Annex E. International Armaments Strategy
Army Science and Technology Master Plan (ASTMP 1997)

1. Processing of Tungsten Alloys for Penetrators (South Korea)

Description: The application of advanced materials technology to the manufacture of penetrators provides for enhanced ballistics, increased range, and lethality of projectiles. Specific heat treatment processes for tungsten alloys developed by South Korea offer the potential to enhance impact strength of tungsten penetrators. Tungsten penetrators are part of a larger category of anti-armor technology, in which the United States has the most experience. The United States has an extensive engineering database covering material processing, fabrication, and performance for this overall category. Within this category, the United States is a world leader in developing high density alloys [including tantalum and depleted uranium (DU) as well as tungsten], and the production of DU penetrators. Germany and Israel share the lead with the United States in advanced long-rod penetrators manufactured using tungsten alloys.

Justification: A near term objective of the ASTMP is to increase the ballistic performance of tungsten to equal that of depleted uranium (as measured in depth of penetration). South Korea has developed a unique heat treatment process which could greatly increase the impact strength of tungsten to meet ASTMP milestones.

Implementation: There is an active DEA with South Korea which has potential for significant contributions to ASTMP milestones and objectives.


Dr. Rodney Smith
Army Materiel Command
5001 Eisenhower Blvd
Alexandria, VA 22333-0001
e-mail: [email protected]


Mr. Stephen Cohn
Army Research Laboratory
2800 Powder Mill Road
Adelphi, MD 20783-1197
e-mail: [email protected]