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Explosives and Ammunition Surveillance

This technical department embodies Switzerland‘s unique expertise relating to military explosive substances, such as explosives, gunpowder and signal flares and ammunition monitoring.

Recording in the delaboration chamber, a pair of pliers opens an explosive cartridge

Technical Ammunition Monitoring and Status Analyses

The purpose of ammunition monitoring is to keep track of the current state of the ammunition stocks of the Swiss army. Circumstances that can lead to an increased security risk must be identified, and it is necessary to be proactive in defining measures. Results from component analyses and tests provide the basis for assessing
ammunition in storage with regard to functional reliability, handling safety, transportability and ability to be stored. Early detection of property changes is an essential part of this work.

Expertise in the Explosives Division

By creating risk analyses and security concepts, the division makes a concrete contribution to customer safety when handling ammunition and explosives. This expertise also includes interdisciplinary investigations into irregularities and events, as well as responding to questions about the effect of pollutants on the environment.

In addition, it acts as the Swiss qualification centre for military explosives.

Applied Research in the Field of Explosives and Ammunition Monitoring

Applied research enables the development of the expertise of the department as well as the development of new analytical methods and models for the assessment of explosives.

Unique Test Infrastructure

Our measuring and testing facilities are available to national and international customers for system and component testing. All facilities have state-of-the-art equipment, and our highly qualified personnel ensure professional testing.

Competence Centre for Ammunition/Explosives

A mortar ammunition is jammed between a pair of pliers

Safe defusing (disassembly) of ammunition and explosives takes place at the facility in Thierachern. Facilities for testing components as well as for simulating weapon and ammunition processes are the focal point of the infrastructure.

Assessment of Storage Safety


Determining the thermal stability of explosives is an essential part in assessing storage safety. Our laboratory features state-of-the-art infrastructure, including a heat flow calorimeter.

Ageing and Stability Assessments


Explosives (propellants, pyrotechnics) are analysed in the laboratories, where ageing and stability assessments are performed and safety and environmental aspects are assessed.

Mechanical Properties


Characterising the mechanical properties of explosives has become more important. To do this, we use modern measuring instruments for dynamic-mechanical analyses as well as a material tester.

Science and Technology Explosives and Ammunition
Dr. Patrick Folly
Feuerwerkerstrasse 39
CH-3602 Thun
+41 58 468 37 35


Science and Technology

Explosives and Ammunition
Dr. Patrick Folly
Feuerwerkerstrasse 39
CH-3602 Thun