Title:
Kinetic energy rod warhead with blast fragmentation
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead includes a projectile core including a plurality of projectiles, explosive segments about the projectile core, and isolators between the explosive segments. There is an initiator for each explosive segment and a shell about the explosive segments. A deployable casing including multiple fragment members is attached to the shell, and there is a housing about the deployable casing.



Inventors:
Lloyd, Richard M. (Melrose, MA, US)
Application Number:
12/798362
Publication Date:
07/26/2012
Filing Date:
04/02/2010
Assignee:
LLOYD RICHARD M.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F42B12/32
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
ABDOSH, SAMIR
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Renner, Otto, Boisselle & Sklar, LLP (Raytheon) (Cleveland, OH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead comprising: a projectile core including a plurality of projectiles; explosive segments about the projectile core; isolators between the explosive segments; an initiator for each explosive segment; a shell about the explosive segments; a deployable casing attached to the shell, said casing including multiple fragment members; and a housing about the deployable casing.

2. The hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead of claim 1 in which select initiators detonate said explosive segments to deploy said plurality of projectiles at a target or detonate said explosive segments to deploy said multiple fragment members at a target.

3. The hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead of claim 1 in which the deployable casing members are discrete pre-made fragments.

4. The hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead of claim 3 in which the discrete pre-made fragments are titanium bars.

5. The hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead of claim 1 in which the deployable casing members are scored sections of said casing.

6. The hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead of claim 1 in which the shell is made of a ceramic material, or a composite material, or both ceramic material and composite material.

7. The hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead of claim 1 in which the initiators are located internally on the inside of each explosive segment adjacent the projectile core.

8. The hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead of claim 1 in which select initiators detonate said explosive segments to eject said plurality of individual projectiles from said projectile core at a target.

9. The hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead of claim 1 in which select initiators detonate said explosive segments to expel said multiple fragment members from the warhead at a target.

10. The hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead of claim 1 in which the projectiles are individual rods.

11. The hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead of claim 1 in which the isolators are sympathetic shields.

12. The hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead of claim 1 further including a target locator system configured to locate a target relative to said warhead.

13. The hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead of claim 12 further including a controller, responsive to the target locator system, configured to selectively detonate specified initiators or sets of initiators depending on a mode of the warhead.

14. The hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead of claim 13 in which the warhead mode is kinetic energy rod warhead mode.

15. The hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead of claim 13 in which the warhead mode is blast fragmentation mode.

16. The hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead of claim 1 in which the housing is a hull surrounding the deployable casing.

17. The hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead of claim 1 in which said deployable casing is attached to less than the entirety of said shell.

18. The hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead of claim 1 in which the multiple fragment members are attached to said shell with an adhesive.

19. A hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead comprising: a projectile core including a plurality of individual rod projectiles; explosive segments surrounding the projectile core; a shell surrounding the explosive segments; a deployable casing including a plurality of discrete pre-made fragments attached to said shell; sympathetic shields between the explosive segments; and internal initiators on the inside of each explosive segment and adjacent the projectile core for detonating said explosive segments to deploy said plurality of discrete pre-made fragments at a target or for detonating said explosive segments to deploy said plurality of individual rod projectiles at a target.

20. A kinetic energy rod warhead system comprising: a projectile core including a plurality of projectiles; explosive segments about the projectile core; isolators between the explosive into segments; a shell about the explosive segments; a deployable casing attached to the shell, said casing including multiple fragment members; a target locator system configured to locate a target relative to the said warhead; a controller, responsive to the target locator system, configured to selectively detonate specified initiators or sets of initiators depending on a mode of the warhead; and initiators for each explosive segment for detonating said explosive segments to deploy said multiple fragment members at a target or for detonating said explosive segments to deploy said plurality of individual rod projectiles at a target.

21. The system of claim 20 in which the multiple members are discrete pre-made fragments and the plurality of projectiles are rods.

