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Armaments

Misil launch The Armaments Functional Area embodies and organises the activities related to armaments, munitions, weapons systems and associated subsystems, together with sensors, fuses, and safe and arming devices.

The term ammunition is used here, in a broad sense, including cannon fire, rockets, missiles and mines, whatever the payload may be. Also included in this Functional Area are decoys based on pyrotechnic materials, as well as non-lethal means. The strategic importance of this Functional Area is quite apparent: it is a crucial factor in achieving the goal of superiority in any confrontation.

This Functional Area includes the following seven Functional Sub-Areas:

  • Munitions
  • Complex munitions
  • Fuses, sensors and activation devices
  • Pyrotechnic decoys
  • Weapons systems
  • Non-lethal means
  • General-application technologies

Munitions

This Sub-Area includes technologies related to artillery fire, rockets, mortar and tank shells, aerial bombs, hand grenades, small and medium calibre projectiles and warheads for more complex munitions.

It includes the following Technology Goals:

  • TG 1.1.1 Enhancing technological capabilities to increase the range/velocity of munitions.
  • TG 1.1.2 To enhance technological capabilities to increase the effects of munitions.
  • TG 1.1.3 To improve the security of munitions.
  • TG 1.1.4 To reduce the logistical footprint of munitions.

Complex munitions

This Sub-Area includes technologies related to munitions which, in addition to the warhead, comprise systems based on hardware and software elements that control its effects. Such systems include, for example, missiles, guided munitions (aerial bombs, rockets, and projectiles), advanced submarine mines or shoulder launched munitions. These systems introduce a higher degree of complexity into armaments with respect to design, internal energy requirements, mechanical resistance of control systems and integration into the weapon system.

It includes the following Technology Goals:

  • TG 1.2.1 To enhance technological capabilities to improve the precision of munitions using guidance systems.
  • TG 1.2.2 To enhance technological capabilities in order to develop submarine mine prototypes for controlled zones.

Fuses, sensors and activation devices

This Sub-Area addresses technologies concerning fuses, sensors and munitions activation devices. The terminal effect of a munition (and therefore of all weapons systems) depends to a large extent on optimising the moment and site of its activation when it reaches the target, and this is the role of the fuse. The fuse also ensures the safety of the user while handling the munition, prevents its activation at the moment of firing and detonates it at the required instant.

In order to meet international legislation and strict requirements with respect to damage reduction and control (including limiting the debris that may self activate in war zones) it is necessary to improve the security characteristics of the munitions activation system, that is, the fuse.

It includes the following Technology Goals:

  • TG 1.3.1 To enhance technological capabilities to improve munitions security with better fuses.

Pyrotechnic decoys

Helicopter countermeasures deployment This Sub-Area addresses technology concerning the development of pyrotechnic decoys, which are devices launched from a platform in order to attract an attacking missile and to divert it from its course. The increasingly effective discriminating powers of modern missiles make it necessary to develop correspondingly more complex decoys. Thus, the signal emitted by the decoy and its behaviour should be as similar as possible to that of the platform to be protected, for example with respect to the spectral emission, infrared image and even kinetic characteristics of the platform.

It includes the following Technology Goals:

  • TG 1.4.1 To enhance technological capabilities to overcome the missile’s spatial discrimination capabilities.
  • TG 1.4.2 To enhance technological capabilities to overcome the missile’s ability to detect the ignition of the decoy.
  • TG 1.4.3 To enhance technological capabilities to enable the formation of IR-emission chaff screens.

Weapons systems

This Sub-Area addresses technologies related to weapons systems, defined as systems designed to launch munitions (excluding the launching platform, if any). This analysis includes, in the same Functional Sub-Area, weapons of all calibres.

It includes the following Technology Goals:

  • TG 1.5.1 To improve the fire effectiveness of weapons systems.

Non-lethal means

This Sub-Area addresses technologies concerning non-lethal systems or weapons, those specifically designed to incapacitate or deter individuals or to disable equipment (vehicles, infrastructure, etc.), minimising the probability of causing permanent damage to the latter or the environment.

It includes the following Technology Goals:

  • TG 1.6.1 To enhance technological capabilities to obtain a knowledge-management system for non-lethal means.
  • TG 1.6.2 To enhance technological capabilities to obtain experimentation capabilities for non-lethal means.

General application technologies

This Sub-Area addresses technologies of a general nature that can be applied to any of the above-mentioned Sub-Areas and which are considered to require enhancement.

It includes the following Technology Goals:

  • TG 1.7.1 To enhance capabilities for testing munitions and weapons systems.
  • TG 1.7.2 To enhance capabilities for modelling munitions and weapons systems.
 
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