Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME)

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Armored vehicles
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Research of Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) technology is planned to integrated into SDB I within the next couple of years. DIME was developed to facilitate precise and focused attacks in densely populated areas, causing focused effect with minimal collateral damage. munitions based on DIME technology will benefit the warfighter in missions where standard munitions would inflict unacceptable collateral damage levels.

The research into DIME technology is conducted by the US Air Force Resarch Lab partnered with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. This technology was demonstrated in a low collateral damage warhead, allowing a "behind-the-wall" threat prosecution with a highly localized lethal footprint. The warhead case consists of a low-density, wrapped carbon-fiber/epoxy matrix integrated with a steel nose and base. The low-density composite case can survive penetration into a one-foot hardened concrete wall.

Upon detonation, the carbon-fiber warhead case disintegrates into small non-lethal fibers with little or no metallic fragments, thus significantly reducing collateral damage to people and structures. The warhead explosive fill is a dense inert metal explosive containing fine tungsten particles to provide a ballasted payload with sufficient penetration mass. The tungsten displaces energetic material so as to reduce the total energetic used. The net results are higher dynamic energy impulse all within a small lethal footprint.

DIME are among the technologies considered for inclusion in the Focused Lethality Munition (FLM) Upgrades for the Small Diameter Bomb (SDB). FLM exploites focused lethality munitions, which would further reduce a small diameter bomb's collateral damage. In the FLM, the steel casing will be replaced with one made of carbon fibers, thus eliminating fragmentation effect which, in standard bombs can reach up to 2,000 feet. FY2007 increase of $40.2M for Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) Focused Lethality Munition (FLM) supported teh examination of alternate bomb fills and casings into SDB Ipreparing for technology integration into SDB I.

Back to Issue 1/2007