L-086 Ed2 Fragment Impact Testing: MSIAC's Review and Proposal

September 2007
Michael Fisher (Propulsion Technology) , Frédéric Peugeot (Warhead Technology), & Updated by Pierre Archambault (Propulsion Technology)

One of the potential threats identified in NATO STANAG 4439, Policy for Introduction, Assessment and Testing for Insensitive Munitions, is Fragmenting Munition Attack, or Fragment Impact as it is more commonly known. Although a STANAG (4496) describing Fragment Impact Testing has been ratified, not all the nations have fully agreed with the contents. Throughout the relatively short history of IM testing, individual nations, and even individual organisations within the same nation, have developed and utilised their own equipment and procedures for Fragment Impact testing. This has led to the situation in which a variety of fragment shapes having different masses are launched by different means over a range of different velocities. This lack of standardisation makes it extremely difficult to extract any meaningful, comparable and representative data from the tests that are conducted.

Currently, there is a tendency within the international IM community to use the STANAG 4496, Edition 1 fragment and velocity, although some do not consider this as representative of the credible threats.

The NATO and national requirements for Fragment Impact, along with current testing procedures, are presented in Section 2. Section 3 is a study of the fragments that can be generated by existing munitions and a survey of the fragments used by the various nations and organisations to simulate these fragments. The impact of the many variables involved in Fragment Impact testing are also presented in Section 3, along with data gathered from the research efforts of investigators who have examined the interactions between these variables, their sensitivities and their effects on test results. Discussion of other relevant issues and recommendations from NIMIC workshops are included in Section 4, along with an analysis of the data presented in Section 3. The report concludes with a summary of the information, which can be removed and used as a stand-alone guide. A compilation of numerous fragments and fragment projection devices, past and present, can be found in Annex A.

The following sections of this report have been updated in this edition:

  • Section 2: The NATO and national requirements for Fragment Impact;
  • Annex A: The fragments and fragment projection devices

In addition, it has been reformatted and numerous editorial changes have been made.