In order to avoid the monopoly of the key chemical substances required for missile fuel by land-based companies, the U.S. Army hopes to further develop the means of biological process production. Pictured is equipment at the CCDC Chemical Biological Center.
Military.com reports that the U.S. military is looking at ways to attract domestic manufacturers to participate in the production of key chemicals needed to fuel the AGM-114 Hellfire missile, and that its secret weapon is genetically modified E. coli. . coli).
One of the key components of Hellfire fuel, 1,2,4-butanetriol trinitrate (BTTN), requires 1,2,4-butanetriol (BT) as its precursor. The U.S. Army currently relies on a single domestic supplier to produce BT, but in addition to this company, the only company capable of stable mass production and supply in the world is Shanghai Fuda Fine Chemical.
Although Shanghai Fuda is a private company, it is considered part of the CCP’s military-industrial complex due to its significant involvement in the CCP’s space and military programs.
To avoid a repeat of the monopoly of key weapons materials by rivals, scientists at the U.S. Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Chemical Biological Center are intensifying experiments to break the high cost of BT production with biological manufacturing, which has made U.S. manufacturers reluctant to enter the market. The military’s “combat capability development command” (CCDC) Chemical Biological Center scientists are intensifying experiments with biological manufacturing to break the dilemma of the high cost of BT production and the reluctance of U.S. manufacturers.
“Military.com” pointed out that the relevant experimental unit has used genetically modified E. coli and corn husk fiber to successfully produce 0.5 liters of BT with 99% purity, and after further improvement, it is estimated that the cost is less than half of the traditional process, and the damage to the environment is ” relatively low”.
Peter Emanuel, the scientist leading the project, said that bioprocess production could provide a range of important defense products, including heat-resistant materials for extremely sonic missiles, bioelectronic components that cannot be interfered with, and environmentally friendly textiles. The CCDC Chemical Biological Center expects to receive $24 million (about NT$670 million) in expansion costs over the next five years to increase its R&D and production capabilities.