Warheads Test Facilities & Impact Areas

The Warheads Test Branch capabilities include but are not limited to a wide range of technical tests, insensitive munitions tests, specialized one-of-a-kind tests, and special studies pertaining to explosive safety hazards. The Branch also has extensive expertise in the areas of explosive materials behavior; shaped charge, acoustics and pressure measurements, fuzing, safety and arming devices, conventional and self-destruct submunition technology, and environmental impact concerns and special studies.

The majority of the test and evaluation effort is geared toward determining the safety, functional reliability, and performance characteristics of warhead sections and their associated components for a variety of systems. The types of tests and operations conducted by the Branch include impact area data collection operations, safe and arm device centrifuge certification tests, high-explosive detonations, bullet impact, conflagration, 40-foot D;rop tests, sympathetic detonation, slow and fast cook-off, arena and other specialized tests related to safety testing. The Branch also conducts diagnostic testing which includes explosive train propagation, downloading of warheads and explosives, remote control cutting and steaming of explosive components, and assembly/disassembly checkouts of warhead sections and their associated components.

The Warheads Test Branch is organized into three separate operating sections:

  1. The Warheads Engineering and Assessment Section provides Test Officer support such as planning and coordination, engineering, test methodology development, and the interface between the customer and test support elements. This section also provides the data reduction capabilities and personnel to develop computer-software algorithms, data analysis and evaluation techniques, and software programs for data reduction and analysis. In addition, this section provides the capability for field data collection and reduction, processing of test data commensurate with specific system requirements, performance of test statistical analysis, and the reporting of rocket/missile warhead performance as required by Branch customers.

  2. The Warheads Test Section provides the test preparation, test set-up, test instrumentation, test conduct, operating procedures, thorough collection of field test data, and impact area preparation.