22. The system of claim 20 in which the deployable members are scored sections of said casing and the projectiles are rods.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This subject invention relates to improvements in kinetic energy rod warheads.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Destroying missiles such as tactical ballistic missiles, airborne targets such as cruise missiles, aircraft, re-entry vehicles, and other targets falls into three primary classifications: “hit-to-kill” vehicles, blast fragmentation warheads, and kinetic energy rod warheads.

“Hit-to-kill” vehicles are typically launched into a position proximate a target via a missile such as the Patriot, Trident or MX missile. The kill vehicle is navigable and designed to strike the re-entry vehicle to render it inoperable. Countermeasures, however, can be used to avoid the “hit-to-kill” vehicle. Moreover, biological warfare bomblets and chemical warfare submunition payloads are carried by some “hit-to-kill” threats, and one or more of these bomblets or chemical submunition payloads can survive and cause heavy casualties even if the “hit-to-kill” vehicle accurately strikes the target.

Blast fragmentation type warheads are designed to be carried by existing missiles. Blast fragmentation type warheads, unlike “hit-to-kill” vehicles, are not navigable. Instead, when the missile carrier reaches a position close to an enemy missile or other target, a pre-made band of metal on the warhead is detonated and the pieces of metal are accelerated with high velocity and strike the target. The fragments, however, are not always effective at destroying the target and, again, biological bomblets and/or chemical submunition payloads may survive and cause heavy casualties.

A kinetic energy rod warhead has at least two primary advantages over “hit-to-kill vehicles” and blast fragmentation warheads. A kinetic energy rod warhead does not rely on precise navigation as is the case with “hit-to-kill” vehicles. Also, a kinetic energy rod warhead provides better penetration than blast fragmentation type warheads.

The primary components typically associated with a theoretical kinetic energy rod warhead are a projectile core or bay including a number of individual lengthy rod projectiles or penetrators, and an explosive charge. When the explosive charge is detonated, the rod projectiles or penetrators are deployed. Typically, these components are within a hull or housing.

The inventor hereof, Richard M. Lloyd, has published several textbooks concerning kinetic energy rod warheads, and including some discussions of “hit-to-kill” vehicles and blast fragmentation type warheads, and has been granted a number of patents for kinetic energy warheads and/or kinetic energy rod warhead technology, including U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,598,534; 6,779,462; 6,931,994; 7,040,235; 7,415,917; 7,017,496; 6,973,878; 6,910,423; 6,920,827; 7,624,682; 7,621,222; 7,624,683; and 7,143,698. The inventor hereof also has various pending patent applications concerning kinetic energy rod warheads and kinetic energy rod warhead technology, including U.S. Pat. Publ. Nos. 20060112847; 20070084376; and 20060283348.

Greater lethality is achieved when the projectiles or rods of a kinetic energy rod warhead are deployed to intercept and/or destroy a target.

In order to aim and deploy the projectiles or rods of a kinetic energy rod warhead, the explosive charge is typically divided into a number of explosive charge segments or sections, with sympathetic shields between the segments. Each explosive segment may have its own detonator. Selected explosive charge segments are detonated to aim the projectiles in a specific direction and to control the spray pattern of the projectiles. For instance, detonators, detonation cords, and/or jettison packs on one side of the projectile core can be detonated to cause their associated explosive charge segments to eject specified hull sections, creating an opening in the hull on the target side. Detonators on the opposite side of the core are detonated to deploy the projectile rods in the direction of the opening and thus towards the target. See e.g. U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,598,534 and 6,973,878 which are incorporated herein by reference. Some methods for aiming of fragments or projectiles are disclosed in various patents by others for various types of warheads or ordnance systems, including U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,026,213; 3,703,865; 3,796,159; 2,925,965; and 4,216,720, and German patent publication number DE19524726.

Although a kinetic energy rod warhead may be highly lethal against targets such as tactical ballistic missiles (TBMs), for airborne targets (ABTs) such as cruise missiles or “soft” low altitude targets, miss distances can sometimes be relatively large. At large miss distances—e.g. distances outside of the lethal zone of the kinetic energy rod warhead—a kinetic energy rod warhead alone may not be as highly lethal against ABTs or “soft” targets.

