Robothistoriska Föreningen i Arboga
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Submunition dispenser M90
The sub-munition dispenser is a free-flying bomblet dispenser in the form of sub-munition explosives charges for destroying Air-to-Surface targets.
The sub munition dispenser M 90 was manufactured by the German company Lenkflug-körpersysteme (LFK), which is a subsidiary to Daimler Benz Aerospace (DASA).Sub-suppliers were Celcius Aerotech, SAAB Dynamics, Celcius Tech Electronics, Bofors el-al. The deliveries to the Swedish Air Force took place during 1997.
The dispenser could in the beginning be carried on AJS 37 Thunderbolt and later on only on JAS 39 Griffon.
The sub-munition dispenser M 90 has no motor of its own. After the release from the aircraft the dispenser sailplanes, guided by a program, to the target area at altitudes between 40 to 900 meters. (130 – 2.950 feet) The range after a release at a high subsonic speed was approx. 7 – 8 km (4.4 – 5.0 miles) flying straight or with a slightly shorter range after a side deviation of max 2.5 km (1.6 miles). After the firing phase the load was ejected from the dispenser and it fell down in parachutes to point of detonation of a few meters above the sub-target
The combat units were of two types: MUSJAS 1 and MUSJAS 2. MUSJAS 1 consisted of a parachute, a fuse and 1,4 kg (3 lbs) explosives, surrounded by approx. 2000 heavy metal balls. The weight was 3,7 kg (8,2 lbs). Sixteen launch tubes were loaded with three MUSJAS 1 units each. This combat unit was optimized for action against non-shrapnel protected targets.
MUSJAS 2 consisted of a parachute, a fuse, identical to the fuse of MUSJAS 1, a steel envelope that has been treated to form shrapnels by means of the so called EFP-system (Explosively Formed Projectile). The charge weight is approx. 6,0 kg (13.2 lbs). This combat unit was three times the length of the MUSJAS 1, each one filling a launch tube. Eight of the launch tubes were charged with MUSJAS 2, which made it possible combatting of shrapnel protected targets with the same dispenser as non- shrapnel protected targets.
Unexploded Explosives (Duds)
The sub-munition dispenser M 90 combat units were from the beginning designed with several different ways for self-destruction to eliminate the risk for duds. MUSJAS 1 and MUSJAS 2 versions were equipped with an electronic safety – and ignition system checking that:
1. The sub-combat units were set at safety until they has left the dispenser by holding the ignition system at zero current.
2. When the sub-combat unit had left the dispenser a thermos-electric battery was activated that partly gave power to the radar ground range measurement unit and partly supplied power to the ignition system but also in addition to these consumptions also slowly drained it over a resistor.
3. When the sub-combat units arrive at an altitude of a few meters above the ground level it will detonate.
4. If the sub-combat unit has not yet detonated it will trigger at the ground impact.
5. If the battery voltage has decreased to a level at which a trigger voltage is insufficient.
6. If the sub-combat unit hasn´t detonated according to the 5th stipulation, the battery voltage will continue to decrease to zero. No triggering can occur even if the sub-combat unit is exposed to beating or deformation. Therefore a dud cannot be brought to a detonation unless a new battery is applied.
The Oslo Convention on Cluster Munitions.
During the counselling of a Government change in September 2005 between the Arbeider Party, Socialist Venstre Party and Senter Party the parties agreed to act for an international ban against cluster bombs. The argument being that undetonated combat units had bodily injured many civilians a long time after the warfare had terminated and restricted them to culture farm land, where undetonated remained after a cluster bomb attack, According to the above review for “Duds” unexploded explosive ordnance from BK 90 should not remain on the ground after the warfare termination.
The political pressure from organizations e. g. the Swedish Peace Arbitration Association as well a number of Members of the Parliament and from news media made Sweden together with well over 100 countries to sign and eventually ratify the Oslo Convention.
Sub-munition dispenser M 90 was withdrawn from service and was scrapped in 2012.
It should be observed that a number of countries with substantial supplies of cluster weapons have not signed the convention. Among these countries are Russia, China, Israel and USA. Cluster bombs will obviously not disappear. The convention results for Sweden that these target today considered a threat, equally actual as during the development period, as they cannot be engaged.