Title:
Munition
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A munition including a munition core and a plurality of particles attached to an external surface of the munition core designed to release from the munition core upon impact of the munition with a target.



Inventors:
Lloyd, Richard M. (Melrose, MA, US)
Application Number:
10/998457
Publication Date:
12/31/2009
Filing Date:
11/29/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F42B12/56
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Primary Examiner:
KLEIN, GABRIEL J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Iandiorio Teska & Coleman (Waltham, MA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A munition comprising: a singular solid mass munition core propelled towards a target for penetrating the target and producing an opening therein; and a plurality of particles smaller than the singular solid mass munition core, each of said particles attached individually to the external surface of the solid mass munition core and designed to travel with the munition and then release from the solid mass munition core and pass through the opening upon impact of the munition with the target for increasing the lethality of the munition.

2. The munition of claim 1 in which said solid mass munition is made of a dense material and is approximately 0.15 inches in diameter.

3. The munition of claim 2 in which said dense material is a tungsten carbide composition.

4. The munition of claim 1 in which said particles are made of a brittle material.

5. The munition of claim 4 in which said brittle material is glass.

6. The munition of claim 1 in which said particles are attached to the solid mass munition with an adhesive.

7. The munition of claim 1 in which said particles are approximately 400 microns in size.

8. 8.-13. (canceled)

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a novel munition.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Munitions, whether fired from a weapon such as a rifle or launched from a launcher or carrier missile or whether in a form of warheads or other projectiles are well known and include fragmentation munitions. See, for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,089,267; 4,648,323; 4,942,820; 5,243,916; 5,763,819; 6,230,630; 6,619,210; as well as Published Patent Application Nos. US 2004/0069176A1 and US 2004/0129162, all incorporated herein by this reference.

Typically, an explosive is housed in the core of a munition casing. When the explosive is detonated, it fractures the casing into fragments designed to strike a target.

Other munition designs are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,789,484 and 6,672,220 as well as Published Patent Application No. US 2002/0166475.

Most of these prior art designs, however, are fairly complex in design, expensive to manufacture, and many cannot be deployed from conventional weapons. Moreover, munitions including explosives can result in unintended collateral damage to surrounding structures and/or targets.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a munition with increased lethality but which is less complex in design.

It is a further object of this invention to provide such a munition which is versatile in design.

It is a further object of this invention to provide such a munition which is inexpensive to manufacture.

It is a further object of this invention to provide such a munition which prevents unintended collateral damage.

The subject invention results from the realization that a simpler munition with increased lethality is effected by attaching a number of particles to the external surface of a munition core which, upon impact with a target, dislodge from the munition core.

The subject invention, however, in other embodiments, need not achieve all these objectives and the claims hereof should not be limited to structures or methods capable of achieving these objectives.

This invention features a munition comprising a munition core and a plurality of particles attached to an external surface of the munition core designed to release from the munition core upon impact of the munition with a target.

In one example, the munition core is made of a dense material such as a tungsten carbide composition. The particles may be made of a brittle material such as glass. Typically, the particles are attached to the munition core with an adhesive. Preferably, the particles are microparticle in size.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other objects, features and advantages will occur to those skilled in the art from the following description of a preferred embodiment and the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic conceptual view showing the particles associated with the munition of the subject invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic conceptual view of one embodiment of a munition core in accordance with the subject invention;

FIG. 3 is a schematic three-dimensional view showing the particles of FIG. 1 adhered to the munition core of FIG. 2 in accordance with the subject invention; and

FIGS. 4A-4D are highly schematic side views showing the deployment of the munition shown in FIG. 3 a target.

DISCLOSURE OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Aside from the preferred embodiment or embodiments disclosed below, this invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or being carried out in various ways. Thus, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangements of components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. If only one embodiment is described herein, the claims hereof are not to be limited to that embodiment. Moreover, the claims hereof are not to be read restrictively unless there is clear and convincing evidence manifesting a certain exclusion, restriction, or disclaimer.

Small particles 10, FIG. 1 in accordance with the subject invention are glued or otherwise adhered to the external surface of munition core 12, FIG. 2 resulting in novel munition 14, FIG. 3. Particles 10 may be micro particle in size 400 microns in diameter, for example, and munition core 12 may be 1.25 inches in diameter. But, munition core 12 may be of various sizes and spherical in shape or any other shape. The same is true for particles 10: they may be spherical in shape but they also could be other shapes or random shapes or even flakes.

In accordance with the subject invention, the core carries the many smaller particles to enhance the particle density upon impact. The smaller momentum particles 10 are typically epoxied on core 12 and fracture off during impact of the core with a target. Such a munition can be used for soft targets because the core has the overall mass to penetrate and provide a hole for the smaller particles to go through. The smaller particles then create a dense spray pattern upon release from the core.

Munition 14, FIG. 4A is shown propelled to impact target 16 along path P. When munition 14 impacts target 16, FIG. 4B, the particles 10 break off munition core 12 as shown in FIG. 4C and create an exit opening generally larger than the entrance opening as shown in FIG. 4D.

The munition of the subject invention can also be used to destroy items or structure internal to target 16 but not necessarily directly in the direct path P, FIG. 4A of munition 14. Unintended collateral damage which can occur in the case where munitions include explosives is minimized in accordance with the subject invention. For example, the munition core can be made of a dense material such as a tungsten carbide composition and the particles are made of a more brittle material such as glass. An adhesive such as an epoxy may be used to adhere the particles to the munition core. The final selection of the particles or the munition is determined by the kill requirements. The requirements are based on target thickness, impact velocity and target vulnerability.

In one embodiment, munition core 12, FIGS. 2-3 was a tungsten carbide composition 0.15″ in diameter. Particles 10 constituted 500-1,000 glass spheres each 400 microns in size attached to core 12 by an epoxy. The shockwave S produced when core 12 strikes a target causes particles 10 to dislodge from core 12 and form the spray pattern shown in FIGS. 4C-4D.

Munition 14, FIG. 3 can be deployed by a traditional weapon or numerous munitions of the type shown can be packaged together in a shell, hull, or other housing deployed as set forth, for example, in US Patent Publication No. 2004/0129162 and/or U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/938,022 incorporated herein by this reference.

The size, shape and composition of the core, however, as well as the size, shape, number, and composition of the particles will vary depending on the specific implementation, the deployment method, the lethality desired, and the type of target to be penetrated. The result is a simple in design munition with increased lethality.

Although specific features of the invention are shown in some drawings and not in others, this is for convenience only as each feature may be combined with any or all of the other features in accordance with the invention. The words “including”, “comprising”, “having”, and “with” as used herein are to be interpreted broadly and comprehensively and are not limited to any physical interconnection. Moreover, any embodiments disclosed in the subject application are not to be taken as the only possible embodiments. Other embodiments will occur to those skilled in the art and are within the following claims.

In addition, any amendment presented during the prosecution of the patent application for this patent is not a disclaimer of any claim element presented in the application as filed: those skilled in the art cannot reasonably be expected to draft a claim that would literally encompass all possible equivalents, many equivalents will be unforeseeable at the time of the amendment and are beyond a fair interpretation of what is to be surrendered (if anything), the rationale underlying the amendment may bear no more than a tangential relation to many equivalents, and/or there are many other reasons the applicant can not be expected to describe certain insubstantial substitutes for any claim element amended.