Munitions
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By William S. Frisbee Jr.

 

Grenades, Artillery, Missiles, Rockets and Bombs can do more than just explode. Usually it is not the explosion that kills it is the shrapnel or contents of the munition. There is a wide variety of munitions available today, in the future there are likely to be more. Below is a list of current munitions marked with a (c) and science fiction type munitions.

A note on 'ACID'. The term acid is a term I use to describe a nanotechnology based robot, microscopic, that disassembles whatever it lands on. Acid can also be used to describe a chemical compound. The problem with chemical compound is rarely are they destructive or versatile enough for military application.

Most munitions today rely on shrapnel to kill the target. When a bomb explodes it sends metal fragments flying in all directions. That is why more and more modern militaries are equipping their personnel with 'flak' jackets and helmets. Shrapnel is usually not as powerful as regular bullets and can be stopped a lot easier. As body armor becomes more common and fighters are equipped head to foot in it, shrapnel will lose its effectiveness and probably be phased out for something else that is even nastier.

ADHM-Air Delivered Hover Mines. These mines hover and home in on targets that do not transmit a friendly code. They can be anti-personnel or anti-vehicle.

ADM(c)-Air Delivered Mine. A variety exist. One type, the anti-personnel mine, hits the ground and shoots out several long wires. After thirty seconds to a minute the mine arms and anything disturbing the wires will cause the mine to explode. After so many days (or hours) the mines detonate on their own and allow passage through the area.

ANTI-TANK MINE(c)-This is a shape charge that is designed to blow off a tread or destroy a vehicle. Some mines have metal prongs that stick up and if

BOMBLET(c)-These are usually artillery rounds that break apart in mid air and deliver a large number of grenade like explosives throughout the area. They are most effective against infantry in the open and infantry in trenches without overhead protection.

BOUNCER(c)-These have various names but they all will hit the ground (or wall or whatever) and then 'bounce' up about one to two meters before exploding. This creates an airburst that is more effective against people who have taken cover.

CAAP-Concentrated Acid Anti-Personnel. This is designed to kill unprotected personnel or lightly armored personnel.

CAAT-Concentrated Acid, Anti-Terrain. This is used to destroy terrain (like a jungle) that might help conceal the enemy.

CAAV-Concentrated Acid Anti-Vehicle. This is designed to destroy vehicles and will probably do a fine number on people.

CAM-Concentrated Acid Mist. This creates a mist of nano-destroyers that can cause damage to aircraft as well as grounded units.

CAMERA-This kind of munition (most useful on expendable missiles) has a camera mounted so the user can direct it or gather intelligence on the subject.

CAMP-Concentrated Acid Multi-Purpose. This is designed to kill personnel as well as vehicles and installations.

CLAYMORE(c)-This munition was designed to defeat human wave attacks. Basically it is a directional mine that is detonated on the command of someone safely out of the area. Current mines are slightly curved with the outer curve facing the enemy. An explosive (C4) is packed inside. Also along the outer curve is a mass of ball bearings that will be propelled by the explosion. The detonation of a claymore can kill someone out to its front to a range of around two hundred meters. Someone behind it can survive if they are up to fifteen meters (in the open) and five meters if they are sheltered. You do not want to be in front of a claymore mine. In Vietnam the enemy would sneak up and turn them around.

DISCARDING SABOT-These rounds are encased in a material that breaks off the round (allowing it to be fired by larger caliber guns). The round is like a harpoon that cuts through metal and punches a hole clean through the target. The velocity is so high it tries to suck all the contents of the vehicle out the exit point. This is usually fatal to the occupants even though they don't fit.

ECM-Electronic CounterMeasures. These rounds send out an electromagnetic pulse to disable sensors in an area. Other types of ECM rounds could have different effects, like creating the illusion on sensors of vehicles powering up. This could really distract an enemy from their actions if they believe a hidden force is preparing to attack.

EMP(c)-This emits an electromagnetic pulse that fries electronics. It is harmless to humans but it is very hard to protect electronic equipment.

FAE(c)-Fuel Air Explosives. This releases fuel into the air above the enemy and then ignites it. Aside from scorching anyone in the open, it sucks all the air out of bunkers and causes them to collapse.

FF-Fusion Fireball. Energy emissions might have a 'shrapnel' effect.

FLARE(c)-Like the illum round flares provide illumination and are different colors for signaling.

FLETCHETTE(C)-This kind of munition fires thousands of high velocity needles at the target.

ILLUM(c)-This is an illumination round that when fired slowly floats to the ground providing illumination at night. Various colors also allow the user to signal other units. For instance in Desert Storm a green and red flare signaled troops to don protective gear to protect against chemical or biological agents.

MICROWAVE-This emits electromagnetic radiation that accelerates water molecules. It would cook anyone within the blast radius.

MOLLY WIRE-These release strands of molecule thick wire over an area. Like barbed wire, they would cut deeply and are almost undetectable.

NF-Neutron Fireball. Energy emissions might have a 'shrapnel' effect.

PLASMA FIREBALL-An explosion of superheated gas. This is unlikely to have a 'shrapnel' effect but it might have other effects like EMP.

ROBOTIC MINE(C): Currently in production, these mines use various sensors to detect targets. When the target is detected, an attack is launched. For instance, if a robotic tank mine detects a tank it will lock on and fire a projectile up into the air in an arc that will land on the tank. The round will then strike the tank on its weaker top armor. Anti-helicopter and anti-infantry mines would also be available.

SHAPED CHARGE(c)-These rounds are cone like with the inside of the cone facing the target (although a light shell is present to make the round aerodynamic). Explosive force inside the cone is channeled toward the target to create more destruction and penetration. Most modern armor is designed to defeat shaped charge type weapons.

SMOKE/AREOSOL(c)-There are a wide variety of these. Smoke can be different colors for signaling and it can be of different types. For instance some smokes can block laser beams (imagine if troops were armed with lasers). Smoke can also be used to conceal friendly movement.

THUNDERBANG-This round explodes harmlessly. It is designed to be used during an attack and follows real rounds. When an attack is underway the artillery unit switches to Thunderbangs to prevent friendly casualties. The enemy, still hearing explosions thinks they are still under fire and is less likely to move from their positions.

W.P.(c)-White Phosphorus. This is a very nasty round that is very effective against enemy units. It is like napalm and covers almost everything. It cannot be put out, even by submerging it in water. To remove a burning patch from flesh it has to be scraped off.

 

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