FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This is a National Phase Application in the United States of International Patent Application No. PCT/EP2008/002378 filed Mar. 26, 2008, which claims priority on German Patent Application No. 10 2007 016 828.6, filed Apr. 5, 2007 and on German Patent Application No. 10 2007 021 451.2, filed on May 8, 2007. The entire disclosures of the above patent applications are hereby incorporated by reference.
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The invention relates in particular to spin-stabilized submunitions of a projectile which have an energetic content.
It is known for incendiary compounds to be included as a fragmentation incendiary munition in a projectile body or explosive head together with a high explosive and in armour-piercing projectiles which do not contain any explosive. In addition to fragments, the detonation or mechanical fragmentation of the projectile or explosive head in or close to the target results in incendiary compound particles which fly at high speed and burn autonomously in the air. This results in a three-dimensional incendiary effect which extends over a long time.
Known fragmentation incendiary munitions contain mixtures of high explosives such as hexagon, octagon trotyl and aluminum powder.
DE 29 01 517 describes an incendiary compound having an organic binder and metal foam, for example composed of zirconium or hafnium, with polytetrafluorethylene in a proportion of 2 to 15% by mass being used as the binder.
EP 0 051 324 B1 from the same company, discloses an incendiary compound of this generic type which uses an organic binder and metal particles. In order to lengthen the burning time, this solution proposes that metal powder be used with a mean grain size of 15-50 μm. The binder, an organic halogen-free binder, a polyvinylacetate, makes up a proportion of less than 2% by mass. This ensures that the metal powder can still be compressed adequately. The metal additive itself results in an increase in the blast effect and in lengthening of the flame life from 1 ms to 15 ms. This increases the probability of ignition of combustible material.
Building on this incendiary compound, the further DE 10 2005 057 182 A1 proposes the use of preferably spherical metal powder in the range 50-250 μm.
The binder can therefore be used in the least possible concentration which still ensures adequate compression capability and a fixing of the incendiary compound. The use of spherical metal powder, in particular of zirconium metal powder, with a larger surface makes it possible for the binder to be applied dry to the surface of the metal powder, thus increasing the friability and allowing volumetric metering.
EP 1 286 129 A1 discloses a further incendiary charge for a fin-stabilized kinetic-energy projectile which is highly effective despite having a relatively small volume and a low mass. The incendiary charge is ignited by the shock waves created on impact with the target. A titanium foam is used, and epoxy resin or polyester resin is used as the binder. The grain size range of the titanium foam is in this case around 450 μm, with 30% having a grain size of more than 450 μm, and 70% having a grain size of less than 450 μm.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The invention is based on the object of achieving an incendiary effect which, in particular, is more effective in or on the target and causes a reaction with energetic target material.
The object is achieved by the features of a first embodiment of the invention, wherein a submunition (1), in particular a rotation-stabilized submunition, has a body (2), which has a bore (5) and may be composed of hard metal or heavy metal, characterized in that an energetic component (3) with or without igniter (4) is incorporated in the bore (5).
Advantageous refinements of the first embodiment of the invention are specified as follows. In accordance with a second embodiment of the invention, the first embodiment is modified so that the energetic component (3) is incorporated with the igniter (4) in the front or rear of the submunition (1). In accordance with a third embodiment of the invention, the first or second embodiments are modified so that pyrotechnic components with a thermobaric reaction are used as energetic components (3). In accordance with a fourth embodiment of the invention, the third embodiment is further modified so that the energetic components are, for example, zirconium powder, zirconium foam, thermites, pyrofuze or coruscative.
In accordance with a fifth embodiment of the invention, one of the first, second, third or fourth embodiments of the invention are further modified so that Mg, Al, Si-barium peroxide systems are used as an igniter (4). In accordance with a sixth embodiment of the invention, one of the first, second, third, fourth and fifth embodiments of the invention is further modified so that the energetic component (3) is either pre-compressed in the bore (5) or is inserted in the bore (5). In accordance with a seventh embodiment of the invention, one of the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth embodiments is further modified so that the igniter (4) is metered and compressed. In accordance with an eighth embodiment of the invention, one of the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh embodiments is further modified so that the energetic components (3) are fired or activated, with or without pressure-sensitive igniter (4), by the air friction that occurs, ignition in the carrier projectile together with an ejection charge, or at the latest on striking the target. In accordance with a ninth embodiment of the invention, one of the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth embodiments is further modified so that the submunition is used in a projectile.
