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Warhead Technology

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posted on Nov, 6 2015 @ 05:51 PM
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Given the recent LRS platform announcement and AMRAAM successors programs, I had a question bounce around in my head quite a bit -
While we continue to make substantial progress in engines and radar, how much have we made in warheads? On one hand, if it's not broke, no need to fix it - on the other hand, increased lethality means fewer weapons needed, or the weapons you do have become substantially more capable.

Now obviously accuracy allows for smaller packages to accomplish the same goal. SDB, Griffin, most JDAM and etc. go to show that the industry is pushing for more accurate and - generally - smaller munitions, but what about the explosives themselves? Should we expect to see missiles continue on their current path via the Meteor and new Vympel with its AESA radar where speed and accuracy dominate? Even then, while it might make sense for missiles, how about bombs?
If a bomber can only be judged by its bomb bay capacity and ability to penetrate enemy airspace, then at a certain point a B-1 is just as effective, if not more, than the LRS-B (which is to be a medium bomber, if I recall?)

Have we just hit a wall with chemical explosives where to get more bang for your buck is too expensive, too unstable, or too hard to develop? Or is there work going on that simply isn't as exciting and shiny to discuss.

Opinions or subtle and infuriating hints (Looking at you, Zaph/Sam/Aholic) are all welcome.




posted on Nov, 6 2015 @ 06:01 PM
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a reply to: Ferros

These missile systems are "outdated" ... to use "clarke's" words, the current problem isn't a nail and we certainly don't need a hammer for it. And any kind of sledgehammer, will certainly overdo the job ...

Look at the "sand" desert of Syria ... you think a "surgical" strike is effective against dispersed soldiers in a vast territory? A cluster bomb is only effective against "marching" soldiers ...

In the future, you need "minority report" ... not the "seers" but the small robots, that go around and "identify" the culprits ... find the targets.

You need a "fly" that can fly vast distances, and "sting" a specific target.

A bomb, to blow up an empty cabin ... is an overkill, and only helps in making people homeless.



posted on Nov, 6 2015 @ 06:14 PM
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a reply to: Ferros

At current technologies there is no need to make chemical explosives more "lethal". Nothing can stand up to thousands of meters per second detonation velocities. Warheads themselves are designed to penetrate or destroy depending on what the target is made of and how it is protected.

Wiki



posted on Nov, 6 2015 @ 06:18 PM
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a reply to: Ferros

I think there is work being done in advancing the miniaturization of explosives just as there is with miniaturization of sensors to get that explosive to it's target and to some extent it isn't in the limelight as much as the tech gadgetry is. However, I think at some point there is a limit to how much energy one can get out of any given amount of chemical explosive that is stable enough to use and be stored in a munition. That's were accuracy takes over. If you can hit that target with pin point accuracy then just a small shaped charge is enough to destroy or disable that target enough to take it out of the fight.
The key I believe is to be able to get those munitions to the target in a world of increasing difficulty to do so. That is the role for the LRSB and something that a B-1 can not do. It doesn't matter how many bombs, missiles or whatever it can carry, if you can't get those into rage of the your heavily defended chosen target it's worthless until defenses are reduced a substantial amount.



posted on Nov, 6 2015 @ 07:04 PM
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I suppose miniaturization is what I'm looking for here - more bang for the same buck, or more bombs in the same space.

But obviously if the boom is bigger (or the package more agile from decreased weight) than what would have previously been a near-miss becomes a success. Similar with bombs, a few feet in the wrong direction means less damage since it drops so rapidly with distance.

But if you can destroy with one bomb what would previously require two or three, obviously you've significantly boosted your potential per sortie, and increased your number of engagements overall.

It surprises me that given all these massive leaps we're making in EW, stealth, and materials science in general, such a basic and fundamental feature hasn't received much (public) attention in recent years.



posted on Nov, 6 2015 @ 07:26 PM
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a reply to: Ferros

We are at that point where we only need to expend one munition per target. The challenge now is miniaturization and cost reduction.
Your summation of explosive development is correct. It is absolutely being worked on in the white world as well as deep dark places, it just doesn't get as much attention.



posted on Nov, 6 2015 @ 07:47 PM
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a reply to: Sammamishman

Thank you very much for your response, Sammamish!



posted on Nov, 6 2015 @ 09:51 PM
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Look at those missile systems that can take out 40 tanks with a single munition.



The actual bomb deploys twelve cannisters, and each cannister shoots out four skeets, each of which contains a passive infra-red/active laser scanning system and rocket missile. When there's a target, the rocket is ignited and blows up a target.



posted on Nov, 6 2015 @ 11:21 PM
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a reply to: Ferros

No problem.



posted on Nov, 7 2015 @ 12:02 AM
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Thanks for helping the military industrial complex, they have made the last 8 years some of the worst in American history.



posted on Nov, 7 2015 @ 12:06 PM
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originally posted by: deloprator20000
Thanks for helping the military industrial complex, they have made the last 8 years some of the worst in American history.


Who on this thread is helping the military-industrial complex?



posted on Nov, 7 2015 @ 03:20 PM
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originally posted by: stormcell
Look at those missile systems that can take out 40 tanks with a single munition.


Seen a video of something "similar" that the Russians supposedly used in Syria.