Blast fragmentation warheads may be effective against ABT or “soft” targets. Some methods for implementing blast fragmentation warheads are disclosed in various patents by others, including U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,157,225; 4,216,720; 4,129,061; 3,757,694; and 3,949,674.

For the most part, however, these patents concerning blast fragmentation do not include the advantageous features of a kinetic energy rod warhead, nor do such patents take into consideration miss distances or the countervailing considerations of weight, arrangement of explosive, and/or hardware configurations that must be accounted for in a kinetic energy rod warhead.

A kinetic energy warhead including a frangible skin which easily fractures and breaks apart when charge sections are exploded, to avoid interference with the deployment angle of deployed projectiles, and to provide structural support for the warhead during handling, shipping and deployment, was proposed in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/924,104, now abandoned. The textbook by the inventor hereof, Richard M. Lloyd, “Conventional Warhead Systems Physics and Engineering Design”, provides additional details concerning skin designs used in blast fragmentation type warheads. Chapters 2 and 3 of that textbook propose types of controlled warhead fragmentation casing for blast fragmentation type warheads.

The concept of replacing a blast fragmentation warhead with a kinetic energy rod warhead in a carrier or kill vehicle, or adding a kinetic energy rod warhead, has also been an option proposed by the applicant. See e.g. U.S. Pat. No. 6,973,878.

Advantages such as increased lethality can be obtained by including a kinetic energy rod warhead in a carrier missile. To include only one of a kinetic energy rod warhead and a blast fragmentation warhead, or to include both separately in a carrier or kill vehicle, would include some disadvantages.

If only one warhead were to be inserted in the carrier missile, one of each kind of warhead must be ready to insert into the missile, and a decision about which type of warhead should be inserted would have to be made at ground level prior to launch. Alternatively, adding both a kinetic energy rod warhead and a blast fragmentation warhead to the carrier missile would be more cumbersome, and it would increase the weight to be carried. Moreover, because of their physical independence, two separate electronics systems may be required in order to provide the most accurate information to each of the separate kinetic energy warhead and fragmentation warhead.

It would be desirable to have the advantageous features of both a kinetic energy rod warhead and a blast fragmentation warhead packaged in one warhead, to eliminate the necessity of some ground level decisions or stockpiling an excessive number of warheads, and/or to reduce overall weight and complexity.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments of the invention provide an improved kinetic energy rod warhead with increased versatility and lethality. In one aspect, the kinetic energy rod warhead is a hybrid combining characteristics of both a kinetic energy rod warhead and a blast fragmentation warhead with the potential for high lethality against dissimilar targets without occupying the volume required by two separate and independent warheads. As a result, there can be more choice of targets in flight, with increased effectiveness, while minimizing overall volume, weight and complexity.

The invention results from the realization in part that a new kinetic energy rod warhead with the capability of destroying different types of targets can be achieved by including a projectile core having a plurality of projectiles which can be explosively ejected and a deployable casing made up of multiple members which can be explosively expelled from the warhead.

The invention thus provides an improved way to optionally but effectively destroy targets such as TBMs, or airborne (ABTs or “soft”) targets and targets which may be at relatively large miss distances.

The warhead of the subject invention may be used exclusively, or in conjunction with many of the warhead configurations and/or features for destroying targets disclosed in the applicant's other patents or patent applications such as those enumerated above, and/or may include other features as desired for a particular application.

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

The invention features a hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead which includes, in one embodiment, a projectile core including a plurality of projectiles and explosive segments about the projectile core. There are isolators between the explosive segments and an initiator for each explosive segment. A shell is about the explosive segments and a deployable casing is attached to the shell. The casing includes multiple fragment members, and a housing is typically disposed about the deployable casing.

In one variation, select initiators detonate the explosive segments to deploy one of either the plurality of projectiles at a target or the multiple fragment members at a target. In one aspect, select initiators detonate the explosive segments to eject the plurality of individual projectiles from the projectile core at a target. In another aspect, select initiators detonate explosive segments to expel the multiple fragment members from the warhead at a target. Typically, initiators are located internally on the inside of each explosive segment adjacent the projectile core.

