A technology being developed to allow military forces to select the explosive output in theatre – commonly known as ‘scalable effects’ or ‘dial a yield’ – has been successfully demonstrated by TDW GmbH with support from BAE Systems Munitions.
The technology, an enhanced version of TDW’s RADIUS (Range Adaptable Device Incorporating Unique Scaling) system was demonstrated to an international audience on 21 October at the UK MOD’s Otterburn Test Range.
The RADIUS technology will allow military forces to control the effects of any blast / fragmentation or penetrator warhead between 10% and 100%, allowing them to focus on the chosen target and reduce collateral damages. Currently, military forces are limited to weapon systems with fixed explosive charges, so cannot reduce effects for targets in urban areas.
To perform the successful test, TDW integrated the technology into two identical Mk-82 500lb general purpose bombs containing the same quantity of explosive. Two separate firings were carried out at the same day – one at minimum output and a second one at maximum allowing a clear comparison of effects. The difference in effect was pretty obvious and impressed the international audience.
Ulrich Störchle, TDW’s Managing Director, said: “RADIUS could soon provide the answer to conventional and asymmetric threats in military missions. With the target-dependent, flexible effects provided by our RADIUS technology, we can address the needs of all armed services – land, sea and air. We are proud to show the high maturity of the technology and pleased with the level of interest shown by representatives from Armed Forces, procurement agencies and defence industry.”
Steve Fogg, BAE Systems Munitions’ Managing Director added: “Our Ridsdale Range team was thrilled to host this event and use its experience to help demonstrate the capability of TDW’s scalable technology. BAE Systems is always exploring innovations to better support the Armed Forces so we welcomed the opportunity to be involved.”
Missions in asymmetric scenarios call for high precision, so being able to adapt a warhead to the target is highly desirable. With present-day effector systems, this is possible only to a limited extent at most. The RADIUS technology developed by TDW will enable Armed Forces to optimise the operational efficiency of a strike and to offer the greatest tactical flexibility to achieve operational requirements under strict rules of engagement.
The technology allows Armed Forces to select the desired military effect up until the last moment before firing, thus reducing the number of weapon systems needed to fulfill their missions. The technology can be integrated into a wide range of warheads from indirect fire artillery shells, air-to-ground precision-guided weapons, anti-ship missiles with land attack capabilities to long-range cruise missiles.
TDW Gesellschaft für verteidigungstechnische Wirksysteme mbH is a subsidiary of MBDA Deutschland and the European leader in developing, producing and maintaining warheads and warhead systems as well as the associated components. As part of MBDA Deutschland, TDW has around 130 employees at its Schrobenhausen site.