Agent Defeat Weapon - Recent Innovations
A weapon system that can penetrate both surface targets or soft targets and deeply buried hardened targets or hard targets containing chemical and biological agents and destroy these agents in such a manner to minimize dispersal of these agents to avoid severe collateral damage has been disclosed in commonly assigned U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/463,882, filed on Jun. 18, 2003, entitled "A Biological and Chemical Agent Defeat System," such patent application is herein incorporated by reference. This application provided a kinetic energy penetrator warhead used to engage both surface and buried soft and hardened targets. The warhead contained a High Temperature Thermal Radiator (HTRR) fill capable of destroying chemical and biological agents in such a manner to minimize dispersal of these agents. Bomblets were incorporated into the warhead and ejected, with the HTTR fill, from the warhead in order to provide the means to open the chemical and biological agent containers and tanks to provide access to the chemical and biological agent to allow the product of the reaction of the warhead fill to react with and destroy said agents. Additionally, a guidance system was provided to direct the warhead to the target.
The art has recognized this need and there have been attempts to provide solutions to this problem. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,945,175 discloses a weapon including a warhead filled with a two-stage intermetallic high-temperature incendiary device. The composition includes intermetallic constituents and an oxidizer, such as lithium perchlorate or sodium chlorate, to produce oxygen to generate oxides of the intermetallic constituents with addition of heat release. The oxidizer may also generate a biocide as a product of the reaction to defeat chemical and biological agents. The payload of the warhead also includes a plurality of bomblets for penetrating tanks, containers and other enclosures hold the biological and chemical agents, so that the high temperature reactants of the fill, including the biocide can react with the agents.
U.S. Pat. No. 7,568,432 of August 4, 2009 discloses an agent defeat bomb including a payload with at least one metal-based high thermal component, effective for producing high temperature, and a plurality of oxidizer components, such that the high thermal component and oxidizer are progressively stacked through the length of the projectile and react within the body of the bomb.
U.S. Pat. No. 8,118,955 of February 21, 2012 discloses a thermobaric self-sustaining reactive composition for defeating chemical or biological agents. The composition includes a first material comprising at least one of a Group IV or Group V metal; a second material reactive with the first material in an exothermic intermetallic reaction to generate heat sufficient to vaporize a third material; and the third material, which, when vaporized, combusts with air producing an elevated temperature sufficient to destroy the chemical and biological agents. According to this aspect, a preferred embodiment includes titanium as the first material and boron as the second material. The third material is preferably selected from the group consisting of an aluminum-magnesium alloy, red phosphorus, polytetrafluoroethylene and mixtures thereof. The invention according to this aspect may further include wax as an additive, such as polychlorotrifluoroethylene wax.
In a second aspect, the invention provides a method for producing a self-sustained high-temperature, high-energy environment for defeating chemical or biological agents. According to this aspect, the method provides a first step of initiating an exothermic reaction between a first material and a second material to produce an intermetallic reaction product and heat sufficient to produce a first temperature capable of vaporizing a third material. In a second step, the method includes vaporizing the third material at the first temperature. In a third step, the method includes combusting the vaporized third material and the intermetallic reaction product with air to thermobarically produce a second elevated temperature capable of destroying the chemical or biological agents. According to this aspect, the initiating step can be, for example, explosively driven or thermally propagated.
In a third aspect, the invention provides a thermobaric device for defeating chemical or biological agents. According to this aspect, the device includes a container having a center core explosive driver and a self-sustaining reactive composition for defeating the chemical or biological agents that surrounds the center core. The self-sustaining reactive composition comprises a first material that includes at least one of a Group IV or Group V metal; a second material reactive with the first material in an exothermic intermetallic reaction to generate heat sufficient to vaporize a third material; and the third material that when vaporized combusts with air producing an elevated temperature sufficient to destroy the chemical and biological agents. The invention according to this aspect can be delivered, for example, by airdrop or land carrier.
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