Weapons, Protection and Security
The Weapons, Protection and Security division encompasses research in support of the armed forces. The division is located at Grindsjön, south of Stockholm. Research is the primary activity. Various kinds of investigations and test activities are also conducted, in support of the Swedish Armed Forces and other commissioning organizations. Explosives and their use in weapons, and protection against them are central for the Armed Forces, but the competence is also relevant in support of the needs of civil society. Research in a wide range of fields is undertaken, from studies of physical and chemical phenomena to finding solutions in the form of complex technical systems. The ready access to proving grounds and explosive materials-certified laboratories is a prerequisite for all the activities in which theory and experiment interact.
At Grindsjön, methods for designing and evaluating physical protection against military weapon effects, terrorism and sabotage are developed. The unique experimental resources available allow everything from standardised testing to qualified studies of correlations between today’s warheads and protection technologies and those of the future. Having accessible experimental facilities also enables large-scale firing and explosion trials. Via model development and with the aid of modern computational and evaluation tools the results are converted into technical data to support both decision-making with regard to the vulnerability of people, buildings, and so on, and assessment of the potential of new weapons and protective techniques.
Research focuses on combining experimental data with theoretical modeling. Central areas of expertise:
- Explosives and ammunition safety, aiming to understand all aspects of explosives properties.
- Propulsion, aiming to understand the processes through which projectiles are ejected and robots are propelled.
- Electromagnetic weapons, i.e. weapons that utilize electromagnetic energy to interact with the target.
- Protection and weapon effects, where the weapon and its function, and protection against it are in focus.
- Assessment of weapon effects and vulnerabilities, where the probability of loss of capabilities and functions of a target after an attack is studied.
Resilience against explosives threats, works comprehensively on protection for the armed forces and civil society. This area encompasses prevention, explosives detection, risk assessment and mitigation, e.g. protection of infrastructure and fortifications.
The explosive materials program comprises research, development, testing, demilitarization and small-scale fabrication of explosive materials. FOI’s competence in areas such as synthesis, formulation, analysis, characterization and initiation of explosives, propellants and pyrotechnics has all been brought together in Grindsjön. Development in space applications and anti-terrorism is also underway. Also conducted here are classification and functional testing of explosive materials, risk analysis associated with inflammable and explosive materials as well as education and training within the field of explosive materials.
Tests of the security and safety of ammunition are carried out through, among other things, missile engine testing, and stability and aging studies. Tests are done to support risk analysis and verifying that everything works as expected.