L-229 - Experimental And Theoretical Basis Of NATO Standards For Safe Storage Of Ammunition And Explosives – Final Report

September 2019
Martijn van der Voort (MSIAC)
NATO standards for the safe storage of ammunition and explosives (AE) contain tables with so-called Quantity Distances (QD). These distances are aimed to provide an acceptable protection level to surrounding Exposed Sites (ES) in the event of an accidental explosion at a Potential Explosion Site (PES). The development of these standards took place over many decades by explosives safety experts and they have been adopted by NATO leadership considering a balance of safety, mission and cost. The QD are based on the analysis of a large number of explosives tests - and accident data. However, a comprehensive and transparent overview is currently missing.
An increasing number of nations base their national policies on NATO standard AASTP-1 or directly refer to it. In multi-national operations, there is a real need for co-located forces to coordinate explosives safety, and application of NATO standards ALP-16 and AASTP-5 is an important enabler. This further highlights the need for a common understanding of the basis of QD.
Therefore, MSIAC conducted an in-depth study to assess and document the basis of NATO QD criteria, and to compare them with additional testing and analysis accomplished in recent years for validation purposes. This report presents a structured approach to QD treating each Hazard Division (HD) and physical effect separately. This study focused on AASTP-1 EdB V1 (2015) and AASTP-5 Ed1 V3 (2016), but also presents an outlook to the next version of AASTP-1 (EdC V1), which is planned for 2020.

Contact us for more information: 

Martijn van der Voort
+32 2 707 5426
  • Eric J. Deschambault (APT Research)
  • Johan A.J. de Roos (ESSINT)