It may have taken five years, but Canada may finally be getting some green artillery that won’t poison people.
In the process, military scientists have found a more effective and cheaper type of ammunition that could reduce the environmental impact of war across the board.
A research project in the Canadian Armed Forces began looking for a new type of ammunition in 2011 in response to fear that its shooting ranges were posing a threat to local water sources. Explosive rounds, especially from its Howitzer artillery, were being scattered around their training sites, and the military feared that the toxic chemicals inside the water-soluble rounds could seep into drinking water.
So scientists with the Canadian military began researching how to fix the problem. Their solution: make sure the rounds explode fully, and replace the decades-old explosive solution inside them with less-toxic material.
The project was called RIGHTTRAC — an acronym for Revolutionary Insensitive, Green and Healthier Training Technology with Reduced Adverse Contamination — and it was undertaken by Defence Research & Development Canada (DRDC).
It served essentially as a proof of concept, and the results are expected to be replicated on other types of ammunition.
The final report is dated May 2015, but the results were only just published by the DRDC.
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Image courtesy of army-armee.forces.gc.ca