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A First Order Method for Estimating Lethal Areas for Fragmenting Munitions



There is no specific definition for “lethal area” in the NATO glossary of terms and definitions, so one is proposed and developed. Further, this paper outlines a methodology that is based on a number of simplifying assumptions, that allows a fairly straightforward approach to predicting lethal areas for fragmenting munitions, ranging from large calibre high explosive (HE) shells to hand grenades and automatic cannon rounds. The advantage of this methodology is that it can be used to compare either similar munitions, e.g., bursting shells, or more disparate munitions, such as shells with anti-personnel grenades or anti-personnel mines. The paper also provides two worked examples: the 105 mm M1 HE round, for which a calculated lethal radius of 10.6 m compared favourably with a quoted value of 9.6 m and for the M26 hand grenade the corresponding values were 6 m and “greater than 5 m”.

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