40mm counter-drone munitions

Enhanced solutions for the kinetic defeat of small UAV threats

Military Technology

Two researchers at the U.S Army’s Armament Center have invented novel 40mm grenade cartridges for kinetically disabling or destroying small UAVs. The related intellectual property and technical data are available via license agreement to companies that would manufacture the munitions or components.

David Manley and Thomas Presutti’s first 40mm cartridge fires shotgun-style buckshot from a newly designed cup, the second fires a stack of aerodynamic rings.

Illustration of U.S. Patent 10,584,947 “Drag Separating Reduced Dispersion Pusher.”

U.S. Patent 10,584,947, issued to the Army on March 10, 2020, describes the sub-projectile carrier developed by the two engineers for controlling the spread of the buckshot BBs, which extends the maximum effective range of the munition.

“This invention utilizes a saboted pusher which acts as an aerodynamic containment device which is intended to pull off of the payload, due to the aerodynamic drag, instead of releasing it rapidly. In this way the shot is contained until a much greater distance from the barrel, thus extending the effective range of the projectile. In addition to this, the pellets are released more cleanly and in a contained manner, causing the pellets to disperse from the shot line at a slower rate. This containment enables the cartridge to produce a more concentrated grouping of pellets at extended ranges,” the patent states.

Illustration of U.S. Patent 10,408,591 “Stackable Kinetic Energy Ring Cartridge.”

U.S. Patent 10,408,591, issued to the Army on Sept. 10, 2019, describes their inventive munition containing six ring-shaped projectiles, which spread out to cover a large area and can create punch holes in the UAVs.

“In addition to being able to damage large portions of the UAS, being able to increase the probability of hitting the target is important due to the fact that UAS targets are often small moving targets. As a result, it is also important to have multiple sub projectiles in the defeat mechanism to increase the probability of hitting the UAS,” according to the patent.

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