Munitions Transport and Storage Safety

MSIAC provides expertise and raises awareness to enhance the safety of munition 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.


2019 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. Collation and Analysis of IM and HC Test Data

  8. Risk and Tolerability

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 has conducted the "Improved Explosives and Munitions Risk Management" workshop from 10 to 14 September in Granada. The goal was to exploit an improved understanding of munitions vulnerability and consequences to deliver improvements in explosives and munitions risk management. The workshop brought 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. In 2019 various reports about this workshop will be completed and follow on projects will start.

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 2019 and five times in 2020. The maximum number of students per lecture series is 20. The dates and locations are as follows:

FRA  Versailles  25-29 March 2019

DEU  Berlin  1-5 April 2019

US/CAN  Quantico, VA  23-27 September 2019

AUS  Canberra  11-15 November 2019

NZ  Wellington  18-22 November 2019

USA  Ramstein, DEU  2-6 December 2019

FRA Versailles 23-27 March 2020

BEL Brussels 4-8 May 2020

DEU Erfurt 11-15 May 2020

USA Albuquerque 22-26 June 2020

POL Wrocław November 2020

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 1,000 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


Explosives Safety Munitions Risk Management (ESMRM) T3 course

This recently developed course will be provided two times in 2020:

BEL Brussels 4-7 February 2020

GBR TBD Q3/Q4 (TBD) 2020

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, The Netherlands 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

Collation and analysis of IM and HC Test Data

In IM tests, measurement of blast and fragmentation are conducted in order to determine the munition response. The same data could also be beneficial to inform the development of appropriate safety distances and consequence/risk analysis. To date, the data has not been consistently exploited for this purpose. At the recently held IEMRM workshop it was concluded that especially for munition responses deflagration (type IV) and explosion (type III) a good overview of the lower and upper limits of blast and fragmentation hazards is missing.
This work element will study existing IM blast and fragmentation test data collected from the open literature and that contributed by nations/test centres. By comparing peak overpressures and positive phase impulse with TNT blast curves, TNT equivalencies can be determined. This may lead to a range of typical values for response types (normalized for NEQ). In case of slower pressure rise times a comparison with gas explosion blast models will be analysed. Fragmentation characteristics such as mass and velocity data obtained from fragment pick-up and witness pack data will also be compared.
The work element will also make recommendations for additional testing necessary to develop safety distances and consequence/risk analysis methodology. For example measurement of thermal effects, and validation of the behavior of IM at a larger scale, e.g. in bulk storage.

Risk and Tolerance

The intent is to review international and national risk polices and their application to better understand differences between MSIAC Member Nations. Best practice with respect to quantitative risk assessment (QRA) will be reviewed as a means to inform risk decisions.  Finally, understanding how we should apply safety targets   for design (e.g. 1 in a million)and how this relates to tolerability will be assessed and defined (per use, for the programme, per person etc.).









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