3D printing of multiple fuzes to choose how many parts of a bomb explode

The Air Force Research lab is working on conventional explosive bombs with adjustable explosive force. Air Force Research Lab has over $5 billion per year in funding which is more than the $3.5 billion of funding for DARPA.

3D printing will be used to make warheads with multiple built-in fuzes. This method allows the operator to explode part or all of the high explosive contained in the bomb casing. Different parts of the bomb can also be set off in different sequences to change the shape of the blast, focusing it in on direction as opposed to all directions. The result is a bomb that can take out a tank in the middle of a field or a terrorist vehicle nearby a crowded street in the same mission.

The new Dialable Effects Munition (DEM) is a 2,000-lb. bomb that can explode with full force or something short of that. A technology demonstrator, DEM probably won’t see combat.

Following that will be the Selectable Effects Munition (SEM), a 250-lb. bomb whose explosive yield pilots can adjust from the cockpit. Eventually, the entire U.S. military bomb inventory could be composed of dial-a-yield bombs.