Design and production of munitions are priority for Russian armed forces – Part 4


Experts now outline three guidelines in the development of new-generation munitions for the Russian armed forces.
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Thermobaric ammunition is a type of blast-effect ammunition. It is used by some rocket launchers and missile launchers, and thermobaric warheads are also used in air-dropped bombs and artillery shells. A variety of other terms are also applied to the ammunition, including "fuel-air explosive" (FAE), "aerosol bomb" and "vacuum bomb." The term "Metal Augmented Charge" (MAC) is applied to versions which use aluminium powder as their fuel element. (Picture source: Wikipedia)


Firstly, it is the creation of multi-target munitions operating by fire-and-forget principle with a high target identification and selectivity in destruction. It is the main global trend for weapons with artificial intelligence. Therefore, the technical provision of combat actions of a group of troops faces the basic requirement: to promote the fulfilment of the whole range of combat missions by a limited list of munitions.

Secondly, it is a sharp increase of the maximum destruction range and effective result due to a higher capability of munitions to operate close to the target and precisely hit it. (Notice that it is the opposite of « surgical hits »).

Thirdly, it is the design of all-weather and all-time jam-resistant and homing projectiles and warheads with hypersonic speed and lower signature due to changing trajectory in the framework of duels and other (electronic) standoff.

The guidelines need the latest scientific and technical achievements of fundamental and applied research, as well as the designs of scientific schools: theory of explosions, detonation and explosive tossing, physics of explosion, physics of precision strike, mechanical deformation and destruction of a solid body, theory of optimal design and combat effectiveness of munitions, design of counter-terrorist means and dual explosive technologies, etc.

A priority task is to decrease the size and weight of munitions and exclude the role of an operator in most fire preparation actions, tracking and destruction of target. There are the following examples of prospective technological solutions in the design of munitions: miniature and robotized information and control systems, identification systems, guidance, navigation, etc.; functional and construction schemes of new-generation munitions, e.g. thermobaric with voluminous and coherent effects; new effective explosives, durable materials and initiating devices; non-traditional principles of tossing and guiding projectiles and warheads; advanced methods of complex design and experimental testing of designs, new materials and technologies for munitions.

Priority guidelines in explosive compositions, mixtures and materials that increase strike effectiveness are as follows: binary explosives with a new quality of interaction of the oxidizer and fuel; initiating devices with increased strength and safety, such as lasers; heat-resistant construction materials and coating; Nano and microcrystal alloys of dynamic super plasticity.

The innovations will promote a breakthrough in the development of munitions, including for traditional non-precise weapons, such as mortars. There are possibilities to considerably increase the power of munitions and their high-explosive effect by a new use of corrugated liners or the creation of prospective high-explosive fragmentation munitions, which create narrowly-targeted gas dynamic streams of reacting gas-dispersed mixture and an intensive air shockwave in front of them.


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