L-283 Recent Vulnerability Events due to Non-IM Munitions

August 2022
Ernest L. Baker
The violent response of munitions due to attacks, accidents or fire events has long been known to be a large vulnerability for munitions during storage, transport and warfighting. The USA, NATO and NATO partner nations have addressed these concerns through development of IM technology and implementation of Insensitive Munitions (IM) policy.  This report provides a review of recent vulnerability events due to munitions that are not IM compliant, observed in Ukraine and Russia during 2022. These include:
  • Munition depot explosions that are related to the violent response of attacked munitions. 
  • The Russian soviet-era missile cruiser Moskva sank after an on-board fire. According to media accounts, the cause was damage caused by an explosion of ammunition on board.
  • Vehicle vulnerabilities of Soviet-era tanks and personnel carriers due to the violent response of munitions. These vulnerabilities appear to be related to the ammunition and ammunition stowage configurations.
The violence of these events are likely due to the ammunition. These vulnerabilities appear to be related to the sensitivity of explosives, ammunition design without considering IM, and ammunition storage configurations. These recent events indicate that the violent response of munitions is an extreme vulnerability that is essential to address for our warfighters.

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