Benefits of IM on Static and Operational Storage

Ben Keefe (UK) is a Stokes Fellow at MSIAC since 29th  May.

His project is aimed at the benefits of IM on storage.

It is important to identify the potential benefits of Insensitive Munitions (IM) when compared to conventional munitions. These benefits help drive IM development throughout the explosives community allowing us to realise reduced hazard throughout the ownership cycle.

Within a munitions life cycle the two main areas where hazards and risks occur are during logistic phase and on operations. It is therefore important to review the impact of munitions with a reduced vulnerability and consequence in these areas, as these should be significant factors when choosing whether to procure munitions with reduced vulnerability and consequence.

The current area of study is based on regulations and policies based on the storage of IM. A series of documents including AASTP-1, AASTP-5, UN Orange Book, AOP-39 and AASTP-3 have been analyzed to identify how IM is defined, what testing is required, what impact IM has on storage requirements (specifically Quantity Distances), and what new and emerging policies will have an impact on IM.

This preliminary literature study has produced a series of conclusions:

  • HD1.6 has extensive test requirements with limited benefits in QDs
  • SsD1.2.3 has fewer test requirements than HD1.6 but offers better benefits in QDs
  • Small Quantity QDs will have a future impact on both SsD1.2.3 and HD1.6
  • Test Series 7 and AOP-39 IM assessment testing showing many similarities but needs harmonization
  • Test requirements could be confusing due to differences between regulations and policies

This work will lead into two case studies: the first being a review of the USS Forrestal accident with an estimation on how IM could have reduced or eliminated some or all of the explosive incidents within the accident; the second case study compares QDs of conventional munitions with those of IM to highlight the impact that IM could have on both static and operational storage facilities.

Abstracts for IMEMTS and the OME Symposium have been submitted with the view of presenting the case studies at both.

We are thankful that the Klotz Group Engineering Tool was made available for the analysis of the break-up behavior of storage structures within this project. Further attention will be given to the operational impact of IM.

After this 6 month project, the aim is to present the work at relevant meetings and symposia.