RE: Guided Missile
|| Guided Missile
Missles.ppt (Size: 1.17 MB / Downloads: 60)
Perhaps it should first be said that this is a difficult project to write in the context of this assignment. Cruise missiles are not a natural resource, and the production of them is not transparent enough to adequately track the entire product life cycle from cradle to grave without further investment of time and research.
Another point to be made is that while the use of natural resources for producing these weapons is significant, it’s quite small in comparison to industries like the automotive or commercial aerospace industries. Accordingly, I place less emphasis on the exploitation of these materials and the communities affected by production and extraction, and instead focus on variables more relevant to the topic and the approach to this study
In the study of the guided missile industry in the US, I found that there was little information about contaminants in the production facilities and the areas that surround them. While I do not wish to completely dismiss the exceptions (there were many), upon closer inspection, I found that the actions of these corporations and their #1 customers (the Pentagon) outside of the US were far more appalling (see Vieques, Puerto Rico).
Consequently, I devote more attention to the problems of missile testing and disposal using Maehyang-ri as a case study. This provides an excellent example some of the non-conflict related repurcussions of missiles and other incendiary devices.
Bill of Materials
While the materials that make up cruise missiles are classified, it can be safely assumed that there is a good deal of aluminum, plastic, and steel alloys involved in the production of the frame. Additionally, there are lightweight and heat resistant ceramic compounds, as well as structural plastic (some ‘corrugated’, and some structural foam). The engine is largely composed of aluminum and steel alloys, as well as the fuel tank. In the tomahawk missile, the fuel supply is a solid fuel compound, which undoubtedly contains nitrogen, some powdered metal, crystalline oxidizer, and a polymer (plastic) binding agent. The launch tube is made of a special resin (plastic) that is monofilament wound for stability and endurance (but not re-use!) In this section, I go into details of the missile’s materials and their sources.
makes up most of the outer hull, and much of the structure for the frame. Aluminum is the third most commonly used metal in industry, after iron and steel. It is used here (and typically for aeronautical purposes) because it’s lightweight, and in some cases stronger than steel. Aluminum occurs naturally, but for industrial purposes, it is extracted from bauxite ore. There are numerous bauxite deposits worldwide, mainly in the tropical and subtropical regions, but also in Europe and the southeastern United States. Bauxite is generally extracted by open cast mining from strata, typically some 4-6 yards thick under a shallow covering of topsoil and vegetation. Aluminum is extracted from bauxite ore in a process that requires incredible amounts of electricity, which is the key reason for its higher cost relative to steel. Recent examples of indigenous peoples being upset/displaced by bauxite mining operations can be seen in the cases of Alcoa Mining company in Indonesia (under Suharto) and in the acts of civil disobedience in response to Hydro Aluminum’s operations in India.
is used in reinforcement, the fuel tank and in smaller hardware (In the Tomahawk, some of these may be substituted for titanium). Its advantages are low cost, a wide range of attainable mechanical properties, and a high modulus of elasticity (ductility). Steel is primarily iron and carbon, and is processed and alloyed with other metals to achieve different properties. Iron ore is mined worldwide, and the US, not surprisingly, is the biggest importer. To become steel, iron is melted in a blast furnace to remove impurities, then goes through a series of cooling, reheating and/or “cold working” processes to achieve the desired properties. Steel is typically alloyed with Nickel and/or Chromium, though it is often processed with other metals as well. Industrial iron mining practices strip the land, leak toxins into the earth/water supply, and displace people. Steel mills release ash and other emissions in the air, as well as decreasing the quality of life of those who work and live in and around them.
The fuel source of the Tomahawk is a solid propellant. Without going into excessive detail, a solid fuel propellant intended for use in a turbofan engine is made up of nitrogen, some powdered metal, crystalline oxidizer, and a polymer binding agent. The specific formula for the Tomahawk is classified, but it should contain at least the ingredients listed above. Chances are, there is also an explosive to increase thrust.…and then there’s the payload (the bomb), the possible inclusion of depleted uranium (DU), and the guidance system (both on the missile itself and on the ground). I will cover the first two in the section on usage. The guidance system will be discussed briefly in explaining how the device works.