L-067 Background Paper to the NIMIC Risk Workshop

October 2000
Rodrigue Boulay (Mitigation Methods) , Leut Andrew Clark (RAN)

Broadly stated, Risk Management is the art of protecting your assets from hazardous operations. For a military force, coming under enemy fire and returning fire is as risky as it gets. Therefore good risk management must enhance the survivability of weapons platforms and resources. The concept of Insensitive Munitions was born from the need to improve the survivability of weapons platforms and is accomplished by redu cing the vulnerability of the weapons they carry. Traditional (as opposed to IM) munitions are vulnerable to aggression or unplanned stimuli and their responses are likely to be sufficiently energetic to affect the capability of platforms to complete their missions. While the cost of repair and replacement of assets may be easy to assess, the tactical and political repercussions are not as easily quantifiable.

Insensitive Munitions are being developed with the purpose of reducing the probability of initiation in response to an unplanned stimulus, and, should initiation take place, reduce the violence of the munition response in order to minimise the collateral damage to the surroundings, including the platform. This implies a reduction of risk to military operations, assets and resources. How we define this risk reduction to ensure that safer munitions are introduced into service is not always obvious.

The purpose of this paper is to give an overview of some of the issues that will be discussed during the NIMIC Risk Workshop in November 2000. It is hoped that the paper will provide the participants with a framework from which to begin the discussions.