O-186 Prior NATO scientific and technical activities in Munitions Health Management
Over the past 20 years, the community of technical practitioners in munitions safety, quality assurance, life cycle assessment, and life extension throughout NATO have worked to accumulate and disseminate the Alliance’s knowledge on these topics, to facilitate exchange, growth, and interoperability. NATO member nations are constantly balancing the need to keep munitions items in their inventories longer, against the cost of surveillance programs to assure long-term stability and safety. Some nations are installing simple data loggers and sensors (costing between $100- 500) on individual munitions items, in conjunction with comprehensive basic and applied technology development initiatives to understand the aging and degradation mechanisms. The technology, known as Integrated Munitions Health Management (IMHM), may be used to extend the safe service life of munitions items like rocket motors, large warheads, and complex electronic guidance and control packages. The Alliance’s science and technology organization has worked with practitioners throughout the member nations to foster collaboration and exchange, and there are a number of activities which have facilitated this. This paper presents an overview of the topic, and highlights the major NATO science and technology activities in this technical area.