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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

16 September 2015

DSEI 2015: Shrinking the Warheads

Engaging Time Critical Targets (TCTs) today requires completely new warheads to pin-point both stationary and relocatable targets on the ground, and to avoid collateral damage in the target area. Today’s targeting processes and procedures have been dramatically reduced, so that TCTs must be engaged within a specified time frame, often in a fast and highly dynamic operational tempo. Most of which occur in an unpredictable fashion with respect to space and time. They must be handled by aircraft flying over the target area, where information, such as distance and time to target and type of target, is generally available. Sometimes complicating Close Air Support (CAS) missions, a decision needs to be made for dispatching aircraft to targets in accordance to target priority and aircraft availability, as well as Rules of Engagement (RoE).

The latter in particular call for a weapon that is subject to a variety of requirements, including minimised risk of collateral damage and high flexibility under operational conditions, e.g. in urban environments. The concept presented at DSEi in London by MBDA’s subsidiary TDW Gesellschaft für verteidigungstechnische Wirksysteme mbH enables layered detonation and deflagration of high explosives, allowing forces to act in accordance to target type, location, or environment. Company representatives told MT that the concept, named RADIUS (Range Adaptable Device Incorporating Unique Scaling), was developed to “deliver a new capability without the need to develop a [new] complex weapon dedicated to each kind of target and operational situation. RADIUS already has been tested by using an Mk82 bomb body, said TDW’s Business Development Manager, Andreas Seitz. These trials showed that MBDA/TDW’s technology can be easily integrated without changing the aircraft interfaces or altering the aerodynamic and physical properties. MT learned that exactly this technology offers another dimension of efficiency to this weapon that is widespread in the world’s inventories.

RADIUS is the latest addition to the family of Flexible Response Warheads like the Multi-Effects Warhead System (pictured). (Photo: Stefan Nitschke)

Stefan Nitschke

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