Picatinny Arsenal predicts new explosive will replace TNT in weapons.

Engineers at Picatinny Arsenal have successfully tested a new explosive,…

Engineers at Picatinny Arsenal have successfully tested a new explosive, which they believe could replace TNT in military munitions within the next decade.

Officials at the Rockaway Township research and development site said the Army and Marine Corps have approved a new explosive called IMX-101(Insensitive Munitions Explosive 101), which they described as just as powerful as TNT but far less prone to accidental explosions.

IMX-101 was tested at Picatinny Arsenal and developed by BAE Systems, an American subsidiary of the British defense, security and aerospace company.

The engineers at Picatinny conducted several tests and discovered that the new compound is a safer alternative to TNT in the Army and Marine Corps’ large-caliber weapons, particularly during storage, loading and transport.

The first delivery is 155mm artillery shells, the kind used for Howitzers, said Philip Samuels, an engineer at Picatinny’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center.

Picatinny plans to deliver 1,300 rounds to the Army and Marine Corps next year, the first step in the eventual phasing out of TNT.

“This is just the beginning,” Samuels said. “Over the next 10 years, I could foresee TNT being totally gone.”

Development began in 2006, Samuels said, as a way to try to solve some of the logistical problems that TNT creates.

Source: Dan Goldberg for The Star-Ledger.

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