Safety of Ammunition Storage and Transport

MSIAC provides expertise and raises awareness to enhance the safety of ammunition storage and transport. Both in the home country and on deployed missions.

Current area of interest / work: 

Topics of interest to MSIAC include:

  • Explosives Safety;
  • Modeling of Explosion Effects and Consequences;
  • Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA);
  • Accident Reporting;
  • Insensitive Munitions;
  • Testing and Qualification;
  • Policy and Standards.

MSIAC report their findings on storage and transport of ammunition through:

  • Developing technical report and (journal) papers;
  • Answering technical questions for the MSIAC nations;
  • Maintaining a number of databases.

As the current TSO, I have an academic interest in:

  • Break-up of storage structures;
  • Modelling of debris and fragment throw;
  • Blast modelling;
  • Injury modelling;
  • Risk modelling.


2018 Work Elements:

  1. Answering technical questions;
  2. MSIAC workshop 2018: IEMRM
  3. Technical support for AC/326 SGC;

  4. Future developements in QD standards;
  5. AASTP 1 & 5 Lecture series;
  6. MSIAC National Exchange of Information Databases;

  7. Probabilistic aspects of initiation of Ammunition and Explosives; 

  8. Benefits of IM;
  9. IM and HC response descriptors.

Answering Technical Questions

The TSO Munitions Safety of Ammunition Storage and Transport answers technical questions from authorized individuals from MSIAC member nations. Relevant topics are: explosives safety, modeling of explosion effects and consequences, Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA), accident reporting, insensitive munitions, testing and qualification, policy and standards.

MSIAC workshop 2018: IEMRM

MSIAC is organising the "Improved Explosives and Munitions Risk Management" workshop from 10 to 14 September in Granada. The goal is to exploit an improved understanding of munitions vulnerability and consequences to deliver improvements in explosives and munitions risk management. The workshop will bring together stakeholders from the Hazard Classification (HC), Insensitive Munitions (IM), and explosives storage safety communities to develop a coordinated and optimised approach to managing explosives and munitions risk. More information can be found on the workshop page.

Technical support for AC/326 SGC

MSIAC provides technical support to AC/326 SGC, and gives advice on future development and priorities in relation to NATO guidelines AASTP-1, AASTP-4, and AASTP-5. MSIAC contributes to the NATO AC/326 SGC meetings and related custodian and technical meetings, and serves as a repository. A number of topics that are currently relevant are the harmonisation of HD1.2 Quantity Distances (QD) and HD1.1 Small Quantities QD (SQQD), harmonisation of standards for storage in the home country and on deployed missions, and development of QDs for Insensitive Munitions (IM).

Future development of QD standards

Quantity Distances (QD) given in NATO guidelines AASTP-1 and AASTP-5 have been developed over many years. In order to improve the transparency of these guidelines, a comprehensive report has been generated that gives the experimental and theoretical basis of the QDs. In 2017/2018 the MSIAC QD (MQD) tool will be developed which enables validation and further developement of QDs. 

AASTP 1 & 5 Lecture Series

During the AASTP-1 and AASTP-5 lecture series we teach explosives safety officers and others responsible for storage of ammunition how to apply Quantity Distances (QD) standards and risk analysis methods provided in NATO guidelines. The event will be organized six times in 2018. This means another busy year for instructors Johnny de Roos, Eric Deschambault and Tom Taylor. The maximum number of students per lecture series is 20. The dates and locations are as follows:

Germany              Berlin                    19-23 February (confirmed)                                                                 

France                 Versailles              19-23 March (confirmed)                             

Spain                   Madrid                  16-20 April (tentative)

Belgium               Brussels               28 May -1 June (confirmed)            

Finland                Helsinki                 20-24 August (confirmed)                                       

Canada               Ottawa                  22-26 October (confirmed)

Our MSIAC Steering Committee has decided to also allow students from non-MSIAC member NATO nations on the AASTP-1 and AASTP-5 lecture series at a cost of 500 Eur p.p. Another interesting development is that the lecture series has recently been registered in the Education and Training Opportunities Catalogue (ETOC) from the Allied Command Transformation (ACT). This makes the AASTP-1 and AASTP-5 Lecture Series an official NATO course.

AASTP-1 and 5 Lecture Series held in Rome, 24 to 28 October 2016

MSIAC National Exchange of Information Databases

With respect to Safety of Ammunition Storage and Transport, MSIAC maintains databases on the following subjects: hazard classification, accidents, explosion effects software, and nationally approved structures. These are available on the MSIAC portal.

To allow easy searching in the accident database, the MSIAC Accident Database Exchange (MADx) has been developed. MADx has over 12,500 contributions from US, UK, Canada, France, Australia and Germany, and has been made available to governmental users from those nations beginning of 2017. MSIAC invites future contributions from other MSIAC nations as well. MSIAC also provides short accident reports on the public website in conjunction with the newsletter. In special cases, like the accident in Cyprus in 2011, MSIAC conducts a forensic analysis of an accident.

Cyprus accident, 11 July 2011

Probabilistic Aspects of Initiation of Ammunition and Explosion

Application of statistical methods to predict the probability of initiation of ammunition and explosives. By treating the threat and sensitivity of the explosive as probability distribution we aim to obtain a more realistic prediction.

Benefits of IM

For the successful introduction of Insensitive Munitions it is important to quantify the costs and benefits. This work element focuses on the reduced explosion effects of IM in the event of an inadvertent initiation. It involves analysis of experimental data and the application of explosion effect models. This work has been a joint effort with a Stokes fellow, and has been finalized in 2017.

IM and HC response descriptors

The origin of projection criteria for Insensitive Munitions (AOP-39) and Hazard Classification (UN Orange Book) was investigated, and an improvement was proposed. This work element was finalised in 2016 but has led to ongoing discussions.








AASTP-4 Custodian Working Group meeting 2015 in Destin, FloridaCyprus Poster 2Harrier CrashDohaF15 Crash