Air Weapons: Damning The DIME

Archives

January 14, 2009: For the last two decades, the U.S. and Israel have been developing smart bombs and missile warheads that have less collateral damage (the possibility of hurting people, especially civilians, adjacent to the target area). This has led to smaller smart bombs and missiles. In the 1990s, this even led to the United States filling some smart bombs with concrete, so that 500 or 1,000 pounds of inert material would just destroy anti-aircraft guns or radars sited in residential neighborhoods, and not harm nearby civilians ("radars in the playground" was one of Saddam Husseins favorite tricks during the 1990s).

Another direction of this research was even more exotic, and this was Dense Inert Metal Explosive (or DIME). This was a warhead that contained explosives mixed with a dense metal powder. Tungsten metal powder was used most successfully. When these warheads exploded, the tungsten particles quickly accelerated, and tore apart anything they hit. But these heavy particles quickly lost their momentum. This meant that anyone four or more meters (13 feet) from the explosion was hit with the blast, but not by lethal, high-speed tungsten particles.

The only problem with DIME is that, like tank gun penetrators (which also use heavy metals like tungsten), the heavy metal that remains in the area is a health risk. That's because all heavy metals (including the lead in bullets) causes cancer. For that reason, no one has used DIME warheads yet.

Hamas insists that Israel has used DIME, but Israel denies it. Hamas provides no proof, but anti-Israeli media in the Europe and the Middle East pick up the lie and propagate it as true. This has happened before, and will happen again. As far back as the Korean War (1950-53), China accused the United States of using chemical weapons because American military police used tear gas to break up riots by North Korean and Chinese prisoners-of-war.

 


Article Archive

Air Weapons: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close