Today I´d like to talk about engineering in the Armamends industry.
This is a brief view on an industry, wich is very successful in business, highly
responsible for the future of the world, and therefore very often discussed.
Germany is playing a hugh role in the ranking of the worlds leading manufacturer of
I´d like to introduce you to some companies, like the german-french EADS and
Rheinmetall, one of the world’s top suppliers of defence technology and security
I want to present you two technical developments of these two companies. At first
the Milan missile system, especially Milan ADT invented and constructed by EADS in
2006. And the main battle tank „Puma“ manufactured by Rheinmetall.
I´ll talk about the advantage of thermal imaging for military uses and
at the end I´ll show you some different types of missiles.
Let me start with some facts, first.
Germany made in 2006, 9.1 billion Euros in the export of weaponry. Thats an
increase of 3 billion Euros since 2002 and it´s increasing further.
Main export are tanks and trucks for army uses. Followed from electronics, warships
and aircraft technologies.
Major importers of german weaponry is Greece with 883 Million Euros, followed from
the USA with 592 Million Euros.
As you can see, besides the two companies, EADS and Rheinmetall, there are more
manufacturers in Germany like the Diehl Stiftung and Krauss Maffei with a profit of
over one billion dollar per year.
EADS, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company made 43.3 billion
Euros in 2008 and employed over 118,000 people. The EADS group includes Airbus,
the commercial aircraft manufacturer, Eurocopter, the world largest helicopter
supplier and EADS Astrium, the European leader in space technology and
In 2006, the EADS invented and constructed the Milan Missile System ADT, an
advanced version of the Milan Missile, which was first developed in 1972.
Milan is a portable anti tank weapon.
The system is comprised of an ADT firing post and the missile.
ADT stands for advanced technology.
The new version of the Milan Missile is a weapon of medium-range. Which
sounds weak, but stands actually for a range of 3,000 meters with still a hit
probability of 94%.
A missile flies 3000 meters in just 12.5 seconds; that are 240 meters per second.
The launch unit, with two missiles weighs less than 45kg.
MILAN has it´s missile in a waterproof launch tube. The missile is an Anti Tank
guided missile.
To aim at a target, the infrared localiser measures the angular deviation between the
missile and the line of sight to the target.
Launching a missile happens in two stages.
The first stage burns for 1.5s to eject the missile from the launcher to a distance of
about 3m, and then the second stage burns for 11s giving it the maximum speed.
Since 1972, over 360,000 missiles and 10,000 launch units have been produced.
They are in service in 41 countries worldwide.
The new ADT firing post has an integrated thermal imager (TI). This is a very useful
technology for military and mostly used in this field.
The integrated TI replaces an additional Imager which had to be carried by a soldier
before and is reducing now the logistic effort.
A TI makes it possible to focus on the target in darkness and also to detect even
good disguised objects.
Thermal imaging is a type of infrared imaging science, called thermography.
Every object emits Infrared radiation.
The amount of emitted radiation increases with the temperature of the object.
The camera takes pictures of the differentially emitted radiation between warm and
cold objects. The original picture shows just different types of grey for different
radiation. The camera converts it into a jpeg format and transforms every shade of
grey into another color. White for very warm objects over yellow and red to blue for
colder objects.
Every military battle tank got an integrated thermal imager.
For example main battle tank „Leopard“ has a TI with a CMT detector, which stands
for cadmium mercury tellurid. This detector shows the radiation of objects very
bright, because its cooled down before to a temperature of minus 190°C.
„Leopard“ is a very successful developement by Rheinmetall in cooperation with
Krauss Maffei.
Reihnmetall is a leading manufacturer of technology for ground forces. They have
annual sales of 1.8 billion Euros and employ a workforce of about 9.200 people.
In the picture on the right, you can see the ammunition for Leopard.
The latest and very interesting invention by Rheinmetall, and again in cooperation
with Krauss Maffei is the new main battle tank Puma.
Puma is an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) which is known as the best-protected IFV
so far.
The battle tank is of modular construction. This means, it´s build up from just a few
complex components, it can be dismantled and rebuilt easily and is so, fully air
transportable in an Airbus 400M.
Puma has an engine power of 800kilowatt, that are 1088 hp. It´s maximum speed is
70 kilometers per hour forward and 30 driving reverse. The engine compartement
has its own fire suppressing system.
The cabin is NBC proof, which means it can resist nuclear, biological or chemical
Another advantage is the ability to flexibly mount different armours.
Rheinmetall invented it´s primary armament, an autocannon with 30mm Air Bust
The autocannon is a rapid fire projectile weapon, with a larger caliber than a
machine gun.
The Secondary armament is a mounted HK MG4. HK stands for Heckler and Koch,
another german company, which is very successful in manufacturing guns and
The MILAN system and battle tanks are using missiles for munition.
The word missile describes powered, guided munition, the word „rocket“ describes a
powered, unguided munition. And Unpowered, guided munitions are known as
guided bombs
Missiles vary in theire type of use and in the range of theire flight.
There are four main types of missiles:
Surface-to-Air missiles, Air-to-Surface missiles, Surface-to-Surface and Air-to-Air
As you can see on the picture, MILAN is a Surface-to-Surface missiles. The launch
unit is hand-held and the missile travels low to the ground.
Surface-to-Air missiles are launched from the ground to destroy aircraft. The launch
unit can be mounted to a special vehicle or placed on a warship.
Air-to-Surface missiles are designed to be launched from military aircraft and strike
ground targets on land, at sea, or both.
And the last category are Air-to-Air missiles which are guided missiles fired from an
aircraft for the purpose of destroying another aircraft.

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