EXPLOSIVE WEAPON EFFECTS SIMULATOR

The simulator demonstrates the effects of the five explosive weapons systems examined in the research project. Using the accuracy and precision parameters for each weapon system and the known munitions effects, the simulator allows for an analysis of the principal damage mechanism – i.e. the primary and secondary effects of explosive weapons – in a selected populated area.

These are five fabricated populated area scenarios: open area, hamlet, village, town and city. Each of these represents typical rural and urban characteristics in terms of population density, infrastructure type and vehicles present. Differentiation is made between the pattern of life during the day and night. For instance, in a nighttime scenario in an urban area, office environments are less populated, vehicle traffic decreases and the population in residential areas rises.

INTRODUCTION 

USER GUIDE

Munitions Data

122 mm BM-21 Grad

152 mm & 155 mm artillery guns

120 mm mortar

120 mm tank gun

Mk 82 aircraft bomb

122 mm BM-21 Grad

122 mm BM-21 Grad
Specifications

Introduced in the early 1960s, the 122 mm BM-21 Grad (‘Hail’) multi-barrel rocket launcher has become ubiquitous in conflict zones throughout the world. Its simplicity and ability to deliver massive firepower from a relatively light mobile platform, has led to its rapid and widespread adoption. Copies, variants and derivatives of the Grad can be found in the inventories of over 50 state armed forces, as well as numerous non-state armed groups. The Russian nickname ‘Hail’ is an appropriate moniker for a high explosive weapon system that can launch up to 40 122 mm rockets in just under 20 seconds, at ranges of up to 20 km. The Grad is not a precision weapon, designed to disperse rockets over a significant area instead of accurately and precisely impacting a point target.

Weapon 122 mm BM-21 Grad

Circular error probable (CEP) in range/deflection 300 m / 168 m

Total munition weight 65 – 68.3 kg

Explosive fill weight (warhead) 6 – 6.4 kg

Explosive fill as % of total weight 9.1 – 9.6 %

Explosive composition TGAF or Comp B

Net explosive quantity (of TNT equivalent) 7.8 – 8.32 kg

Effective range (original BM-21 design 9K51) 20 km

Impact angle of munition 30°

Preformed fragments on impact 4’300

Average / cumulative mass of fragments 2.8 g / 12 kg

Velocity of fragments 1’200 – 1’800 m/s

152 mm & 155 mm artillery guns

152 mm & 155 mm artillery guns
Specifications

Artillery guns in 152 mm (former Warsaw Pact states) or 155 mm (NATO states) calibres are used in many current and recent conflicts, and form a staple in the majority of state armed forces. Artillery guns typically operate as a battery unit, intended to deliver salvos of indirect fire against an area target. A multitude of different 152-155 mm artillery guns exist, generally designed for fire support role and capable of firing at targets over considerable distances. The two calibres are similar in capabilities; both are able to deliver a projectile of approximately 40 kg to ranges of 17-40 km. For the purposes of this simulation, technical specifications are averaged out of self-propelled, towed and emplaced guns and their high explosive projectiles found in contemporary conflict zones.

Weapon 152 mm & 155 mm artillery gun

Circular error probable (CEP) in range/deflection 270 m / 90 m

Total munition weight 42.6 – 46.9 kg

Explosive fill weight 5.85 – 11.3 kg

Explosive fill as % of total weight 13.6 – 25 %

Explosive composition TNT and variants, A-IX-2

Net explosive quantity (of TNT equivalent) 5.85 – 15 kg

Effective range 17 – 40 km

Impact angle of munition 30°

Natural fragments on impact 31’000

Average / cumulative mass of fragments 0.58 g / 18 kg

Velocity of fragments 1’100 – 1’800 m/s

120 mm mortar

120 mm mortar
Specifications

Mortars are found in the inventories of most state armed forces and many non-state armed groups. They are frequently employed in conflicts in calibres of 60 mm, 81-82 mm, 120 mm and 180 mm, capable of engaging targets quickly and at shorter ranges than many artillery guns or rocket systems. Mortars are generally smoothbore and muzzle-loading indirect fire guns, generally limited to firing at high-angle trajectories (above 45°). By design therefore, mortar projectiles impact the target at a steep angle, making the weapon ideal for firing over, into, or out of defilade. Sometimes referred to as ‘the poor man’s artillery’, they are simple to manufacture and operate, cheap and portable. 81/82 mm mortars can fire at ranges between 100 m and 5’500 m, whereas 120 mm mortars from 500 m to 7’000 m. This simulation uses an amalgam of the most commonly encountered high explosive mortars of 120 mm calibre.

