Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH of Ratingen, Germany has just acquired the industrial property and trademark rights for the Penetrator with Enhanced Lateral Effect (PELE) and Active Lateral Penetrator (ALP) from the Swiss-based company futurtec AG.
The two technologies significantly enhance the effectiveness and versatility of existing ammunition. In future, Rheinmetall plans to market them in conjunction with ammunition procurement and upgrade programmes both at home and abroad. Concurrently, negotiations are underway with Diehl BGT Defence GmbH & Co. KG of Überlingen, Germany to acquire licences in various special calibre segments.
Because of the way they work, PELE and ALP can be used in all types of tube-fired artillery ammunition as well as rockets and missiles. These new technologies modify their performance characteristics, enabling them to meet current and future military requirements. Extensively tested, PELE and ALP significantly enhance the accuracy of tank and artillery fire, substantially reducing the risk of collateral damage.
Additional benefits: PELE and ALP make it possible to manufacture warheads containing little or no explosive. Moreover, existing ammunition can be inexpensively retrofitted with PELE and ALP technology. Both technologies can be integrated in full- and sub-calibre rounds, and fired from current and future weapon systems.
PELE technology makes it possible to produce fully inert projectiles. Non-explosive PELE ammunition consists of a high-density casing containing a core made of low-density, low-compressibility material. Upon impact with the target, the low-density material inside the shell is compressed to such an extent that the casing bursts, generating numerous fragments that are propelled in the direction of fire. This way, the round’s lethal impact is restricted to a defined space or limited area, reducing the likelihood of collateral damage.
The Active Lateral Penetrator takes the PELE principle a step further: ALP technology can be used to create a highly effective inert penetrator or a delayed-action shell containing small amounts of explosive; the ratio between penetrating power and lateral impact can be adjusted in the process. With an Active Lateral Penetrator, the projectile’s final ballistic impact in and on the target is attained with a small amount of explosive that can be activated irrespective of the charge’s position. This creates a pressure field which is transmitted via an inert conducting medium (e.g. liquid, plastic or metal) to the surrounding shell casing, causing it to burst into fragments or release a swarm of sub-projectiles.