News story

New incinerator reduces ammo disposal costs in Afghanistan

An incinerator to dispose of unserviceable small arms ammunition has been delivered to Afghanistan ahead of schedule and well under budget.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
The new incinerator

The new incinerator will dispose of small arms ammunition which has completed its shelf life in Afghanistan [Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD]

The small arms ammunition incinerator is needed for a stockpile which has built up during operations in Afghanistan.

Such ammunition normally has a six-month life on the front line, with extreme temperature changes typically found during the day and night speeding up the time when it becomes less stable to use.

Ammunition is also often changed for new when replacement British units arrive to serve in theatre.

Despite careful management and storage, ammunition also degrades after being carried around in pouches, vehicles and helicopters for months, with sand, dirt and water having an impact.

Disposal in-theatre is cheaper than bringing it back to the UK.

Project Manager, Major Nick Stanford, of Defence Equipment and Support’s Defence General Munitions Team, said:

This unique urgent operational requirement has been a challenge from the outset, whether complying with civilian arms controls, pollution legislation, or for the world’s largest cargo aircraft to fly it to Afghanistan, in addition to the normal project pressures, issues and safety concerns.

The provider, UK-based EOD Solutions, provides proven equipment with support for demilitarisation tasks around the world.

The incinerator offers sufficient capacity to cope with the demanding conditions that it will be operating in for the next two years.

Team leader, Colonel Richard Aspray, added:

This unique solution to a challenging task will aid our redeployment, thus freeing up resources in Afghanistan and the UK, enabling their efficient use over an extremely busy period for Defence.

This article is taken from the May 2012 edition of desider - the magazine for Defence Equipment and Support.

Published 17 May 2012