The ten impact areas operationally controlled and maintained by the branch can be used for air to surface or surface-to-surface flight test missions. The impact areas are circular, range in diameter size from 4,200 feet to 10,000 feet, and are grouped in the two following categories:

Live Payload (Phase-II) Impact Areas (Rhodes, Denver, and Stallion WIT)

These impact areas are designated as Warhead Impact Target (WIT) areas and are used for testing fully tactical high explosive warheads and for dispensing of tactical configuration submunitions where the live fuzing system will detonate the high explosive charge as intended in the tactical design. Only visual analysis is allowed in these areas and recovery of these submunitions is not allowed with dud submunitions destroyed in place. Remote controlled operations to included recovery, inspections, and failure analysis of failed conventional and smart submunitions can be performed under special circumstances utilizing the Warheads Test Branch remote controlled capabilities and equipment.

Phase I (Phase-I) Impact Areas (G-10, G-16, G-20, G-25, ABC-1, PUP, 649)

a. These impact areas are used exclusively to test inert warheads which do not contain high explosive charge and are used for dispensing of inert submunitions with only live detonators in the fuzing system. The Warheads Test Branch is also responsible for keeping these areas free of vegetation; therefore enhancing safety to impact area personnel and their ability to conduct the recovery and data collection operations.

b. The impact areas are grouped to ensure the safety of personnel who must enter the impact areas to collect data and to enhance the diagnostic effort utilized to analyze the functional aspects of submunitions. There are seven Phase-I and three Phase-II impact areas located throughout WSMR.

c. It should be noted that mixing of live and inert submunition payloads is not allowed. Only inert submunitions are fired into Phase-I impact areas, and only live submunitions are fired into Phase-II impact areas. Special consideration is provided to flight testing of missiles containing the high explosive (HE) unitary warheads. Flight testing of these unitary HE warheads is allowed into the Phase-I areas with the strict requirement of no less than 100% accountability of all hardware dispensed into these areas.

Special Purpose Areas

a. The southeast (SE) quadrant of the Denver WIT area and the northwest (NW) quadrant of the Rhodes WIT area were developed as special test areas. A 40-foot Drop tower facility was constructed in the Denver WIT SE quadrant. Test beds in the Rhodes WIT NW quadrant are used for explosive hazard classification tests such as static detonation, slow and fast cook-off, sympathetic detonation, and bullet impact tests.

b. The ABC-1 impact area is a special purpose area specially designed for testing target engagement capabilities of conventional and smart submunitions. The ABC-1 complex encompasses a 5,000 foot diameter cleared area, a racetrack, and a tank staging area. The tank staging area is north and east of the impact area center and extends approximately 10,000 feet north in racetrack shape from the northernmost edge of the 5,000 foot diameter impact area. Three 50-foot wide tank approach roads extend from north to south of the impact area center. The roads are approximately 13,000 feet long from the start of the staging area to past the center of the impact area. They are composed of natural soil and are untreated. A return road located tangent to the northernmost edge of the circle connects the two legs of the racetrack to permit moving targets such as tanks to return to the staging area during mission abort.

This page was last updated on 10/26/2018 2:30 PM