L-039 The NIMIC IM Testing Approach

April 1997
Benjamin B. Stokes III (Propulsion Design), Jason deW FitzGerald-Smith (Warhead Design), Andrew J. Sanderson (Energetic Materials) , Ian Barnes

This paper has been prepared by staff at the NATO Insensitive Munitions Information Centre (NIMIC) and describes an internationally acceptable Test Methodology which better meets the requirements for IM Assessment. The primary goal of such a methodology is to provide real knowledge of all the possible Munition Responses for each of the Threats defined in the IM STANAG, STANAG 4439. The methodology must provide information to all the Stakeholders who are concerned with the Munition and must also be cost effective.

The approach for this methodology will be, in principle, the same for all threats defined in STANAG 4439. However, as this paper is being produced in preparation for the first of the 1997 NIMIC workshops on IM Testing it will concentrate on the three Stimuli of Fast Heating (FH), Slow Heating (SH) and Reaction of an Adjacent Munition (RAM). The methodology will not address what constitutes an Acceptable Response in individual tests, nor will it address, over a range of tests, what will be necessary for a munition to be assigned the IM Label. However, it will be necessary to examine the Reaction Mechanisms occurring in a munition in order that any tests conducted give reliable and useful data. This paper will not determine what the most appropriate Parameters of each stimulus to be used in the tests are, i.e. best Heating Rate. These issues, including what constitutes Credible or Worst Case threats, are considered to be outside the scope of this paper and are not necessary for describing the general approach to IM testing.