HomeNewsArticle Display

Eglin engineers test bombs with brains

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFPN) -- Determining if warheads can penetrate underground targets and detonate after counting floor levels or measuring depth was the focus of recent sled testing on a Hard Target Smart Fuze here.

HTSF engineering team members placed the fuze in an inert warhead on a 2,000-foot test track and sent it through walls at a speeds of 1,300-feet per second, said DeAllen Hobbs, Air Armament Center HTSF engineer.

He said the HTSF features a device that measures impact and depth of burial. When a bomb hits a floor or ceiling of the intended target, the device measures a high impact that looks similar to a seismographic recording of an earthquake; when a bomb passes through an open space or void, the device measurements are shorter, and it records a void.

The HTSF can be programmed to trigger detonation after a certain number of voids or impacts are counted, Hobbs said.

"If intelligence reported an adversary's biological or chemical weapons storage in an underground facility, say, four floors down, then the fuze could be programmed to detonate the warhead at the fourth void it counts and limit collateral damage," Hobbs said. "If we only know how deep it is underground, then we could program it to detonate at the depth required to hit the target."

Team members conducted seven successful HTSF tests on the sled test range here to validate the fuze's design capabilities to detect layers and voids, Hobbs said. During many of the tests, the fuze was also temperature conditioned along with the warhead; two warheads were soaked at 160 F for 12 hours, while two were conditioned at 65 F for 12 hours.

In one test, engineers sent an HTSF-equipped warhead through two feet of concrete, 15 feet of air, six feet of concrete, 12 feet of air and then six feet of concrete, Hobbs said. During the entire test series, engineers only encountered one failure which was directly related to the fuze at a low temperature. Hobbs said experts fixed the problem and retests of the fuze under the same low-temperature conditions verified it.

According to Hobbs, fuzes have been used in warheads since aerial weapons were first delivered in World War I. He said designs were simple then, serving mainly as safety devices for the airmen who worked with the munitions. Later models added time delays.

"This development is a quantum leap in a fuze's ability to function," said Hobbs.

The new fuze will enter flight-testing in April, with four tests scheduled, Hobbs said. Testing is targeted for penetrator warheads such as the BLU-109 and the BLU-113. He said the fuze is projected to enter production in January.

"No one has the capability this fuze provides," Hobbs said. "What's more is that we are doing this all in the same size and volume as the fuzes that were used in Vietnam, and we're having excellent results." (Courtesy of Air Force Materiel Command News Service)


Facebook Twitter
Sharp eyesight is key to an #Airman’s readiness to fly, fight & win. This #AirForce Tech Report highlights how… https://t.co/MaxAEXIOpz
Next-generation warfighting is all about data...yet sometimes our email doesn’t even load. @USecAF_Official is driv… https://t.co/5DsspMgYv8
Today is #MedalofHonorDay and we take a moment to honor our nation’s greatest heroes who have received the highest… https://t.co/B5CVsuV3vX
From foster kid to #Airman, mentor and raising the #AirForce’s next generation. @TeamMisawa https://t.co/7NmxHqOJGe https://t.co/vVoVVnjEgf
Riveting story! Learn more about Ms. Mae Krier, a #WorldWarII pioneer who joined legions of other Rosies in the wor… https://t.co/0QUBOzh4Rr
RT @HollomanAFB: Happy #NationalPuppyDay! Our #MilitaryWorkingDogs protect and defend us each and everyday. Check out these #adorable photo…
RT @AirForceMag: HIT THE BOOKS: Check out a non-exhaustive list of Air Force Chief of Staff @GenDaveGoldfein's reading recommendations from…
Some of us are women, but we are all Airmen! #WomensHistoryMonth https://t.co/pcBtWWIiE6
.@GenDaveGoldfein: "Celebration of #diversity and making sure we understand the flesh colored band aids is not abou… https://t.co/iUqNbSpCPB
.@RAFMildenhall #KC135 crew strengthened relationship with Romanian #AirForce through air refueling training. For m… https://t.co/8dGvm2HQwC
RT @SecAFOfficial: Mother nature can’t beat the 55th Wing! We will recover @Offutt_AFB from the devastating flood. Amazing American 🇺🇸 spir…
Today the #AirForce announced a new Infrastructure Investment Strategy following a yearlong review that brings a ne… https://t.co/i1yDRQkaPl
RT @Offutt_AFB: As the water has begun to recede, Team Offutt is in full recovery mode. https://t.co/6QPZ96UNZY
RT @SecAFOfficial: Thanks to Iowa leaders who just signed a bill to recognize out of state licenses for our military spouses! @SenJoniErnst
RT @SecAFOfficial: This will make a difference on our bases for decades to come...getting more out of every dollar we spend on #infrastruct
See how our aircraft maintainers keep our #F15s safe and mission ready! @142ndFW https://t.co/H6CrSoCCIg
RT @NASA: During today's spacewalk, we'll be taking questions about our @NASA_Astronauts' excursion outside of the @Space_Station. Ask ques…
RT @US_Stratcom: Global #StrategicDeterrence! Integrating #B52s from @US_EUCOM & @INDOPACOM to conduct simultaneous theater familiarization…
The #KC135 Stratotanker nose art "Black Jack" dates back to the #BloodyHundredth's battle-hardened days of… https://t.co/43zMmRWnsP