Monday, February 26, 2007

SELF-FORMING FRAGMENT MUNITIONS: Explosively formed projectile, what's the difference?

The Danger Room blog expertly shows the ubiquity of EFP munitions here and here. The message in it is that one someone in the government or US military says a national fingerprint is found in some weapon, implicating some culprit we love to hate, your eyes should roll.

Last week on the Military channel's Futureweapons, a weekly show in which a shaven-headed ex-Navy SEAL gets multiple erections over assortments of bombs, guns and weapons platforms, your friendly neighborhood GlobalSecurity.Org Senior Fellow spotted a segment on EFP's developed by Alford Technologies of England. Alford's EFP is called the Krakatoa and it was peddled as a modern equivalent of the Limpet mine for special forces.

Futureweapons has been free advertising for Alford with the company's chief scientist as nutty professor showing off his special bombs in the backyard. For this episode he slapped together a copy of the Krakatoa for the ten minute segment. Not so hot for the show, DD didn't hear the word "EFP" once, something that revealed the segment was made long before the military's recent dog and pony show for reporters made the acronym common usage.

Alford's website is here.

DD thought the term used to be "self-forming fragment" shaped charge and, indeed, one can find the name across the web in pieces on Russian bloc anti-tank mines in Serbia and even in this old book, "Explosive Loading of Engineering Structures," here.

Reactive, or Chobham, armor is the old countermeasure for such charges, the text seems to indicate.

Futureweapons, as usual, is entertaining for all the wrong reasons.

Its writers are insane.

For a segment on a new recoilless machine gun that shoots "smart" grenades, the host beamishly goes on that previous to the invention of this miracle, US forces would have no recourse but to riddle a building with heavy fire. Now, with the new "smart grenade"-shooting machine gun, one can pump shells through the front window into the living room. The grenade waits until it's inside, then blows up, showering the interior with splinters, allegedly minimizing collateral damage so that people can move right back in.

That is, after they've picked the blood, flesh and bone out of the walls and removed and refinished the interior.

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