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                               From the Desk of Guest Editor

                                     Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE) is one of the earliest
                                 laboratories established under the DRDO umbrella. It has, as its mandate, the design
                                 and development of conventional armaments for the Services and Paramilitary Forces.
                                 One of the areas in which ARDE has established core competence is the design and
                                 development of a variety of warheads and safety arming mechanisms. With its abundant
                                 experience, ARDE is contributing this critical element to a variety of weapon platforms
                                 such as rockets, missiles and torpedoes.

                                     In the pre-1980s period, development of warheads was done amidst constraints such
                                 as limited access to information in the open literature due to classified nature of the topic,
                                 absence of interaction among R&D organisations, industry and academia and lack of
                                 mathematical models for warhead design. Post 1980, emphasis was on finding solutions
   for better control of fragmentation patterns and blast effects against critical targets and study and improvement of
   the shaped charge mechanism for defeat of armoured targets. Indigenous development of preformed fragmentation
   warheads for Akash and Trishul missile system were major milestones. Development of Dentex explosive and
   availability of better fabrication facilities resulted in the development of a 1000 kg variable mass prefragmentation
   warhead for Prithvi missile with complex geometry. ARDE has immensely contributed to the success of the IGMDP
   by designing and developing a variety of warheads for the missiles. A major technological breakthrough has been the
   development of submunition warheads for various medium and large calibre missiles, rockets, bombs and artillery
   systems. An innovative warhead test vehicle has been evolved for test and evaluation. DPICM bomblet, incendiary,
   prefragmentation and penetration-cum-blast submunitions have been established for warheads for Prithvi missile,
   Pinaka rocket and artillery rounds. Use of advanced simulation methods and conduct of numerous sophisticated
   experiments resulted in the successful development of 50 kg shaped charge warhead in anti-submarine role and
   tandem shaped charge warheads for neutralising MBTs protected with Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA).
      To meet the increasing requirement of highly accurate weapons with enhanced lethality that inflict low collateral
   damage, ARDE has forayed into the cutting edge technology area of directional warheads. Thermobaric warheads
   containing fuel rich explosive composition which produces blast overpressure as well as heat energy on detonation
   are being developed by ARDE based on thermobaric composition developed by HEMRL. Tank ammunition using
   thermobaric composition has also been developed.
      Warhead technology development is a complex, multi-disciplinary field. Specialised testing and evaluation
   facilities are required to visualise the events. Demand for high performance warhead systems is on the increase.
   Since the present war is fought in urban areas, warheads with higher accuracy and low collateral damage are the
   need of the hour. ARDE has constantly undertaken technology development activities for advanced warheads. These
   are aimed at enhancing the performance of conventional warheads. A few of them are high performance shaped
   charges having low length to diameter ratio, concrete penetrating warheads based on follow through technology
   and kinetic energy rod warhead against tactical ballistic missile class of targets.
      This issue of Technology Focus brings out an introduction on the complex warhead technology and ARDE’s
   contributions towards development of warhead systems for various weapon platforms.

                                                                                                             Dr K M Rajan
                                                                         Distinguished Scientist & Director, ARDE

2 May-June 2018 								Warhead for Missiles, Torpedoes and Rockets
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