Project Manager MSIAC

British Army 81mm Mortar pit
Introduction of IM has played a major role in reducing the risk to the user. MSIAC continues to provide support to the community in it’s efforts to develop and introduce IM into service.
Analysis of accidents, such as that in Cyprus in 2011, remind us of the importance of munitions safety.

The MSIAC PM directs the daily activities relating to planning, managing, and coordinating MSIAC within the guidance provided by the MSIAC Steering committee and in accordance with the provisions of the MOU.


MSIAC continues to support many of the products and services that have been developed over the previous years. This includes answering technical questions, holding technical meetings and workshops, providing training, writing technical reports, supporting the NATO ammunition safety group AC/326, and updating and developing tools to support the munition safety community.  2020 also saw modest growth in new technical areas for MSIAC related to Electromagnetic Environmental Effects (E3) to include Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordnance (HERO) and MSIAC is providing support to the Military Committee, Maritime Standardization Boards E3 RADHAZ Working Group through the development of the MSTRAD tool.  This tool allows for the development of platform susceptibilities based on specific loadouts of munitions to assist in the management of HERO.  Further growth is expected in 2021 to support AC/327 WG/6 related to Life Cycle Environmental Profile (LCEP) testing for munitions in the areas of Mechanical, Climatic, and E3.

2021 will introduce a number of new Strategic Goals and Objectives and related efforts. Of particular note is the planned workshop on DEFECTS – Causes, Classification, and criticality to be held in 2021. More information is available on the website and in the newsletter. We also have a number of new Work Elements in addition to our ongoing projects and usual activities. These include:

  • Improved Understanding of Shock Initiation Tests.  The aim of this project is develop an improved understanding of shock initiation in current standard and developmental shock sensitivity testing methods. Surprisingly, the initiation of energetics in standardized gap tests is not completely understood and can sometimes be misleading. MSIAC will be supporting the AC/326 Shock Sensitivity Test Methodologies CWG.
  • Effect of Ageing on Energetic Materials and Munitions. This project will provide a consolidated series of reports dedicated to the effect of ageing on the performance and safety for the following elements: raw materials, GP, polymer bonded EMs, melt-cast and pressed formulations, flares and pyros, munitions and electronics.
  • Energetic Material Qualification.  A number of actions were decided at the MSIAC technical meeting on Energetic Material’s Qualification (EMQ) which was held in Bourges in June of 2019. This work element is a follow on to the actions taken by MSIAC to include the development of the EMQ self-audit and the list of mandatory tests for EMQ in a prioritized fashion.
  • Nanomaterials as Energetic Fillers.  This project will include research into the use of “nanoscale” energetic fillers 1-100 nm (10-9 – 10-7 m) for use in energetic material formulations and will deliver a report on the benefits and safety considerations. 
  • Statistical Tools for Ammunition Safety and Hazard Analysis.  This project will review the statistical significance of tests (set-back testing, proof testing, and IM fragment impact) and point to current work and tools to use for better recognition of the probability of an event. This also applies to the statistical tools available to aid in the detection of defects (PoD curves).
  • Property Estimations for Energetic Materials.  Here, MSIAC will assess and recommend the appropriate estimation scheme for different physical, transport, and shock properties of energetic materials.
  • Sensitivity Analysis of Life Cycle Costing for Munition Health Monitoring: Case Studies. MSIAC will explore the information, decisions, and benefits of Monte Carlo simulation in the context of Munition Health Monitoring and the impact on life cycle costs.
  • Advances in Effect and Consequence Models for Explosives Safety Risk Analysis (Stoke Fellow Project).  Models have been developed for prediction of fatalities and injuries due to debris and fragments in line with Debris and Fragment Distances (DFD) in AASTP-1. This project will support further development of state of the art effect and consequence analysis models to include debris hazards from masonry storage structures (Stokes Fellow project) and effect and consequence models consistent with AASTP-1 QD, and the effort will provide input for the MQDCAT tool.
  • Application of Herd Immunity Theory to Munitions Safety. The introduction of Insensitive Munitions (IM) creates safety benefits due to the reduced vulnerability and munition response in impact and Cook-off scenarios. When conventional munitions are replaced by IM this often takes place partially and in phases. This raises the question what is a critical amount or fraction of IM that will avoid escalation of accident scenarios. This work element will provide insight into the link between HIT and Munitions Safety, and may provide input to mixing rules in AASTP-1.
  • Novel S3 Approaches.  This project will examine how nations are reducing the timescales and cost of munition qualification programmes, including the methods, tools and use of cost benefit analysis tools.
  • Booster Explosives SoA. In 2006 MSIAC issued Report L-119 “A review of Fuze Booster Compositions for use in IM Applications.” This report identified progress that had been made to that time in the development of new booster compositions, primarily in an effort to replace Tetryl which had previously been the ubiquitous booster explosive. Recently, MSIAC answered a technical question on the hazard properties of booster explosives, and their contribution to munition level response. An update and expansion of L-119 would appear to be timely and of interest to the MSIAC community.

As always, I would like to encourage you to get involved in our programme of work during 2021. Please feel free to send us an e-mail requesting more information or to be kept informed or involved on any of our work elements. More information can also be found on the web site under the Areas of Expertise section

Contact us for more information

Charles Denham
Project Manager
United States
+32 2 707 5495