The invention is based on the idea of incorporating the incendiary compound and the energetic component of a projectile in the submunitions. In a similar manner to that in the case of DE 10 2005 039 901 A1, the submunitions are produced from ductile heavy metal or hard metal in a known manner in a cylindrical, spherical or cuboid shape, with a cutout with or without weak points. The introduction and compression processes then take place, preferably by machine, of the energetic component and, if provided, the metering of a pressure-sensitive ignition charge, with subsequent compression.
The submunitions can be released in a known manner.
The energetic content of the submunition is activated, depending on the design by:
- ignition in the carrier projectile together with the break-up charge (ejection charge),
- ignition by air friction (ram-air pressure), or
- ignition on striking the target.
The energetic content of the submunitions includes a pyrotechnic, such as thermite, pyrofuze (c.f., http:\\www.sigmundcohn.com/german/pyrofuse.html, DE 21 30 367 A1) or coruscative (U.S. Pat. No. 3,135,205) with thermobaric reactions. Mg, Al, Si-barium per oxide-systems are used for the ignition pyrotechnics, for example, YIS 506 from the same company.
The submunitions are preferably spin-stabilized. The spin-stabilize allows the submunition or submunitions to strike the target in an oriented manner. (Spin rate is approximately 1 000 Hz at the barrel muzzle).
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The orientation cavity with energetic content can be provided at the front or rear in the submunition.
The invention will be explained in more detail using one exemplary embodiment and with reference to the drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 shows a submunition illustrated from the side,
FIG. 1 a shows a section illustration A-A of a first variant of the form of the submunition shown in FIG. 1, and
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
FIG. 1 b shows a section illustration A-A of a second variant of the form of the submunition shown in FIG. 1.
With reference to a projectile as described in DE 10 2005 039 901 A1, this projectile may be adapted for use as a projectile in accordance with the present invention, wherein the adapted projectile has submunitions 1 which have a hard-metal body and/or heavy-metal body 2, with a bore or recess 5, for holding an energetic component 3. An igniter 4 preferably ends flat with the housing body 2.
The energetic component 3 may be a powder, a rod material, or the like.
In a first non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the zirconium powder is precompressed in the projectile bore 5, and the igniter 4 is metered and is compressed to about 400 MPa. The ratio used for this purpose may, in this case, be 10/1.
In a further non-limiting embodiment of the invention, pyrofuze is cut into parts with a length of 8 mm, and is inserted into the projectile bore 5. In this case as well, the igniter 4 is metered and compressed. A ratio of 10/1 is also sufficient in this case, and it is been found to be advantageous to use a ratio of 13/1.
If zirconium foam is used as in accordance with a third non-limiting embodiment of the invention, this is likewise precompressed in the projectile bore 5, and the igniter 4 is metered. A ratio of 10/1 is also recommended in this case.
In a further, fourth, non-limiting embodiment of the present invention, the submunitions are compressed only with the corresponding energetic materials (zirconium powder, zirconium foam, pyrofuze, coruscative etc.) without an igniter in the projectile bore at about 400 MPa. The mass of the energetic compound can be increased, corresponding to the proportion resulting from the lack of the igniter.
The volume of the energetic material forced into the submunitions is in the region of about 5-20% of the projectile volume.
The method of operation, in accordance with the invention, is as follows:
The submunitions 1 of the carrier projectile, which is not illustrated in any more detail, are, for example, released by programmed triggering. The pyrotechnical energetic component 3 in the submunition 1 is fired by self-arming, or else by the pressure-sensitive igniter 4, which is ignited by air friction, or ignition in the carrier projectile together with an ejection charge, or at the latest on striking a target. In addition to its conventional function, this energetic component 3 now also has an incendiary compound and a reactive material, which reacts chemically with target material in the target.
As indicated in FIG. 1 a and FIG. 1 b, the submunition may be cylindrical or spherical, or else may have a polygonal cross section.