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Kinetic Energy Penetrator

What is kinetic energy penetrator?

A kinetic energy penetrator (also known as a KE weapon) is a type of ammunition which, like a bullet, does not contain explosives and uses kinetic energy to penetrate the target.

The term can apply to any type of armor-piercing shot but typically refers to a modern type of armor piercing weapon, the armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS), a type of long-rod penetrator (LRP), and not to small arms bullets.

The 'Fin' round travels at around 975 m/s (3200 ft/s), resulting in the generation of three and a half tones of force when it comes in contact with a weighted and/or fixed object. Energy, and therefore speed, inevitably decreases during flight, however it is still very deadly at ranges up to six kilometers.

The opposite technique to KE-penetrators uses chemical energy penetrators. There are two types of these shells in use: high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) and high explosive squash head (HESH). They have been widely used against armor in the past and still have a role but are less effective against modern composite armor such as Chobham as used on main battle tanks today.

The principle of the kinetic energy penetrator is that it uses its kinetic energy, which is a function of mass and velocity, to force its way through armor. The modern KE weapon maximizes KE and minimizes the area over which it is delivered by:

  • being fired with a very high muzzle velocity

  • concentrating the force in a small impact area while still retaining a relatively large mass

  • maximizing the mass of whatever (albeit small) volume is occupied by the projectile—that is, using the densest metals practical, which is one of the reasons depleted uranium is often used.

This has led to the current designs which resemble a long metal arrow.

          French anti-tank round with its sabot                        APFSDS at point of separation of sabot
        French anti-tank round with its sabot                   APFSDS at point of separation of sabot

Tungsten alloy can be used as the component in the kinetic energy penetrator, and Chinatungsten Online can provide the tungsten products used in kinetic energy penetrator. If you get any enquiry, please feel free to email us: or call us by: 0086 592 512 9696, 0086 592 512 9595.


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