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Old 07-17-2020, 06:27 AM
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Arrow Mad Scientists Wanted: The Air Force Is Experimenting With Rocket Fuel Bombs

Mad Scientists Wanted: The Air Force Is Experimenting With Rocket Fuel Bombs
By: Michael Peck - National Interest News - 07-17-20
Re: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/re...l-bombs-164931

A crazy idea that just might work.

Here's What You Need To Remember: One reason the U.S. military wants fuel-based warhead is because next-generation munitions will be smaller, which presumably means less space for both propellant and warhead, and thus an incentive to combine the two. The research proposal also speaks of the utility of dual-use fuels “particularly for air superiority,” which suggests that a fuel-based warhead would allow more smaller and more maneuverable air-to-air missiles.

The military uses explosives to blow things up. The military also uses rockets to carry those explosives to their targets.

So why not combine the two and create a rocket whose fuel also doubles as the warhead?

That’s the idea behind an Air Force research project to develop dual-use rocket fuel that also functions as a munition. The idea has precedent, though accidental and hardly desirable. NASA keeps gawkers miles away from the launch pad when it launches rockets from Cape Kennedy, because boosters powerful enough to send a spacecraft into orbit are also powerful enough to devastate the surrounding area if they explode (the explosion of a prototype Soviet Moon rocket in 1960 killed the head of the Soviet Union’s strategic missile forces). But the most famous demonstration of rocket fuel as a weapon came in the 1982 Falklands War, when the destroyer HMS Sheffield was sunk not just by the warhead of an Exocet missile, but also unignited propellant that set the ship ablaze.

Not surprisingly, what the Air Force wants is not just fuel that detonates like a bomb, but also detonates only when it’s supposed to. That’s no easy challenge. “While the energetic crystals within propellants and explosives are often similar indicating dual-mode potential, the formulations are different and optimized for their respective application,” the Air Force noted. Rocket fuel is designed to burn at a certain rate and over a broad range of temperatures (-65 degrees Fahrenheit to 165 degrees, according to the Air Force). Otherwise, the rocket spins out of control or explodes.

Interestingly, in an online Q&A with the Air Force, one company said it has a patent pending for a dual-use initiator that “has the capability to either initiate a rocket motor or detonate a warhead.”

But what's particularly noteworthy about the dual-use fuel concept is how the Air Force foresees using it. One reason the U.S. military wants fuel-based warhead is because next-generation munitions will be smaller, which presumably means less space for both propellant and warhead, and thus an incentive to combine the two. The research proposal also speaks of the utility of dual-use fuels “particularly for air superiority,” which suggests that a fuel-based warhead would allow more smaller and more maneuverable air-to-air missiles. “This approach has the potential to alter the paradigm of missile/munition design since it increases system flexibility by allowing additional thrust control in the terminal encounter and/or utilizing the larger surface area of a case to mimic a larger warhead for either blast or fragment distribution near a target,” the Air Force said.

Phase I of the project calls for contractors to submit a formula for a dual-use propellant. Phase II involves a demonstration that would consist of “burning the material with a motor, extinguishing burn, and detonating residual energetic material.”

About this writer: Michael Peck is a frequent contributor to the National Interest and is a regular writer for many outlets like WarIsBoring.

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These are like weapons that were discontinued by NATO.

Sounds like a Napalm weapon: Napalm is an enormously destructive weapon. It's very sticky and can adhere to the skin even after ignition, causing terrible burns. Because napalm burns so hot, slight contact with the substance can result in second-degree burns, eventually causing scars called keloids.

Napalm & Agent Orange. Napalm was first used in flamethrowers for U.S. ground troops; they burned down sections of forest and bushes in hopes of eliminating any enemy guerrilla fighters. ... Agent Orange is a toxic chemical herbicide that was used from about 1965 – 1970 in the Vietnam War.

Whereas; 1. Agent Orange was a herbicide and defoliant used in Vietnam. Agent Orange was a blend of tactical herbicides the U.S. military sprayed from 1962 to 1971 during the Vietnam War to remove the leaves of trees and other dense tropical foliage that provided enemy cover.

But: Exposure to Agent Orange is associated with many diseases. It can lead to diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and several forms of cancer. If you were exposed to Agent Orange during your military service, you may qualify for VA disability benefits.

(I lost my brother to AO and my wife lost her brother who also died from AO).

Nobody ever said "WAR" wasn't a nasty enterprise.

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