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.