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Insensitive Munitions Explosive (IMX)


Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Aug 14, 2009
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BAE Systems IMX-101 has been approved to replace TNT in US Army artillery.

BAE Systems press release:

BAE Systems IMX-101 Explosive Approved to Replace TNT in U.S. Army Artillery

26 Jul 2010 | Ref. 170/2010

ROCKVILLE, Maryland - The U.S. Army has approved a new BAE Systems explosive as the first safer and effective alternative to replace TNT in artillery. The decision is a major step toward the production and use of a new family of high-performance insensitive munitions that are designed not to detonate under conditions other than the intended mission.

The company's IMX-101 explosive is significantly more stable than conventional TNT, making it safer for troops to transport and handle. TNT typically behaves violently if subjected to an accidental stimulus, such as fire. TNT-loaded munitions also are susceptible to enemy attack.

Conversely, the new generation of insensitive munitions is designed to sustain chemical stability when subjected to mechanical shocks, fire, and impact by shrapnel, while performing as intended, when needed.

"IMX-101 explosive has the potential to revolutionize military ordnance," said Jerry Hammonds, vice president and general manager of ordnance solutions for BAE Systems. "This transformation will help save lives on and off the battlefield."

The Army has initially slated the explosive formulation as a TNT replacement in the new IM M795 155-millimeter artillery munition. It also has deemed IMX-101 a suitable replacement for any large-caliber munitions requiring the energetic performance equivalent to TNT.

BAE Systems developed IMX-101 in partnership with the Army at the Holston Army Ammunition Plant in Kingsport, Tennessee. BAE Systems manages and operates the Holston plant for the government, with a total of about 700 employees and subcontractors.

Sea Skimmer

Jul 13, 2008
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This is nice; we’ve already got a number of IM missile warheads in service, extending IM technology to lower cost bomb and shell warheads is much needed. The difference in safety is pretty massive and that will mean not only lives saved, but dramatically less damage to equipment in wartime. Incidents like the Doha Motorpool fire and that B-1B collision and explosion in Qatar the other year really point to the massive risks military bases face from muntions even when people aren’t trying to bomb them.

Course its also bound to take thirty more years to phase out the last TNT filled shells from the arsenal.