The Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced this week that it has developed a new material for warhead casings that will increase the lethal effect and likelihood of hit on an enemy target.
This material -- high-density reactive material (HDRM) -- would, according to an ONR press release (via Science Daily), replace steel without compromising strength or design. HDRM integrates explosives with the warhead casing and allows for chemical release after impact, increasing its lethal effect.
"Recent testing and demonstrations have consistently shown that the new casings can be integrated into naval missiles and are durable enough to withstand both high acceleration of missile launch and the forces exposed to during the detonation event," said Dr. Clifford Bedford, ONR's energy conversion program officer, in the press release announcement August 10. "The HDRM fragments can penetrate a target's skin, followed by a rapid and sustained combustion/explosion."
The press release states that HDRM has the strength of aluminum alloys but the density of steel, which is important for existing weapons to maintain accuracy of a hit.