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XM1019 High Explosive Air Bursting (HEAB)

The XM1019 High Explosive Air Bursting (HEAB) HE airbursting fragmenting round is center fuzed with fragmenting warheads at either end to maximize lethal area. It is a remote settable high explosive air bursting ammunition. The airbursting 25mm is roughly equal to a point detonating 40mm in terms of lethal area. This primary combat round has no batteries utilized for fuze power. It muzzle velocity correction corrects for round to round velocity variation in the ammunition which can make the burst point vary in range. It has a conventional mechanical verge escapement safe and arm designed and built by Dayron, and also has backup self destruct switch and backup power supply.

The ACSW is light enough to be carried and employed by a two-man crew; and yet, delivers decisively violent, long-range, high-explosive fire which offers considerable advantages to the warfighter over the current Caliber .50 M2HB heavy machine gun or the 40mm MK-19. A wide spectrum of targets can be effectively engaged and destroyed using either of the two 25mm High-Explosive combat cartridges: Precision High Explosive Anti-Personnel Ammunition or Point Detonating Armor Piercing Shaped Charge Ammunition. Fuze setting is accomplished by a full solution fire control integrated into the ACSW system. The fire control features direct view optics, a day/night all weather capability, laser range finder and commonality with Land Warrior.

The Family of 25mm munitions provides decisively violent and suppressive target effects and a leap ahead in crew served weapons performance. The XM1019 HEAB capable of defeating not only exposed targets, but also those in defilade. For the first time, an individual soldier can hit targets that have taken cover behind structures, foxholes, terrain features and/or vehicles, with an air bursting 25mm munition, at ranges up to 2000 meters.

Early in the 2002 the XM-29 weapons were successfully tested with the new 20mm HEAB (High Explosive Air Bursting) munitions. But the 20mm smart grenades did not seem to be lethal enough in subsequent testing. Following the increase of the caliber of OICW grenade launcher component from 20mm to 25mm [the same as used in the OCSW], in July 2004 it was decided to split the OICW system into two separate weapons, the 5.56mm XM8 modular assault rifle (OICW Increment 1), and the 25mm XM25 airburst assault weapon / grenade launcher (OICW Increment 2).

As of May 2004 the baseline design had been established and had met ATD exit criteria. Limited safety tests had been completed with satisfactory results, demonstrating that it was safe to load and assemble. The independent power supply was point detonating / render safe. The fuze functions had been demonstrated successfully. Power up and set time-to-burst had been demonstrated from the weapon (single shot and automatic) and test barrel. Adjust time-to-burst based upon actual muzzle velocity had been demonstrated from the weapon and test barrel. The ability to derive electrical energy from the launch environment (IPS) was demonstrated from the test barrel. The ability to retain launch derived firing energy over the maximum effective range (2000m) had been demonstrated from the test barrel. This is the render safe (RS) function needed to minimize the incidence of unexploded ordnance on the battle field.Point detonation capability against soft target cumulative successes indicated it met the SDD exit criteria for airburst reliability with respect to initiating the front warhead, but there was only limited demonstration of dual warhead airburst function.

As of May 2004 the plan was to conduct interactive projectile/fuze development to be executed at the start of SDD. Bench and flight testing would be conducted to evaluate design changes, with integration of new features into current baseline design, including a 50-meter no-arm distance. Planned demonstrations included: Improved airburst reliability; Airburst accuracy requirement; Explosive train reliability; Dependable propagation to aft warhead, and RS over maximum time of flight trajectory. The project planned to address producibility and cost goals throughout SDD. Regular updates to the Army Fuze Safety Review Board (AFSRB) were planned. Development test success would lead to a cartridge design verification test series of 2500 cartridges.

A micro-fabrication approach and micro-safe firetrain (MSF) loading process will be developed for high aspect ratio (HAR> 100m) MEMS based Safe and Arm Devices. This enabling technology will be used in precision air-bursting munitions of the 25mm XM25 and XM307 systems. These nontraditional approaches to manufacture will assist the advanced weapons in meeting affordability goals during production. A hybrid approach will be used to produce precision MEMS-fabricated molding and embossing tools to replicate plating molds for the high-aspect ration structures for the S&A die. The mold-transfer tools can also be used to directly produce plastic parts in quantity, resulting in very lowcost devices. Adopting MEMS technology for fuzing applications will require a move away from traditional explosive loading techniques (e.g., pelletized cup loading) and a move toward scaleable loading techniques.

As of 2004 various replication technologies (micro injection molding, hot embossing, ultra-violet LIGA) were being investigated. Researchers and specialized firms (Lucent Technologies, Department of Energy (DoE) Sandia National Laboratory, and Penn State University and Axsun Technologies) have been engaged in the area of mold design and powder metallurgy. Precision stamping tools have been produced and have been used to injection compress S&A components into polycarbonate micro-molds. Ultraviolet LIGA has been demonstrated as an alternative to X-Ray LIGA with similar feature fidelity and smooth HAR sidewall results. Several explosive formulations have been developed to demonstrate microscale firetrain loading technologies.

DARPA has invested heavily in Microsystems Technology in the past and has provided initial seed funding for this S&T effort. Domestic sources for HAR MEMS devices in small (military) quantities is currently limited to academia, DoE laboratories, and small design/fabrication houses. Various foundries were accessed through the Center for National Research Initiatives (CNRI) MEMS exchange network in Reston, VA. Fabrication of S&A components using Deep Reactive Ion Etch (RIE) and LIGA (German acronym for X-Ray, electroforming and molding) was accomplished under technical direction of the ARDEC Fuze Division. LIGA fabrication is being performed by Axsum Technologies, Livermore, CA.

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