However, to be perfectly honest ...

Do you see any deployment for these weapons systems? Do you see a scenario, like in Syria ... where there are 40 tanks advancing anywhere, except unless they are US/Russian tanks?

The entire military is "out of date", as we're not facing any such targets and probably never will ... the treats of today, are mobile individuals, spread over a large area. Hidden inside bunkers, buildings or under a rock in the desert.

The weapon you need here, is "locate and identify" ... not boom, everybody dead.

edit on 7/11/2015 by bjarneorn because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 7 2015 @ 03:23 PM
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a reply to: bjarneorn

It's not just tanks. It works even better on unarmored vehicles. What Russia used was a regular cluster bomb unit. Similar to these but the sub munitions are unguided, unlike these.



posted on Nov, 7 2015 @ 04:35 PM
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a reply to: bjarneorn

So you don't make the bomb that can stop 40 at a time and thus the enemy decides to make a shed load of tanks and make war and you're left taking them out 1 by 1



posted on Nov, 9 2015 @ 12:23 AM
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a reply to: Ferros

Personally I find the advances in kinetic kill weapons to be much more interesting. Chemical explosives will get smaller sure, but there is a major push in the services towards hit to kill weaponry, delivered from the air, sea or even land. The objective there is to get it at a high enough velocity to create the kind of overpressure upon impact that a chemical explosive would create. Obvious benefits of no unexploded munitions (or submunitions in the case of cluster ordinance). Cluster bombs, especially Russian ones, have a bad habit of not exploding.

But there is a lot of work to do in that area, but its very fascinating stuff.



posted on Nov, 9 2015 @ 01:16 AM
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originally posted by: bjarneorn

originally posted by: stormcell
Look at those missile systems that can take out 40 tanks with a single munition.


Seen a video of something "similar" that the Russians supposedly used in Syria.

However, to be perfectly honest ...

Do you see any deployment for these weapons systems? Do you see a scenario, like in Syria ... where there are 40 tanks advancing anywhere, except unless they are US/Russian tanks?

The entire military is "out of date", as we're not facing any such targets and probably never will ... the treats of today, are mobile individuals, spread over a large area. Hidden inside bunkers, buildings or under a rock in the desert.

The weapon you need here, is "locate and identify" ... not boom, everybody dead.


I did see one used in Iraq. Not personally, it was on TV during the war. There was a Republican Guard tank division I believe North of Baghdad in a palm grove waiting for our tanks to arrive. They use that same munition in the video and it wiped out half of the division and the other half seeing it all left their tanks and fled.



The U.S. Air Force unleashed a deadly new weapon during yesterday’s onslaught against armored Republican Guard units – precision-guided cluster bombs that seek out and destroy dozens of combat vehicles in a single attack. B-52s carried six of the precision-guided bombs to the battlefield, where they were used to cut down a Republican Guard tank column as it advanced on approaching U.S. troops.


Here is the NY Post article on the use of the CBU-105 on a Republican Guard Tank Column in Iraq



Reinforcements were also cut off by US air power. The New York Post reported on April 3 that B-52s dropped six new CBU-105 cluster bombs on April 2 on a column of Republican Guard—believed now to be from the Al Nida Division—which was attempting to reinforce Iraqi positions. Dropped from as high as 40,000 feet, the CBU-105 releases 10 bombs above the battlefield, each of which fires four armour-penetrating warheads. Using infrared targeting, the warheads lock onto any vehicles within a 30-acre radius. According to the claims of the US Central Command, the new hardware wiped out an Iraqi force consisting of dozens of tanks and vehicles.


Source

These weapon systems are utterly devastating by themselves, but once you put all the weapons systems into play, well it is a slaughter.
And these weapons systems, like the CBU-105 were designed to take on a superpower like Russia or China, which would have a lot of tanks. Sure, the military is doing mop ups and hunting terrorists, but you can't have a military for a first world country that is not capable of taking on the large militaries of other major powers.
edit on 9/11/15 by spirit_horse because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 9 2015 @ 01:26 AM
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a reply to: aholic

In the article I posted first they mentioned these new CBU's will automatically explode to avoid leaving live ordinance laying around. However in 1991, some 61,000 were used over there and they have tons of unexploded ordinance laying around.


During the 1991 Gulf War, 61,799 cluster bombs were dropped from the air or fired from artillery or rocket launchers. Kuwaiti search teams continue to locate and destroy about 2,400 of the unexploded bomblets every year.

The new CBU-105 bombs used on Iraqi tanks, however, don’t pose the same risks. In addition to being precision-guided, the “smart” cluster bomb includes self-detonating devices to prevent unexploded ordnance from remaining behind after the attack.

“While technically a cluster weapon, they’re not the kind that has caused us grave concern,” said Steve Goose, director of the arms division at Human Rights Watch.


Source NY Post Article



edit on 9/11/15 by spirit_horse because: typos



posted on Nov, 9 2015 @ 02:04 AM
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a reply to: spirit_horse

Yes. They've also been working on systems to have them turn completely inert if they don't find a target before dropping to the ground. But it's not foolproof and I've only heard bad stories. There have been numerous UN resolutions to ban these, the US is not signatory to this treaty. Nor is Russia, and their cluster weapons are as dangerous to the men loading them as they are to the enemy.



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