In one configuration, the deployable casing members are discrete pre-made fragments, such as titanium bars. In another configuration, the deployable casing fragment members are scored sections of the casing. In one example, the deployable casing is attached to less than the entirety of the shell. The deployable casing may be attached to the shell with adhesive, such as epoxy in one example. The housing is a hull typically surrounding the deployable casing. The shell may be made of a ceramic material or a composite material or a combination thereof.

In one embodiment, the projectiles are individual rods, and the isolators are sympathetic shields. In one variation, the hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead includes a target locator system configured to locate a target relative to the warhead, and a controller, responsive to the target locator system, configured to selectively detonate specified initiators or sets of initiators depending on a mode of the warhead. The warhead mode may be either in a kinetic energy rod warhead mode or a blast fragmentation mode.

The invention also features a hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead which includes a projectile core including a plurality of individual rod projectiles, explosive segments surrounding the projectile core, a shell surrounding the explosive segments, and a deployable casing including a plurality of discrete pre-made fragments attached to the shell. There are sympathetic shields between the explosive segments and internal initiators on the inside of each explosive segment and adjacent the projectile core, for detonating the explosive to deploy one of either the plurality of discrete pre-made fragments at a target or the plurality of individual rod projectiles at a target.

The invention further features a kinetic energy rod warhead system which includes a projectile core including a plurality of projectiles, explosive segments about the projectile core, isolators between the explosive segments, and a shell about the explosive segments. A deployable casing is attached to the shell, and the casing includes multiple fragment members. A target locator system is configured to locate a target relative to the warhead and a controller responsive to the target locator system is configured to selectively detonate specified initiators or sets of initiators depending on a mode of the warhead. There are initiators for each explosive segment for detonating the explosive segments to deploy one of either the multiple fragment members at a target or the plurality of individual rod projectiles at a target. In one variation, the multiple members are discrete pre-made fragments and the plurality of projectiles are rods. In another variation, the deployable members are scored sections of said casing and the projectiles are rods.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS 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 cross-sectional perspective view of one embodiment of a hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead in accordance with the invention;

FIGS. 2A and 2B are schematic cross-sectional top views showing one variation of the hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a schematic cross-sectional top view showing another variation of the hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a schematic cross-sectional side view of an embodiment of a controller and target locator system within a carrier for use with the invention; and

FIG. 5 is a schematic partial cross-sectional top view showing an alternative embodiment of a hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead in accordance with the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

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.

Current kinetic energy rod warheads are designed to destroy many targets with high lethality, but may be less effective against targets at relatively large miss distances. Conversely, blast fragmentation warheads are less effective against targets at which a kinetic energy rod warhead is typically deployed. The present invention provides, among other advantages, improved lethality overall against a variety of targets within a carrier missile volume normally allotted for either a kinetic energy rod warhead or a blast fragmentation warhead.

A hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead and system in accordance with the invention includes hybrid warhead 10, FIG. 1, including projectile core 12, which includes a plurality of rods or projectiles 14. Explosive 16 is about or surrounding projectile core 12, and in one embodiment as shown, explosive 16 is divided into eight sections or segments 16a-16h, although the number of segments may vary depending on a particular application. In one example, the hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead of the present invention may include four segments as disclosed in the applicant's patent application entitled Multi-Point Time Spacing Kinetic Energy Rod Warhead and System, U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, which is incorporated herein by reference, and further may include many features disclosed therein. The weight saved by utilizing less isolators or shields as disclosed in that patent application could be particularly useful with the present invention, to offset any warhead weight gained by the addition of the deployable casing, discussed below.

Moreover, except as otherwise set forth herein, the exact configuration of the hybrid kinetic energy rod warhead may vary depending on a particular desired application or result to be achieved, including but not limited to a number of features disclosed in the applicant's other patents and applications.

