Propulsion Technology

AVT Demonstration on MHM at NATO HQ, October 2019
EFSS Mortar- Marine Corps
Impact on a Rocket Motor

MSIAC expertise in propulsion covers both propelling charges and solid rocket motors.

The Propulsion Technology TSO addresses the safety concerns of propulsion from the design phase to the end of life, including testing and evaluation, and surveillance.

1. Development of Expertise in Propulsion

The Propulsion Technology TSO gathers information, answers technical questions, and develops technical reports in this domain. A more specific focus is placed on in recent advances related to rocket motors and propelling charges.

A recent MSIAC publication covers these aspects:

  • L-224 Reaction Mechanisms in Rocket Motors

A RAM-mixed Falcon K round being fired during the MSIAC visit; picture courtesy of The Falcon Project ©

2. Testing

MSIAC maintains a catalogue of Insensitive Munitions testing facilities (L-106) and a catalogue of environmental testing facilities (L-196). The content of those catalogues is provided directly by the testing facilities. In addition, in order to help the testing facilities assessing their capacity to perform IM tests, MSIAC has developed a self-audit procedure. To date, this procedure was used by 5 test centres. An updated version of the MSIAC self-audit was published in 2022 (L-150 Edition 4). Documentation related to the self-audit is available on weblink.

Detonation of a 2000-kg charge of TNT in an earth covered magazine. Picture taken at the Cuira test campaign in June 2022

Recent MSIAC publications of interest on testing aspects include:

  • L-253 Instrumentation Techniques BLAST
  • L-255 Instrumentation Techniques VOD

3. Insensitive Munitions Database

The MSIAC databases managed by the Propulsion Technology TSO are AIMS and MTM.

  • Advanced Insensitive Munitions Search - AIMS

AIMS is a web-based platform for quick and easy search of IM (Insensitive Munitions) Test Results. It combines the test results on munitions response to the six IM Threats: Fast Cook-off, Slow Cook-off, Bullet Impact, Fragment Impact, Sympathetic Reaction and Shaped Charge Jet Impact.

  • Mitigation Techniques for Munitions - MTM

MTM is a web-based application allowing the search of techniques and technologies to mitigate the reaction of munitions against IM threats.

MSIAC published a series of reports related to mitigation techniques applicable to different munition systems:

  • L-199 Compendium of mitigation technologies for rocket motors
  • L-226 Mitigation Technologies for Warheads
  • L-249 Mitigation techniques for small calibre munitions and flares

4. In-Service Surveillance and Munition Health Management

In-Service Surveillance (ISS) of munitions is a key aspect in munition safety. A recently published report covers the ISS practices across the nations, with a particular focus on ISS for munitions containing solid propellants and gun propellants as they appear to pose the most issues during their surveillance program:

  • L-266 ISS Practices across Nations - International review of in-service surveillance practices

MSIAC also works on the safety and cost-benefit aspects of Munitions Health Management (MHM) through a collaboration with the AVT community from the NATO Science & Technology Organisation. This activity led to two Cooperative Demonstrations of Technology (CDT) at NATO Headquarters, in 2014 and 2019, where several nations got the chance to present the concept and the benefits of MHM to key NATO stakeholders and representatives from NATO nations. A video summarizes the key elements that were presented in 2014 ( and the technical report from the 2019 CDT is available on weblink

In AVT-RLS-375, MSIAC is now participating in the development of a research lecture series entitled “Munition Health Management Lecture Series – Implementation Challenges”. More information on this event can be found on the LinkedIn page.

Participants of the Cooperative Demonstration of Technology on MHM
October 2019, NATO Headquarters

MSIAC is currently involved in the review of the NATO Handbook for Munitions Health Management (AOP-4844) for the CNAD Ammunition Safety Group SG/B.

5. Insensitive Munitions Policy

Support is provided to update the Allied Publications related to IM Test procedures and their harmonization with the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria for the CNAD Ammunition Safety Group SG/B.

Recent MSIAC Publications related to IM policies and IM threats include:

  • L-290 IM Policies across the Nations
  • L-291 IM Threats versus Real-World Threats

Contact us for more information

Christelle Collet
Propulsion Technology TSO
+32 2 707 54 47