Grumman develops more lethal explosives for hypersonic and other missiles

Northrop Grumman has been developing Lethality Enhanced Ordnance (LEO) – a scalable, performance-enhancing warhead technology that replaces cluster bombs which have been banned in 2010.

They completed series testing of a new 50 lb-class warhead for future US air-to-surface and surface-to-surface hypersonic weapons.

The new warhead leverages the company’s Lethality Enhanced Ordnance (LEO) technology. It is a scalable fragmentation/penetration warhead solution developed by Northrop Grumman. The requirement was for no submunitions and to have less than 1% unexploded ordnance (UXO) after arming. LEO technology uses a thinned out shell casing supplemented with an inner fragmentation layer that can be scaled according to the target. They reached the desired destructive level and left behind no unexploded mini-bombs.

Northrop Grumman uses a modeling tool to accurately determine the size, velocity, and distribution (fuze sensor/height of burst) of fragmentation. This optimizes weapon performance. It also reduces the time spent in the design phase.