5 Ways the New Army Explosive Will Help Our Warfighters



By Picatinny Arse­nal engi­neers Anthony Di Sta­sio, Philip Samuels and Char­lie Patel

How will this new explosive help our servicemembers?

1. Lethal­ity: IMX-101 has the same energy level and lethal­ity as TNT. It’s also just as accu­rate, because the new round main­tains the same bal­lis­tics as a TNT-loaded round.

2. Field­abil­ity: Pro­jec­tiles with the new explo­sive are sched­uled for pro­duc­tion in the form of 1,200 155mm M795 artillery rounds. They can be deployed to Sol­diers as early as next year. Picatinny engi­neers esti­mate the explo­sive will replace TNT entirely within the next 10 years.

3. Com­pat­i­bil­ity: Because it’s com­pat­i­ble with exist­ing 155mm pro­pel­lants and fuzes, the warfighter doesn’t have to relearn how to load the round or fire it. It’s essen­tially the same process. His weapon is the same, the round is the same – the only dif­fer­ence is the new chem­i­cals inside it. The new explo­sive is also being fit­ted for other pro­jec­tiles in the 155mm and 105mm family.

4. Safety: IMX-101 is less sen­si­tive to “unplanned stim­uli” – such as rocket pro­pelled grenades, impro­vised explo­sive devices and extreme high tem­per­a­tures. Thus, if a truck car­ry­ing a full load of these rounds was hit by an IED, for exam­ple, the entire load wouldn’t det­o­nate and destroy the whole sup­ply and the crew mem­bers. The dam­age would be con­tained to only the rounds hit by the IED, and even then, those rounds wouldn’t fully det­o­nate. If they were sub­ject to liq­uid fuel fire, the explo­sive mate­r­ial would burn quickly and melt from the top of the round, and the shell would remain intact.

5. Avail­abil­ity: Because it’s less sen­si­tive, the warfighter doesn’t have to main­tain nearly the dis­tance as he would from a TNT sup­ply. He can be much closer to his ammu­ni­tion; he can even keep his weapon, ammu­ni­tion and pro­pel­lant in the same area, which can’t be done with TNT because of its extreme sensitivity.

BEFORE

IMX-101 is compatible with existing 155mm M795 artillery projectiles like the one pictured here before undergoing a shape charge test. (Photo: US Army)

IMX-101 is compatible with existing 155mm M795 artillery projectiles like the one pictured here before undergoing a shape charge test. (Photo: US Army)

After

After being hit by a rocket propelled grenade, the IMX-101 explosive burns out and the shell breaks into a few pieces. It doesn't fully detonate and set off a mass explosion as it would if the round was loaded with traditional TNT. (Photo: US Army)

After being hit by a rocket propelled grenade, the IMX-101 explosive burns out and the shell breaks into a few pieces. It doesn't fully detonate and set off a mass explosion as it would if the round was loaded with traditional TNT. (Photo: US Army)

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  • Lorimay1

    wow!!!!as an “old ammo humper” the stuff looks great!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/ArmedwScience Armed with Science

    You're definitely going to have to explain to us what an “old ammo humper” is…