O-038 The NIMIC IM Testing Approach

November 1997
Jason deW FitzGerald-Smith (Warhead Design), Andrew J. Sanderson (Energetic Materials)

Prior to the first of the 1997 NIMIC Workshops on IM Testing, the staff at the NATO Insensitive Munitions Information Centre (NIMIC) prepared a paper describing a test methodology which better meets the requirements for IM assessment (The NIMIC IM Testing Approach, NIMIC-IB-147-97). The primary goal of this methodology was to provide real knowledge of all the possible munition responses for each of the threats defined in the IM STANAG, STANAG 4439. The methodology also provided a means of presenting such test information to all the stakeholders who have a direct involvement with the munition, and as well how the testing could also be cost effective.

The approach for this methodology will be, in principle, the same for all threats defined in STANAG 4439. For the first IM Testing Workshop, the NIMIC approach concentrated on the three stimuli of Fast Heating (FH), Slow Heating (SH) and Reaction of an Adjacent Munition (RAM). In preparation for the second IM Testing Workshop, the approach presented in this paper will focus on the three stimuli of Bullet Impact (BI), Fragment Impact (FI) and Shaped Charge Jet Impact (SCJI). In addition, it will incorporate any recommendations from the first IM Testing Workshop which resulted from the working group discussions on the 4 topics of developing a testing protocol, explosiveness data, standardizing full scale test methods and response descriptors. As with the first paper, the methodology will not address what constitutes an acceptable response in individual full scale tests, nor will it cover, over a range of tests, what will be necessary for a munition to be assigned the IM Label. However, it will 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 full scale tests are, i.e. the ideal bullet impact. 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.

Presentation details

Paper presented at the PARARI 97 Symposium held on 12-14 November 1997 in Canberra, Australia