O-218 Artillery Projectile Prematures Historical Review - Edition 1

June 2020
Dr. Ernest L. Baker
This document describes the results of an international historical review of artillery projectile premature explosions. The purpose of this review is to document artillery gun launch incidents that were potentially caused by projectile explosive fill issues. This supports the NATO AC/326 Subgroup A (Energetic Materials) Gun Launch Setback Ignition Study Working Group, which is currently developing a new STANREC and associated AOP: Suitability of Energetic Material Survivability under Setback Loading.
Additionally, it is hoped that such a document will provide a history of potential causes of gun launch premature explosions in order to support guidance provided by the new STANREC. The high acceleration environment and projectile filling issues are a major concern as the potential cause of gun launch prematures. In particular, it was recognized that artillery prematures were associated with filling faults in RDX/TNT melt cast explosives, bitmous liner materials and Composition A-3 (91% RDX) pressed explosives.

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