The Future of Warheads, Armour and Ballistics / 23rd International Symposium on Ballistics
Backofen, Joseph Jr.
Brown, Ronald E.
Horst, Albert W.
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In 1983 a â Grand Old Manâ of Ballistic Science, Dr. Robert J. Eichelberger, wrote1: â Ballistic technology is generally considered a mature technology â as it should be after centuries of intensive attention of some of the finest scientific minds of the world.â He predicted that increased understanding of relevant physics and chemistry and development of mathematical techniques and computer models would be key elements in the future of ballistics and weapon system design. These predictions were very accurate! But to-dayâ s developments and those of the foreseeable future go beyond this. Warheads and ballistics â interior, exterior and terminal â are very dependent on the use and properties of energetic materials â propellants and explosives â for their functioning. New, potentially very powerful substances such as the N5+ and N5â ions and metallic hydrogen were created in labs. Air-breathing propulsion â ramjets etc. - and efficient use of the high combustion energy of some metals adds to the performance increase potential. Increased use of intelligence, computers, sensors and fuzing in weapons, munitions and armours has added another dimension to the efficiency achievable. New high-performance materials have also meant great increases in effects and protection potential. Developments possible in the next 20 years may have similar effect on warfare as the revolution in weapons, munitions and armour that occurred in the late 19th century. The statement that â Ballistic technology is generally considered a mature technologyâ is no longer true. Any nation that will abstain from following the developments closely and exploiting their advances will run the risk both of having weapons, munitions and protection that prove inadequate and of making grave mis-investments.
23rd International Symposium on Ballistics, Tarragona, Spain, 16-20 April 2007
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