the target aircraft are wasted, and that portion of the burst charge which has been used to propel fragments in directions other than those toward the target aircraft, is wasted. By the present invention, a method and means for aiming the shrapnel and concentrating the burst in the direction of the target is provided. This is accomplished by constructing the warhead such that the shrapnel portion is in a center core surrounded by the burst charge, which is radially segmented into a plurality of sections. For each section of burst charge there is disposed between the burst charge and the fragment section a small jettison charge, the explosion of which will eject that particular segment of burst charge. The section of burst charge jettisoned will be that one which is in the direction of the target aircraft. The subsequent explosion of the remainder of the burst charge propels the fragments section of the warhead toward the target aircraft through the area just vacated by the jettisoned segment. Thus, the entire remainder of the explosive energy of the warhead is concentrated in a single direction, intensifying the blast toward the target aircraft.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an explosive warhead in which the force of the explosion can be aimed.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a fragmentation type warhead in whichthe fragments are propelled only in the direction of the target.
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 wherein:
FIG. 1 is an overall diagrammatic view of a warhead constructed in accordance with the invention; and
FlG. 2 is a diagrammatic illustration of the invention in operation.
As shown in the drawings, the warhead constructed by-the present invention is comprised of a central fragmentation core 10 which may be of any design. This central core H0 is surrounded by a segmented burst charge, shown for illustrative purposes as being made of four segments ll, l2, l3 and 14. This burst charge may be of any type of powder and any advantageous grain configuration. The details of construction of the fragmentation section and the burst charge form no part of the present invention. lnterposed between the fragmentation core and the segmented burst charge are jettison charges 21, 22, 23 and 24. There is one jettison charge for each segment of the burst charge. These jettison charges extend longitudinally for the entire length of the warhead and are of such power as to jettison the segment of the burst charge without causing it to explode. Between the jettison charges 21, 22, 23 and 24 are placed the series of insulating spacers 25 whose function it is to insure that only a single jettison charge is detonated at a time.
In operation, the warhead of the present invention is incorporated in a standard air defense missile, the construction of which forms no part of the present invention. Used with the warhead would be a means for sensing the presence of a target aircraft and its direction from the missile, which sensing means could be missile contained or a part of the missile fire control system on the ground or ship. When the missile is in the terminal stages of its flight, and within a predetermined distance of the target, the target direction is sensed by the fire control system. This information is then transmitted to the electrical devices which explode the jettison charge of the segment of the burst charge which is'nearest the target, for the purpose of illustration and as shown in FIG. 2, section ll. The segment 11 of the burst charge ejected from the warhead by the action of jettison charge 211 does not detonate, but is broken up and moves away once it leaves the missile. Once the section of the burst charge facing the target has been jettisoned, the way is clear for the shrapnel in fragmentation section Bil to be propelled through the space vacated by the ejected burst charge segment 11 toward the target by the explosion of the remainder of the burst charge, sections l2, l3 and 14. The force of this explosion is concentrated on the fragmentation section 10 from the three sides opposite the target, and the effect of this force pattern is to propel the entire fragmentation core l0 toward the target. In this way, the fragments in core 10 are unobstructed by any portion of the burst charge, a much greater range is obtained, and a greater mass of fragments is thrown at the target. The guided missile which would carry the warhead of the present invention, the missile fire control system which is used to sense the target, and the electrical components in the missile and warhead itself, which would cause the detonation of the proper jettison charge and the subsequent detonation of the remainder of the burst charge, are of standard design well-known in the art and form no part of the present invention.
It is thus seen that the present invention provides a new and relatively simple method for concentrating the destructive effect of a warhead in the direction of the target aircraft, thus providing a high kill potential with a minimum amount of energy waste.
Obviously many modifications and variations of the the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
What is claimed is:
l. A warhead for a guided missile comprising a fragmentation core;
a radially segmented burst charge surrounding said fragmentation core, each segment of said segmented burst charge being adapted to be individually jettisoned from said warhead; and
means for jettisoning a predetermined segment of said segmented burst charge, whereby upon the jettisoning of said predetermined segment, the subsequent explosive of the remaining segment of said segmented burst charge will cause said fragmentation core to be propelled in the direction of said predetermined segment.
2. The structure of claim 1 wherein said means for jettisoning comprises a plurality of jettison charges, each jettison charge being aligned and in communication with a single segment of said segmented burst charge, whereby the firing of one of said plurality of jettison charges will cause its respective burst charge segment to be ejected from the warhead.
3. The structure of claim 2 wherein said jettison charges are interposed in radial alignment between said radially segmented burst charge and said fragmentation core.
4. A warhead for guided missiles comprising a cylindrical fragmentation core;
a cylindrical radially segmented burst charge coaxially disposed about said fragmentation core, each segment being adapted to be ejected from said warhead; and
a plurality of jettison charges interposed between said fragmentation core and said segmented burst charge and radially aligned therewith, each of said jettison charges being adapted to jettison a single segment of said burst charge, whereby the firing of one of said jettison charges will cause the jettisoning of said aligned single segment of said segmented burst charge.
5. A method for aiming the destructive fragments of a warhead having a center fragmentation core surrounded by a burst charge comprising jettisoning that segment of the burst charge nearest the target; and
exploding the remainder of the burst charge whereby the force of the explosion will cause the fragmentation core to be moved in the direction of the target through the area vacated by the jettisoned segment of the burst charge.