Warhead 10 may typically include end plates and/or absorbing layers of aluminum for example (not shown) at each end, and buffer layer 18 disposed between projectile core 12 and explosive 16, although these are not necessary limitations. In one variation, isolators 20-27, such as sympathetic shields, separate explosive 16 into segments or sections 16a-16h, with an isolator between each explosive segment. There is at least one initiator or detonator 30-37 for each explosive segment, and initiators 30-37 are typically located centrally on the interior of explosive 16 proximate projectile core 12 or optional buffer 18. For better results, initiators 30-37 are located internally on the inside of each of explosive segments 16a-16h adjacent the projectile core as shown. Also in one example, projectiles 14 are lengthy rods, often of cylindrical cross-section and made of metal such as tungsten, and the isolators or sympathetic shields 20-27 are made of composite material such as steel sandwiched between polycarbonate resin sheet layers. The rods and sympathetic shields are not necessarily limited to these shapes or materials, and may be of various shapes or materials depending on a desired application.

In one aspect of the hybrid kinetic rod warhead 10 and system in accordance with the invention, shell 40 is about or surrounding explosive segments 16a-16h, and deployable casing 50 is attached to shell 40. In various examples, shell 40 is made of ceramic or of a thin composite, although these are not a necessary limitations and other materials may occur to those skilled in the art.

Deployable casing 50 includes and is made up of multiple members or plurality of fragment members 52. Housing or hull 60 is typically disposed about or surrounding deployable casing 50 and its members 52, shell 40, explosive 16 and other internal components.

In one variation of the subject invention, fragment members 52 of deployable casing 50 are discrete, individual pre-made fragments, which in one example are titanium bars, each attached to casing 50. In another example, members 52 are small steel fragments. A suitable mass for pre-made fragments or bars is in the range of 30-60 grains, although other masses or weights are possible. In various configurations, an epoxy or other adhesives may be used to attach members 52 to shell 40.

In another variation, deployable members 52 are scored sections of casing 50, in which scoring or grooves or a grid matrix (not shown) is formed in casing 50 of sufficient depth and dimensions such that explosive force would cause the members to separate and be expelled from the warhead upon detonation of explosive 16. The exact form of the pre-made fragments, or scoring or shell may vary as necessary for a particular desired application however, as would be known to those skilled in the art, including some designs as described in Chapters 2 and 3 of “Conventional Warhead Systems Physics and Engineering Design” by the inventor hereof. In contrast to discrete pre-made fragments, scoring may result in higher velocity, but conversely, will result in more size and weight variation between expelled members. Also, some sizes (e.g. mass of 30-60 grains) may be more difficult to achieve by scoring the casing as opposed to utilizing members which are discrete pre-made fragments, although either embodiment could be effective.

As noted in the Background section above, examples of known warheads are typically only one of two types, e.g. either a kinetic energy warhead or a blast fragmentation warhead, each with its own advantages in different situations. Hybrid warhead 10, however, combines the advantageous features of both types into a single warhead. Initiators 32-37 can detonate explosive 16 either to deploy plurality of projectiles 14 at a target, or to deploy multiple members 52 at the target. It should be noted that the initiators discussed herein detonate explosive 16, or more specifically detonate the explosive sections 16a-16f, to deploy either projectiles 14 from the projectile core 12 or members 52 from the warhead. Thus the structure of hybrid warhead 10 allows for two warhead modes: (1) kinetic energy rod warhead mode; and (2) blast fragmentation mode.

Against TBMs or similar targets T1, FIG. 2A, select initiators or set of initiators, e.g. initiators 35-36 or 34-37, detonate explosive 16 to eject projectiles 14 from projectile core 12 at a target T1. Particularly, rods 14 can be and are typically aimed at target T1 in a manner as known for kinetic energy rod warheads. See e.g. U.S. Pat. No. 6,973,878 incorporated herein by reference. In this aspect of the invention against target T1, or in a kinetic energy rod warhead mode, it is projectiles 14 which are ejected at target T1, with highly lethal effect. In the example shown, explosive shock waves 60 provide a “pushing” force on projectiles 14 in core 12, with little to none of the explosive shock wave force directly applied to members 52 aligned on the side of target T1. Because members 52 are exterior to core 12, however, some members 52 naturally lead the projectiles to some extent, as shown in FIG. 2B, but members 52 are not specifically deployed at the target. The velocity of projectiles 14 and members 52 toward T1 is approximately the same relatively slower velocity, however, but still highly effective against TBMs and similar targets. In such a kinetic energy rod warhead mode, prior to detonating the explosive sections as described herein, sections of the warhead hull or housing 60, FIG. 2 may be ejected away from the intended travel direction of the projectiles 14 by detonation cords and/or jettison explosive packs (not shown) as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,973,878 for example, or by other means. Also, it can be seen and should be appreciated overall that the options available for firing of select initiators and/or combinations and the timing thereof may be adjusted to a desired application or result.

