Programmable 40 mm Munition Drone

DefendTex Drone-40 launched from the M320 40mm grenade launcher-

See: http://soldiersystems.net/2019/05/24/sofic-19-defendtex-drone-40/

M320 under barrel grenade launcher-

Brian

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Nice!
Guess they will be hard to find…

They say Defend Tex also offers a 12GA and 81mm version?
Can’t find anything on their website:
http://www.defendtex.com

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So it’s true, you can run, but you can’t hide.

I’d like to see a 155mm version of that one!

155 could carry and disperse a bunch of them… Or drone around for a bit and drop a big bomb on their head ;)

They are quickly getting smaller, aren’t they. I imagine drones and other programmable munitions like this will accelerate development of countermeasures, such as EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) generators to knock out electronics.

It might be out of scope of most people here but electronic warfare (EW) is a major segment on the modern battlefield.
There is 2 types of ammunition related to this (to what I remember now and without a lengthy research):

  • types increasingly containing electronics (for observation, guided munitions etc.)
  • types being part of the EW like Russian/Bulgarian radio jammers fired with artillery cargo projectiles (around for over 2 decades) and more recently also medium caliber ammunition and sholder fired rockets which are meant to affect electronic (and optical(/optronic) systems by coating them with a vapor/aerosol/microparticles of various materials (abrasive, corrosive, smearing, metal powders, mixes of the former and maybe others).

My life experience w the 40x46 which has a 180 g warhead, particularily the HEDP, does not suggest it is worth an expensive delivery system. Increasing payload to that of a 30x113 or 40x52 makes a BIG difference in anti personell effectiveness. (236 to 240 g if I recall). I have dropped low velocity 40x46 HEDP right next to targets and not touched them w frags, just modest blast damage. The HEDP does have good armor penetration, 6mm more than advertised which increases behind armor effects.

Alex, there is also a newer type (I think different from the Russian/Bulgarian jammers you refer to - correct me if I’m wrong). It permanently damages electronics with EMP or high power microwaves. Here’s an example in development (currently too large and fragile to be fired from a gun, so a missile or UAV is used): https://www.militaryaerospace.com/rf-analog/article/14033453/air-force-deploys-b52-missiles-that-could-disable-enemy-military-electronics-with-highpower-microwaves

Ground-based systems (microwave and laser) are also in development to destroy swarms of small drones.

Nuclear weapons produce a very large EMP, but use is obviously limited for other reasons. One of the US nuclear tests knocked out power in Hawaii nearly 1000 miles away from a 250-mile altitude detonation (code-named Starfish Prime, July 1962). Much too high to be called an “air burst”. I suppose it could be called a “space burst.”

I think it may be possible in the near future to package an EMP weapon (non-nuclear) into large caliber guns using a device called an explosively pumped flux compression generator: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Explosively_pumped_flux_compression_generator

These have been used experimentally to boost railgun velocities, but they are destroyed when fired. Of course, in artillery or missiles, this is not a concern.

Larry, yes, the non-nuclear types are also categorized as EMP (if I got it right) as the source for it is secondary.
The Russians have such systems down to the size of an RPG (for the RPG-29 if I am not misslead).
Also they are employing similar systems in manned airborne systems. Claimed to have been used successfully against US ships in the Black Sea. Hard to verify from any side as noone involved will give details, nor on the system used nor how effective it was on the target (guess the latter must be highly confidential).

There is definately more to come in future.