US 3881416 A
A flechette weapon system for ejecting a plurality of flechettes from a warhead of a missile in a uniform pattern. The system includes a launch tube provided with a choked section through which the flechettes pass when propelled by an explosive propelling force. The flechettes are carried by a slotted plastic container which contracts as it passes through the choked tube section.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Dilworth, Jr.
[451 May 6,1975
[ CHOKED FLECHETTE WEAPON SYSTEM  Inventor: Thomas E. Dilworth, Jr., Huntsville,
 Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army, Washington, DC
 Filed: Apr. 23, 1973  Appl. No.: 353,930
 US. Cl 102/63; 102/37.6; 102/43 C; 102/69; l02/DIG. 2; 102/67  Int. Cl. F42b 13/48; F42b 7/00  Field of Search l02/34.4, 37.6, 43 C, 63, 102/69, DIG. 2
[56.] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,055,301 9/1962 Miller et al. 102/42 C 3,444,813 5/1969 Bird IOZ/DIG. 7
3,599,568 3/1965 Shellnutt et a] 102/42 C 3,656,433 4/1972 Thrailkill et al. l02/DIG. 7 3,675,576 7/1972 Whitney 3,765,336 10/1973 Kulsik 102/37.6
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 427,055 11/1947 Italy 102/42 C Primary Examiner-Verlin R. Pendegrass Attorney, Agent, or FirmRobert P. Gibson; Nathan Edelberg  ABSTRACT A flechette weapon system for ejecting a plurality of flechettes from a warhead of a missile in a uniform pattern. The system includes a launch tube provided with a choked section through which the flechettes pass when propelled by an explosive propelling force. The flechettes are carried by a slotted plastic container which contracts as it passes through the choked tube section.
1 Claim, 2 Drawing Figures 1 CHOKED FLECHETTE WEAPON SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to the field of flechette weapon systems and means for controlling dispersion and increasing the velocity of the flechettes. Previous systems had problems in that individual flechettes exited the warhead at various velocities in an indiscriminate target pattern. These deficiencies necessitated the use of a large number of flechettes to obtain a reasonable degree of required performance.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention has overcome the above stated problems by providing a choked section in the missile warhead and a contracting flechette container. The addition of these elements cause the flechettes to exit the warhead at a constant individual flechette velocity and in a uniform pattern thereby attaining a greater range for flechette performance.
This invention may be better understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a longitudinal sectional view of the choked flechette weapon system.
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along line 22 of FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Reference numeral identifies a flechette weapon system which includes a missile 12 having a launch tube 14 and an ogive tip 16. An explosive mixture 18 is located in the tube at an end opposite the ogive tip for creating a propelling pressure in the launch tube. A wadding 20 is positioned next to the mixture for absorbing shock and acting as an ejecting piston. Flechettes or rod penetrators 22 are stacked in a plastic container 24 which directly abuts piston 20. Flechettes are supported by some substance such as small styrofoam balls 25 to maintain alignment. A section 26 of launch tube 14 located near the ogive tip is formed with the tube wall thicker than the remainder of the tube.
This thickened section reduces the internal diameter of the tube and provides a choked section. Container 24 is provided with a plurality of slots 28 around its pe' riphery and inner center post to allow inner compression of the container as it passes through the choked section 26. The ogive tip is provided with an inwardly extending flange 30 having a depending collar 32 for mating with the choked section 26.
In operation the explosive mixture 18 is set off by a fuse or squib and causes a pressure in the launch tube 12 behind the wadding 20. The wadding material acts as a piston to move the plastic container 24 and flechettes 22 with it rapidly toward the ogive end of the warhead or missile. Since the section 26 is of smaller diameter than the launch tube 12 a compression of the container takes place, due to slots 28, at it passes through this section. The container pushes off the ogive tip by a compressive air force created as the container and flechettes move forward in response to the explosion of mixture 18 and the engagement of collar 32 by the upper edge of container 24. The ogive tip becomes aerodynamically unstable and then separates due to air drag and tumbles out of the way as the plastic container with the flechettes leave the tube. The container falls away due to air drag leaving the undistorted flechettes traveling at the same increased velocity in a uniform pattern toward their target.
1. A flechette weapon system for ejecting at high velocity a plurality of flechettes from a warhead of a missile comprising: a launch tube in said missile, one end of said launch tube having a smaller inner diameter than the remainder of the tube; an ogive tip for closing said launch tube, said ogive tip having an inwardly extending flange and a depending collar thereon for mating with said launch tube; a container for stacking said flechettes in said launch tube; said container being provided with a plurality of slots around its periphery to allow inner compression of the container as it passes through said smaller inner tube diameter; an ejection piston disposed in said launch tube engaging said container and said flechettes and pressurizing means in said launch tube to provide pressure for actuating said ejection piston and ejecting said flechettes.