There is more to munitions management than meets the eye. After all, munitions, - including missile systems - are in many cases produced and acquired long before actual use. This calls for active stockpile management. During storage, the life cycle of munition will have to be monitored for safety, reliability, performance and operational readiness.
TNO is continuously working on the development of innovative technologies for the life cycle assessment of munitions and missile systems. To support Defence in their own evaluation of the operational safe life and, if needed, to extend the safe life through special upgrade programmes. To assess the operational safe life of munition, TNO makes use of various innovative surveillance methods, such as specialised testing, modelling, embedded sensors and heat flow calorimetry-based Munition Management Systems. Apart from advice on the operational safe life of munitions and life cycle extension programmes, TNO conducts surveillance tests of e.g. missiles, gun propellants, pyrotechnics and explosives.
The expertise in missiles and munitions is applied on behalf of The Netherlands Ministry of Defence, defence industry and international MoD's, including NATO. For instance, during several out-of-area missions of the Netherlands Armed Forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and Djibouti TNO provided direct support by performing the condition monitoring and impact evaluation of the ammunition in extreme climates.