L-037 IM Testing: Response Descriptions

February 1997
Patrick Touzé (Detonics and Terminal Ballistics)

Starting from the definition of IM, from IM requirement goals, and from past and present, National and International documents describing reaction Types and "violence of reaction" scales, this paper defines the objective of Working Group 4 of the 1997 NIMIC Workshop on IM Testing.

This objective is to improve the definition of the NATO "IMness scale" (currently the Type I to Type V reactions) used for IM assessments by STANAG 4439, in order to improve the international credibility of these assessments.

It was found that three levels of topics could be dealt with:

  • the definition and maintenance of a unique set of NATO Reaction Types, in a single document, is recommended. This is in contrast with the current situation where several definitions are maintained. These definitions are very similar to each other, and it would be clearer and cost-effective to merge them into a single one, that could be drafted by the Working Group as a "best of" from existing definitions;
  • the current NATO definition of IM is not considered fully consistent with IM requirements. This can be misleading, and two specific points could be discussed. One of them is about the words "minimize the probability of inadvertent initiation". These words are part of the definition of IM, but IM requirements say nothing about this probability. The other one is about the words "severity of subsequent collateral damage to weapon platforms, logistics systems and personnel". They are also part of the definition of IM, but IM requirements do not really provide tools to measure this damage; they rather deal with "effects of reaction", or "violence of reaction".
  • possible changes to the definition of NATO Reaction Types could be recommended. Questions like how many and which Reaction Types are needed, how to deal with propulsion of the item, whether or not to define Reaction Types more quantitatively could be dealt with. During this discussion, it would be important to keep in mind who the customers of IM assessments are, in order to define the Reaction Types which are of the best possible added value to them.

The agenda that will be prepared for Working Group 4 is intended to be based on this paper.