Department of Defense

Keep Old Munitions Longer, Safer; Reduce Replacement Costs

The Navy is faced with an aging inventory of expensive munitions (torpedoes, missiles, etc.) that don't get used in the GWOT as quickly as small, hand-held items like bullets, hand grenades, etc. In order to maintain expensive munition items in the inventory longer, simple data loggers and sensors can be installed (costing between $100-500) on them to better monitor their condition and "health." Munitions health management technology of this type may be used to extend the safe service life of munition items like rocket motors, large warheads, and complex electronic guidance and control packages; munition items typically costing well more than $500,000.00 each. The technology also reduces replacement and procurement costs, while maintaining safety, reliability, and capability. There are initial costs associated with a program like this, but there are long-term savings enabled by the ability to keep munitions longer, thus lowering procurement costs. Additionally, logistics handling costs are lowered by creating the capability for digital inventory control of large munitions items, increased automation in inventorying control, and assuring better handling of the items (reduced chance of “drops” and temperature extremes.) Another side benefit gained is the ability to more thoroughly investigate accidents. (If something does go wrong with a munition item, a complete record of the handling and environmental exposure of the item is available.) This effort is environmentally responsible by reducing the amount of disposed, dangerous substances, the technology is made in the United States, and it supports high-technology research and development and improved safety and capability for our warfighters.

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Idea No. 8891