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Test Center

of the army‘s most important abilities. Functional safety is also of highest priority with regard to the procurement of weapons systems and ammunition. Experts from this neutral and independent department assess the effectiveness of ballistic and detonation protection and the usability of weapon systems and ammunition. Tests and technical clarifications are carried out using state-of-the-art testing and measurement technology.

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Weapon and Ammunition Tests

The core abilities include ballistic assessments (exterior, interior, and end ballistics), ammunition impact analyses and the testing of shooting safety. Ammunition and weapons systems are also tested or assessed for their operational capability. An ongoing task is to ensure and further develop Switzerland‘s unique expertise in ammunition technology, ballistics and wound ballistics as well as weapon efficacy and detonics.

Ballistic experiments are usually associated with significant noise emissions. Noise protection structures (LSBT) were built in Thun in the 1990s to minimise the impact on the population and the environment. LSBT comprises four instrumented underground systems with lengths between 30 m and 500 m. These allow for ballistic tests and trials with all calibres and types of ammunition permitted in Switzerland under laboratory conditions without resulting in significant emissions.

Ballistic and Detonics Protection Tests

S+T‘s accredited test centre STS0118 is specifically responsible for bullet and impact resistance verification including stab/puncture protection in the areas of protective clothing and light armour. Protection tests are also carried out on armoured vehicles and building sections at S+T. Protection concepts for people, vehicles and buildings are experimentally investigated and assessed in the context of concept trials.

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.

Outdoor Firing Range 450 m

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The longest-running firing range extends over 450 m and is cleared for most ammunition types imported into Switzerland, but is usually only used if none of the underground facilities can be used.

Special Firing Range 200 m

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In the 200 m firing range it is possible to use smaller guided missiles or ammunition with warheads; Furthermore, the 200 m firing range is designed to fire at explosive targets or to activate smaller explosions. 

Outdoor Firing Range 50 m

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The smaller firing range is designed for small calibre and non-lethal weapons (NLW) and has two 50 m cable pulleys, a mobile bullet trap and a covered sand backstop.

Underground Firing Range (500, 200, 40 and 30 m)

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The noise protection structures in Thun (LSBT) have four underground systems, of which the two long firing ranges were built specifically for exterior, interior and end ballistics. They are cleared for all tube-shot inert ammunition types up to and including 155 mm calibre (artillery).

Factsheet 1

Maintain a safe distance when shooting? Of course, but within reason!

Hilly terrain surrounding a firing range

The safe distances that have to be maintained as per the rulebook when shooting are based on physical attributes and relate to flat terrain. Users (soldiers) then inevitably pose the question of whether hilly or mountainous terrain surrounding a firing range could not act as a natural backstop, thus making it possible to greatly reduce the safe distances stipulated.

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Factsheet 2

Fuel cells deployed in the Alps

Fuel cells deployed in the Alps

For ballistic trials and testing on firing ranges in the Alps, radio relays are generally used to ensure the safety of everyone involved (and of uninvolved parties) and to ensure that work proceeds smoothly. Armasuisse S+T is currently conducting tests with fuel cells in the high Alpine zone with a view to finding a more modern and sustainable alternative to the existing system, which involves crates full of batteries.

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Factsheet 3

News

Simulation

Developing protective clothing poses permanent challenges

Protective clothing in the form of body armour has been constantly modified and improved since time immemorial. The two world wars of the 20th century ensured that further developments to protective clothing were continuously pursued. Today, protective clothing is mainly worn by the armed forces and the police and is subject to standardised test procedures applicable throughout the world.

Factsheet 4

New Pencil Probes tested in the Shock Tube

New Pencil Probes tested in the Shock Tube

Until recently, laboratories throughout the world were reliant on just one commercial manufacturer of pencil probes. It was only at the end of last year that a competitor launched its own sensors, thus providing an alternative source for the first time in years.

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Factsheet 5

Successful reaccreditation

Certificate S+T

Science and Technology (S+T) was tasked with monitoring and evaluating the development of the new explosive practice round 16 for our mortars. The ammunition has been subjected to a series of tests in various S+T establishments. The aim is provide units with a safe and reliable product.

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Factsheet 6

Qualification of the new practice ammunition for the 81 mm mortar

The round leaving the barrel
The round leaving the barrel

Science and Technology (S+T) was tasked with monitoring and evaluating the development of the new explosive practice round 16 for our mortars. The ammunition has been subjected to a series of tests in various S+T establishments. The aim is provide units with a safe and reliable product.

Factsheet 7

Protective spectacles testing: so that nothing gets in your eyes

Model head made of polyurethane
Model head made of polyurethane

All members of the Swiss Armed Forces are equipped with spectacles as protection against fragments from projectiles or missiles. Minute fragments in particular can quickly enter the eyes and cause irreparable damage. S+T was commissioned by armasuisse's P+C Competence Sector to draw up an appropriate test method for protective spectacles as there were to date no adequate guidelines for the Armed Forces' needs.


Science and technology Test Center
Dr. Stephan Lampert
Feuerwerkerstrasse 39
CH-3602 Thun
Tel.
+41 58 468 30 68
Fax
+41 58 468 28 41

E-Mail