This approach, however, may also sensitize the material, so a sufficient but partial insertion of NF2 appears to be necessary and is being investigated.
ONR has a long record of supporting studies of insensitive munitions. Formulations with various plastic materials have been highly successful. Unintended detonations are probably initiated by abrasion of the explosive particles. Formulations with nonexplosive binders (usually commercial plastics) can reduce sensitivity at the cost of dilution and lost energy density. ONR sponsors efforts to find optimum compositions. For example, the use of reactive binders (e.g., cellulose nitrate or NF2-rich plastics) is an approach that might be effective.
ONR is supporting research into the origins of insensitivity. Good progress is being made using techniques that can characterize chemical reactions on very short time scales. This work could lead to strategies for the synthesis of new families of more energy-dense but safe materials.
ONR also supports the development of warheads with an improved shaped charge. These warheads