Andy Smith
MIne-action specialist

 
Black Adder disrupters ..

Andy Smith, 2018

Black Adder disrupters are designed to be easy to make and use, so providing a way in which Explosively Formed Projectiles (EFP) can be easily made and used to disrupt munitions and explosive hazards. Despite popular opinion, the projectile formed by an EFP is not 'plasma'. It is not even hot enough to make copper melt. It is under such imense pressure that a solid liner acts as liquid and the target material also acts as liquid. The target is not melted or burned, it just flows out of the way.
A drawing of the BLack Adder

An EFP can be either a 'jet' or a 'slug' depending on the shape of the 'liner' that will make the EFP. A jet gives maximum penetration so is usually used in armour piercing munitions. A slug does not penetrate as far but makes a larger hole in the target, which is desirable when you want to encourage the target munition to either burn out or deflagrate because a large hole allows the burning explosive to vent better than a small hole.

The Black Adder differs from other designs of disrupter by delivering materials which encourage the slug to dissipate and burn inside the target. A deflagration or detonation is less likely that when using other designs, but may still occur frequently.

EFP disrupters often fail to form a jet or slug when air is entrapped inside the high explosive used behind the liner. To avoid this, the Black Adder has a clear acrylic body that allows air to be seen when filling it. EFP disrupters may also fail to penetrate the target when the standoff distance is too short for the penetrator to form, or when it is so great that the penetrator has started to break up before it hits the target. To avoid this, the Black Adder is designed to be used with an optimal stand-off distance.

The liners are made using a carjack press, copper sheet and unrestricted chemicals to give oxygen and fuel to assist with the burn.

Despite popular opinion, the projectile formed by an EFP is not 'plasma'. It is not even hot enough to make copper melt. It is under such imense pressure that a solid liner acts as liquid and the target material also acts as liquid. It is not melted or burned, it just flows out of the way.

The early testing of the Black Adders was reported in the JMU Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction (November 2017) and can be read here. The PDF includes many pictures which explain its use. The picture below shows its effects on fuzed mortar bombs, having burned the high explosive and generated enough gas pressure to blow the fuze from the munitions.

What the Black Adder did to HE mortar bombs in tests

 


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