The Warheads Domain of the MCM ITP (Domain 6) covers all target defeat mechanisms such as explosive effects and penetrators. The Domain has a number of Themes intended to stimulate appropriate research offerings. These are:
Controlled effects: This research theme encompasses the technologies, techniques and concepts that enable a payload to match its effects to a particular engagement (e.g. ‘tuneable’ or ‘variable yield’, ‘managed lethality’, ‘directed effects’, ‘directional effects’…) and includes control of collateral effects.
Effects against a wider target set: This theme encompasses those warhead technologies and concepts that enable a wider number of targets/target types to be addressed by a weapon system (e.g. ‘multiple effects’). This can include both multiple simultaneous effects and selectable effects.
Improved performance / efficiency: Performance/efficiency is defined here as the degree of effect produced for a given mass or volume of warhead. Improvement in warhead performance/efficiency provides numerous system and sub-system advantages. Examples of technology areas include liners, charges and initiation for high performance shaped charges and use of reactive materials.
Insensitive Munitions (IM/MURAT): IM is an area of current interest in both the UK and Fr. Recognising that IM is fundamentally an issue for complete weapon systems rather than for sub-components alone, there are nonetheless technologies and techniques that can be applied to warheads to improve a weapon’s ‘IM status’
Tools and techniques: The development and assessment of new warheads is increasingly reliant on appropriate tools and techniques. These include modelling and simulation tools and techniques such as hydrocodes and analytical models and extend to empirically derived algorithms.
The domain aims to fund a balanced portfolio of research which has been guided and assessed to have the best chance of success. The projects undertaken to date cover the five themes listed above reasonably well and presents a distributed portfolio of research that offers a balanced set of research projects, covering ‘underpinning’ work and ‘warhead concepts’.