In a blast fragmentation mode or against ABTs or “soft” targets T2, FIG. 3, select initiators or sets of initiators, e.g. all initiators 30-37 in one example, detonate explosive segments 16a-16h to expel all members 52 of deployable casing 50 from warhead 10 at a target or targets. In this aspect of the present invention, or blast fragmentation mode, initiators 30-37 are internal and detonation is rearward. Explosive shock waves 70 provide a “pushing” force away from projectiles 14 in core 12, with the explosive shock wave force applied directly to members 52. Thus, projectiles 14 are not deployed at the target, but instead remain in place and/or travel in a direction opposite the target. For better effect initiators 30-37 are located on the inside of explosive segments 16a-16h, one for each segment, adjacent projectile core 12. High energy shock waves 70 result. Consequently, members 52 are expelled outwardly at high velocity from warhead 10 at a target or targets T2, which may be anywhere within 360° of warhead 10. Typically initiators 32-37 are detonated simultaneously, to expel members 52 isotropically for maximum velocity and higher lethality against ABT or soft targets and/or targets at larger miss distances. For members 52 each of which have a mass of 30-60 grains for example, velocity may be in the range of 4,000-6,000 feet per second, with even greater velocity for members or fragments 52 located closer to the center of an explosive section. Conversely, the velocity of members 52 close to the outer edges of a particular explosive segment may be less to some extent. Also, in the example of members 52 having a mass of 30-60 grains, approximately 5,900 members may be attached to a kinetic energy warhead of typical dimensions.

Target locator system 80, FIG. 4, is configured to locate a target relative to isolators 20-27 and/or relative to explosive segments 16a-16h, for example. Target locator systems are known in the art, and are often part of a guidance subsystem such as guidance subsystem 82. In this example, guidance system 82 is also within carrier or missile 84 and such systems or subsystems commonly include, for example, fusing and/or safe and arm technology, using e.g. the distance between the carrier missile and a target, static angle (ejection or expulsion angle if the carrier missile were not moving), dynamic angle (the ejection or expulsion angle when the velocity of the carrier is accounted for), and lean angle (angle at which the fuse detects a target in advance), also as known in the art.

Controller 86 is responsive to target locator system 80 and configured to selectively detonate specified detonators or sets of detonators in sequence, depending on the desired deployment mode of plurality of rods 14. Overall, versatility of warhead 10 is a result. It should be understood that in various configurations controller 86 may be part of target locator system 80 and/or guidance subsystem 82, any of which may be part of warhead 10 itself, as would be known to and understood by those skilled in the art.

In cases where carrier missile 84 is capable of rolling in response to a target location, one alternative embodiment for warhead 10 is shown in FIG. 5. Deployable casing 50 including members 52 is affixed to only one side, or onto 180° only, of warhead 10 to save weight while still providing effectiveness. Once a target T3 is detected but in advance of firing, carrier missile 84 may roll such that members 52 are more aligned with the target T3 as shown. Detonation of the explosive would be effected much the same as discussed above for blast fragmentation mode, but with only one-half of the explosive segments detonated, for example, by detonation of only selected initiators 30-33.

Accordingly, the various embodiments of the invention result in an improved and more versatile kinetic energy rod warhead and system with high lethality against a variety of potential threats.

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.

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.

Other embodiments will occur to those skilled in the art and are within the following claims.