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E139 bomblet


Well-Known Member
Ordnance approved
The E139 Was filled with GB, This was a tester filled with a simulate.


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The simulant is EG, ethylene glycol. The E139 was designed to be delivered by the Lance missile, from the E27 warhead. A sister munition was the XM147, which was incendiary rather than chemical.


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Sorry about this guys I'm a bit slow when it comes to missiles - are these little things designed to fall to the ground and go bang when you step on them or do they explode mid air at head height?

The warhead is designed to open up at altitude, allowing the submunitions to disperse over a specific area. The submunitions burst on ground contact and disperse their contents, in this case GB (Sarin).
An explosive charge opens the warhead at a given point during the flight, forcing the submunitions into the windstream. The vanes on the side of the munition cause it to spin in the windstream, creating an effect known as magnus lift, which makes the munition try to move 90 degrees from the direction of fall. This makes the munitions move outward in a predictable pattern, rather than just fall as a group.

This spin can also be used to arm the fuze of the munition, typically through centrifigal force. Detonation can be by impact, impact delay, anti-disturbance - I have one which was an experiment in using VT fuzing.
Looks like the E130.

As for the E139, "Old chemical weapons and related materiel reference guide" from 2018 gives the following references :

1. Bush, O.J. 1971. Edgewood Arsenal Technical Report, EATR 4476, Test and Evaluation of E27 Warhead Section (Lance) Safety Features Involving the Agent Hazard. U.S. Army Munitions Command.
2. Bush, O.J. 1972. Edgewood Arsenal Technical Report, EATR 4613, E27 Chemical Warhead Section Final Report (U). Department of the Army.
3. Michniewicz, Peter. 1971. Edgewood Arsenal Technical Report, EATR 4517, Final Flight Test Report of the E27 Warhead Section/ Lance Missile, O8L. Department of The Army.
4. Michniewicz, Peter. 1971. Edgewood Arsenal Technical Report, EATR 4529, Final Flight Test Report of the E27 Warhead Section/ Lance Missile, 12L. US Army Munitions Command