Munition Systems

Electro-Optical Tracker for projectile tracking and triangulation
Crew served naval 20mm cannon
Protected Patrol Vehicle with Remote Weapon System, Afghanistan
MLRS Camp Bastion Afghanistan

Safety and suitability assessment, testing, risk and risk management

MSIAC supports Member Nations in the safety and suitability for service assessment of munition systems, risk and risk management and sponsors tools to support these processes.


Topics of interest to MSIAC include:

  • Safety assessment of novel designs, new technologies and materials
  • New tools and processes for munition safety assessment
  • New risk  and risk management tools and techniques

MSIAC report their findings on munitions safety  through:

  • Journal articles, briefs and presentations;
  • Answering technical questions for Member Nations;
  • Reviewing and reporting on issues sponsored by Member Nations;
  • Maintaining SASO and MSAS software tools 

As the current TSO I have a professional interest in:

  • New processes and techniques for safety and suitability for assessment;
  • Test and evaluation techniques and processes;
  • Professional development of munitions safety staff;

To support those in the MSIAC community involved in any aspect of safety and suitability for service assessment of munitions systems.  The aim is that they support staff, and more specifically new staff, in better understanding the breadth and complexity of the domain of safety and suitability for service.  This is an area for ‘deep smarts’ with knowledge and experience gained with time through what can be a lengthy learning process. 

My current Work Elements are:

  1. Maintain MSAS and SASO
  2. Improve MSAS and SASO functionality
  3. Insensitive Munitions and UN Hazard Classification Harmonisationation
  4. Support to AC/326.  

  1. Maintain MSAS and SASO

MSAS is a library of munitions and safety related international and national standards considered relevant for the munition safety community and which are not classified. The contents are based on accumulated knowledge and understanding of documents that may be appropriate for as wide an audience as possible within MSIAC nations.  Documents are updated regularly by MSIAC staff as new editions are published or copied to MSIAC.

Safety Assessment Software Online (SASO) is a web-based application that assists anyone concerned with munitions safety in identifying the appropriate requirements in International and National Standards appropriate to a specific munition type and with specific components or characteristics.  

MSAS provides access to the complete document, SASO those parts of documents associated with design or testing requirements. If you cannot find a Standard please contact us and we will see if we can obtain a copy for you or advise you on the status of the Standard.  

  1. Improve MSAS and SASO functionality

MSAS uses the web view part of the main MSIAC electronic document management system, Laserfiche.  It has basic functionality for search and viewing documents and any changes we can make to this are limited by the Laserfiche software.  

The MSAS document libraries have been restructured this year and allow more intuitive access to documents by international organisation or country of origin.  We also retain all historic documents for ease of reference, not otherwise available from NATO.  If there is a document you require but cannot find in MSAS please e-mail us and we will see if we can obtain on your behalf.  

SASO functionality has been recently improved by revising the software to a similar look and feel as other MSIAC software tools so it is scalable across different platforms.  The form layout has also been revised to hopefully be more intuitive and easier to use.  Pending changes include improvements to the output and naming of Stadnards.  We have also recently reviewed Standards in SASO for caveats regarding access to non-NATO nations, these existing caveats are being reviewed as many appear to be legacy and SASO will be updated if possible.  If you have difficulty accesssing a document please contact us and we will see what assistance we can provide.  

  1. Insensitive Munitions and UN Hazard Classification Harmonisation

The NATO AC/326 CASG approved the creation of a Working Group (WG) to review and look at the opportunities, challenges and benefits of integration of NATO policy and process on Insensitive Munitions (IM), Hazard Classification (HC) and Hazard Frequency Analysis (HFA).  The Working Group is led jointly by UK and USA and has held a number of meetings supported by MSIAC to investigate the issues.  

Current efforts for 2018 involve presenting work undertaken to date in a number of forums to brief on current efforts and seek comment and feedback from the IM and HC communities.  

MSIAC support has been with arranging meetings and supporting development of the draft policy and proposals for restructuring of the associated policy documents.  

  1. Provide support to AC/326

Support is provided to AC/326 SG/A (IST) and SG/B. 

SG/A (IST): have responsibility for all aspects of the design safety and assessment of initiatory systems for warheads and propulsion systems.  Current work is focused on reviews of STANAG 4187, IM mitigation technologies and review of STANAG 2818, Demolition Systems.  

SG/B:  have responsibility for all other aspects of munitions design safety, testing and assessment.  Current key programmes of work include a review of the IM testing standards,  developing the new AAS3P series of standards and IM HC harmonisation. 

Contact us for more information

Matthew Ferran
Munitions Systems TSO
United Kingdom
+32 2 707 55 58