Centre of Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES), a Delhi-based laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has designed and developed a Vertical Shaft based Underground Ammunition Storage Facility. It enables upward vertical dissipation of blast effects considerably reducing the blast effect on surrounding utilities.
The Design Validation Trial of this Underground Ammunition Storage Structure was successfully conducted on April 30, 2023. The instrumented blast trial was carried out in presence of the Armed Forces by detonating 5,000 kgs of TNT in one of the chambers of the underground facility.
The CFEES team conducted the trial with precision and utmost safety in place. All the parameters recorded during the trial matched with estimated values. This facility will ensure that an explosion within will not cause damage to the adjacent chamber and also ensuring full operability of the remaining facility.
The Armed Forces find it difficult to stock ammunition as required by them due to non- availability of adequate land as large safety distances are required for ammunition storage structures. The safety distances considerably reduce, when ammunition is stored underground. Based on the results of the instrumented trials, the safety distance has been established up to 120 Metric Ton (40 Metric Ton Net Explosive Content) ammunition storage per chamber. The unique design developed has an additional advantage of reducing Safety Distances and Cost by 50 per cent as compared to current designs. The design also ensures higher safety of ammunition stored from any kind of aerial attack or sabotage.
Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO has congratulated the teams involved in the successful instrumented blast trial and stated that the facility can be extensively used by the Armed Forces for storage of all types of ammunition reducing the land footprint requirements in addition to providing enhanced safety of ammunition against aerial attacks or sabotage.