U.S. Department of Defense


Date of this Version



Procedia Engineering 58 ( 2013 ) 58 – 67; doi: 10.1016/j.proeng.2013.05.009


Rocket propelled grenade (RPG) shaped charge attack threats are of particular concern for Insensitive Munitions (IM) development. In response to these threats, the U.S. Project Engineering Office for Ammunition (PEO Ammo) have worked with the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) Energetics and Warheads Division (EWD) to develop a highly reproducible and well characterized standardized 81mm shaped charge jet initiation test configuration. This 81mm shaped charge and jet attack configuration is used to determine whether an acceptable explosion or lower level response is observed. The test is completed as per STANAG 4526. The 81mm shaped charge is comprised of a high precision forged and machined liner made from C101 Oxygen Free Copper (OFE, UNS C10100) and a bare billet LX-14 pressed billet configuration that is machined to final dimensions. This warhead choice overcomes the issue of testing variability observed if actual production RPGs are used for Insensitive Munitions (IM) threat testing. The test configuration includes an aluminum buffer plate that is used to condition the jet for desired jet characteristics, as well as a representation for RPG probe position. Modeling and simulation was used to develop the shaped charge and test configuration. The resulting configuration has been experimentally characterized using flash radiography for short and long stand-off in order to provide quantified jet characterization including velocity profiles, accumulated length, accumulated mass, jet diameter and v2d profiles. The result is a simple reproducible test configuration that represents an RPG attack geometry. The test configuration has been adopted by the U.S. DoD for RPG IM threat testing and has been used on a large variety of munition test articles.