Common Low-cost IM Explosive Program. Development of Next Generation Insensitive Munitions: A Success Story
OFFICE OF THE PROJECT MANAGER COMBAT AMMUNITION SYSTEMS PICATINNY ARSENAL NJ
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One of the tenets of the Project Manager for Combat Ammunition Systems Mission is to perform life-cycle management of tube-launched indirect fire munitions. Contained within this area are high explosive HE projectiles and cartridges for artillery and mortar applications. There are a total of fifteen HE projectiles four for 105mm artillery, three for 155mm artillery three for 60mm, three for 81mm and two for 120mm mortar. All of these HE cartridges use either TNT or Comp-B fill. The PM decided to take a holistic review of pursuing IM and elected to execute the Common Low-cost Insensitive Munitions Explosive program. The CLIMEx Program Goals are as follows Primary Goal - Selection of one single common explosive fill for all artillery and mortar products Secondary Goal - Selection of two explosive fills, one that is common for replacement of TNT and another that is common for replacement of Comp B. During Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the CLIMEx program, a world-wide search of candidates was completed. During Phase 1, twenty three candidates were subjected to a battery of IM tests as per the specified protocol. The test protocol was established to account for screening candidates in a fair manner and at a affordable cost and schedule impact. Based on the results of the tests 3 candidates were identified as suitable to replace TNT and one candidate was identified as a candidate to replace Comp B. The three TNT candidates were further evaluated in Phase 2. IMX-101 was chosen as the TNT replacement candidate and IMX-104 was selected as Comp B replacement candidate. This paper will present an overview background, protocol and results of the U.S. Armys program to qualify a low cost, common IM explosive to replace TNT and Comp B along with the environment, safety and occupational health aspects of the new formulations.
- Ammunition and Explosives