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.

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The final report is dated May 2015, but the results were only just published by the DRDC.


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