O-070 Insensitive Munitions Assessment Methodology:a NIMIC/AC-310 joint Workshop

August 2002
Michael Fisher (Propulsion Technology)

In March 2002, the NIMIC cosponsored with NATO AC/310 a workshop entitled Insensitive Munitions Assessment Methodology. The goal of this workshop was to formulate a process for planning, conducting and reporting the Insensitive Munitions (IM) assessment of a munition. This process, which is to be integrated into the munition development/acquisition cycle, will serve to build-in IM capability, starting early in the acquisition process, and provide increased confidence in the results of an IM assessment by taking into account all available data. Sources of data to be considered include expert analysis, historical databases, small-scale testing, modeling and simulation results, generic/component testing, as well as full-scale IM testing.

More than 60 munitions experts from 12 nations participated in the workshop activities. The participants were tasked with determining the activities conducted during each stage of a typical acquisition cycle that could influence IM capability or require input from the IM community. Process flowcharts were generated for each stage, and applicable IM assessment tools and available sources of useful data were identified and linked to the appropriate portions of each flowchart. In this way, an integrated process was generated, along with a toolbox containing guidance on using all of the available assets to increase confidence in an IM assessment, without great impact on the program budget.

A key output of the workshop was the agreement that the core activity of an IM assessment is Risk Assessment. Furthermore, it is vital to build a complete and traceable assessment around this core activity, in order to obtain true confidence in the eventual assessment of a munition's likely responses to IM stimuli. The results of this workshop should play a key role in shifting the IM community away from the current norm of assessing IM capability primarily by conducting one or two full-scale tests, to a more considered assessment based on examination of all available sources of data.

Presentation details

This paper was presented to the 30th US Department of Defense Explosive Safety Seminar (DDESB) on 13-15 August 2002 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia, USA