Missiles, rockets, bombs, shells and other ammunitions form a vital part of the firing capacity of a military in modern warfare. Since these ammunitions are loaded with explosives, there is always a risk of explosion during storage, launching and handling. This requires the incorporation of some security gadgets into these ammunitions. The security system should work until the ammunition is propelled and after the launch, the firing mechanism should take control. In order to accomplish this, an arming mechanism is also required in the ammunition. All the above mentioned necessities are fulfilled by gadgets called fuzes. Fuzes are electronic or mechanical devices attached to ammunition to provide reliable and safe detonations at the desired time and place. These devices control safe separation of ammunition from the delivery platform and trigger its detonation.
Basic functions of fuze are arming, safing, firing and target sensing. Mechanical fuzes have their safing, arming and firing mechanisms which mostly involves mechanical components, linkages and other mechanisms. Due to their simplicity and ease of conceptualization, mechanical fuzes were the earliest fuzes developed and are still used for many different types of ammunitions. Fuzes operated by mechanical devices make use of mechanical linkages like gears, springs, rotors, sliders and plungers or a combination of some of these. As a result of extensive safety requirements, mechanical fuzes have many components and are of a clockwork design.
There are certain factors that are of primary concern while designing mechanical and electrical fuzes. These include safety and resistance, deterioration in use, handling and storage, reliability of action, simple construction and adequate strength.As a result of extensive safety requirements, mechanical fuzes generally have many components and are of a clockwork design. The electronic fuzes were developed in mid1960’s and thereafter, there has been continuous development in this technology. Today, electronic fuzes are being used in many modern weapon systems and have replaced mechanical fuzes in many places.
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Mechanical & Electronic Fuzes: MarketDynamics
The need for electronic fuze basically arises from the limitations of other existing fuze systems. The conventional mechanical fuzes contain all the necessary systems required for performing their functions efficiently. However, the intelligence integrated into electronic fuzes is absent from mechanical fuzes. Integration of electronics into fuze adds the required intelligence to the system and makes it more accomplished to do its job. This factor is primarily responsible for driving the growth of the electronic fuze market. There are some advantages of electronic fuzes over conventional mechanical fuzes. First, proximity fuze action is possible only with electronic fuze. Second, a great practical advantage of this type of fuze over conventional time fuze is that it releases the gunner’s responsibility of fuze setting, which essentially means that the operator has to only ensure that ammunition passes within lethal range of the target; the fuze does the rest. Third, in comparison to mechanical fuzes, electronic fuzes are light-weight and compact. This gives extra space to fill the explosive. However, these additional features comes at the cost of complex design and susceptibility of electronic fuze to some environmental and working conditions. Electronic fuze design becomes more complex due to integration of electronic circuitry and its interfacing with mechanical sub-systems.
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Mechanical & Electronic Fuzes: Market Segmentation
Based on product type, the global mechanical & electronic fuzes market is segmented into the following: Mortar Fuze, Artillery Fuze, Rocket Fuze, Aircraft Fuze, Others; Based on function, the global mechanical & electronic fuzes market is segmented into the following: Impact Fuze, Time Fuze, Proximity Fuze, Combination Fuze, Command Fuze, Others; Based on application, the global mechanical & electronic fuzes market is segmented into the following: Air-to-Air, Air-to-Ground, Ground-to-Air, Ground-to-Ground;
Mechanical & Electronic Fuzes: Market Participants
Examples of some of the market participants identified across the value chain of global mechanical & electronic fuzes market include: JUNGHANS Microtec GmbH, Action Manufacturing Company,Inc., Reshef Technologies Ltd., MAXAM Corp Holding, S.L, Reutech Fuchs Electronics, DIXI microtechniques;
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