Weapon 120 mm mortar

Circular error probable (CEP) in range/deflection 140 m / 50 m

Total munition weight 12.6 – 15.2 kg

Explosive fill weight 2.0 – 2.7 kg

Explosive fill as % of total weight 15.4 – 20 %

Explosive composition TNT or Comp B

Net explosive quantity (of TNT equivalent) 2 – 3.46 kg

Effective range Up to 7 km

Impact angle of munition 65°

Natural fragments on impact 23’000

Average / cumulative mass of fragments 0.46 g / 11 kg

Velocity of fragments 1’000 – 1’300 m/s

120 mm tank gun

120 mm tank gun
Specifications

Tanks are mobile and armoured, heavy weapon platforms observed widely in conflicts since World War 2. Tanks are used primarily as direct-fire weapons meaning that the gunner can see the target and aims directly at it, rather than firing at an indirect trajectory. The majority of high explosive tank gun ammunition employed by modern militaries is dual-purpose; designed to incapacitate armoured fighting vehicles and fortifications while also providing a fragmentation effect for use against personnel. Capable of high accuracy and precision in the direct-fire role, tanks have often been involved in attacks within populated areas. This simulation uses data from 120 mm calibre tank guns, commonly encountered in conflict theatres.

Weapon 120 mm tank gun

Circular error probable (CEP) in range/deflection 4 m / 2 m

Total munition weight 16 – 17 kg

Explosive fill weight 2.7 – 3.2 kg

Explosive fill as % of total weight 15.9 – 20 %

Explosive composition TNT, OXS, Comp B

Net explosive quantity (of TNT equivalent) 2.7 – 4.16 kg

Effective range up to 4’000 m

Impact angle of munition 15°

Natural fragments on impact 19’000

Average / cumulative mass of fragments 0.67 g / 12 kg

Velocity of fragments 900 – 1’600 m/s

Mk 82 aircraft bomb

Mk 82 aircraft bomb
Specifications

The Mk 82 aircraft bomb and its guided variants have been used throughout the world since late 1950s and are perhaps the most common family of air-delivered munitions produced. In 2016, various configurations of the Mk 82 have been used at least in Afghanistan, Gaza, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. The Mk 82 is a 227 kg (class 500-lbs.) low-drag, general-purpose bomb containing 89 kg of high explosive. The early versions of the Mk 82 were unguided, featuring a Circular Error Probable (CEP) of 95 m (310 ft.) when released from an altitude of 4’500 m (15’000 ft.). Modern conflicts have observed the use of laser and/or GPS guided versions of the Mk 82 (e.g. GBU-12, GBU-49) with a CEP of 1.1 m (3.6 ft.), demonstrating a significant increase in precision yet not removing concerns over a the substantial potential for wide area effects due to the explosive payload and preformed fragments. For the purposes of this simulation, a guided version of the Mk 82 was selected with a CEP of 5 m.

Weapon Mk 82 aircraft bomb

Circular error probable (CEP) in range/deflection 5 m / 5 m

Total munition weight 227 – 250 kg

Explosive fill weight 86 – 105 kg

Explosive fill as % of total weight 36.1 – 43.8 %

Explosive composition TNT, Comp B

Net explosive quantity (of TNT equivalent) 86 – 119.7 kg

Range Not applicable

Impact angle of munition 75°

Preformed fragments on impact 17’000

Average / cumulative mass of fragments 8.0 g / 140 kg

Velocity of fragments 700 – 1’500 m/s