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Agent Defeat Weapon - Air Force Requirements

The Agent Defeat Weapon [ADW] would, as a minimum, be effective against at least one of the following relevant fixed target categories: hardened chemical targets, soft chemical targets, hardened biological targets, or soft biological targets. Effectiveness was understood to be a measure of the warhead's ability to simultaneously disrupt the functioning of the target, neutralize the CB material within the target, and limit the potential for human casualties resulting from the unintended release of viable CB agents.

Candidate kill mechanisms for achieving the desired results include, but were not limited to, thermal effects derived from high temperature incendiary (HTI) materials, low blast fragmenting warheads or submunitions, neutralizing chemicals, and other mechanisms which may be identified during the ADWD program. The ability of the ADW to deny the enemy access and/or use of the target and/or its contents was considered desirable, but only as a fallout capability occurring in conjunction with disruption of the functioning of the target and neutralization of the CB material within the target. A hybrid warhead payload that employed a combination of the referenced kill mechanisms may be required to achieve program goals. Kill mechanisms that were not considered appropriate for the ADWD include those employing nuclear fissile material or radioisotopes.

The ADW would, within acceptable tolerances, be designed to exhibit the same external dimensions and closely approximate the mass properties as those for the 2000-lb class BLU-109 warhead. The ADW would be designed for physical and functional compatibility with the following Air Force guidance kits: GBU-24, GBU-27, AGM-130, and GBU-31 (JDAM). The intent was to allow those warhead delivery systems, when equipped with the ADW, to hold a wide variety of CBW targets at risk, thereby minimizing the additional cost and operational burdens required to realize such a capability. Accordingly, the ADW shall also be compatible with existing Air Force ground handling, storage, and transportation equipment used to handle the 2000-lb class warhead common to those delivery systems.

The Government was seeking a single warhead design that provides a robust agent defeat solution for all relevant target categories (i.e., hardened chemical targets, and/or soft chemical targets, and/or hardened biological targets, and/or soft biological targets). Robustness was understood to be a measure of the degree of warhead effectiveness. The goal of the ADWD program was to demonstrate a warhead that was effective against both chemical and biological agents, and related hardware and/or munitions located within structures ranging from those classified as soft, above ground targets, to those classified as hardened underground targets. However, the Government might deem a technical approach, which addressed only one, or two, or three of the referenced target categories in a robust manner more acceptable, than an approach, which addressed all four target categories in a less robust fashion.

The design of the entire ADW, inclusive of all payloads, components, subsystems, and interfaces was the responsibility of the prime contractor. The external dimensions and mass properties of the ADW warhead would be sufficiently close to those of the standard BLU-109 warhead, so as to ensure that when equipped with any of the guidance kits specified, it would meet all guidance kit and aircraft interface requirements, and provide the same release and free flight performance as does the BLU-109. The ADW shall be designed to survive and function properly under the range of impact conditions typically associated with the current GBU-24 A/B guidance kit. As a goal, the ADW concept would be scaleable to other warhead variants (e.g., variants of the BLU-116 (AUP), JAST, JASSM, and BLU-113).

The ADW would be designed to minimize the number of sorties and weapons required to defeat the target. Therefore, ADW would be designed as a stand-alone weapon that does not require pre-strike or post-strike delivery of a different type of weapon in order to defeat the target and/or insure the minimization of collateral damage.

As a goal, the ADW would be physically and functionally compatible with the following fuzes or variants thereof: a) Hard Target Smart Fuze, b) Joint Programmable Fuze, and c) Multiple Event Hard Target Fuze. If the Agent Defeat Warhead design employed an electronic fuze and/or electronic weapon safety controller, then it/they would be designed to be compatible with a MIL-STD-1760 interface, such that the various related modes of the fuze and/or the weapon safety controller can be tested and programmed via the Common Munitions BIT/Reprogramming Equipment (CMBRE).

During the course of the design and test effort, the contractor considered the potential environmental impact associated with the fabrication and test of his Agent Defeat Warhead. Pursuant to federal statutes, the contractor minimized the use/selection of hazardous materials and processes utilizing hazardous material to avoid or minimize generation of hazardous wastes as identified in 40 CFR 261. If hazardous materials were used or generated during the program, the contractor wase responsible for the identification, generation, and submission to the appropriate environmental regulative authority of all technical data and documentation required to obtain approval for the use of hazardous material(s) in fabrication and/or testing of the Agent Defeat Warhead, or generation, or disposal of any associated hazardous wastes.

The contractor was also required to be aware of, and bring to the immediate attention of the sponsor, any aspects of the ADW development and test effort that might potentially affect or be affected by international treaties related to chemical and/or biological materials (or their surrogates) or weapons, or related test facilities which simulate their production, storage, or test.

The STOP munition was designed to puncture storage containers for chemical and biological agents. The weapon uses a Wind-Corrected Munitions Dispenser with about 4,000 titanium penetrating rods. Like other agent defeat weapons, the goal was to neutralise the chem-bio agents without dispersing them. It would disable a WMD storage or production site, without the risk disperse lethal agents over a large area posed by a blast weapon. The Air Force may have a limited number of agent defeat weapons by the end of 2002, and was to field the weapon in the February or March 2003 timeframe. The USAF expected to procure 250 units of the weapon over a very short acquisition program. The Air Force Research Laboratory began work on the project in 2001.




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