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Encyclopedia > Munition

Munition is often defined as a synonyn for ammunition. A slightly broader definition would include bombs, missiles, warheads, and mines (landmines, naval mines, and claymore mines) -- what munitions factories manufacture. These munitions are flung all over battlefields and war zones with lethal intent; unexploded ones may pose a hazard to civilians for years afterwards. The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) contains no explosives itself; it attaches to a gravity bomb to make it into a smart bomb. The Special Atomic Demolition Munition (SADM) was a man-portable nuclear weapon.

Encryption software may also be considered a munition. Until 1996, U.S. Government ITAR (International Trafficking in Arams Regulations) prohibited the export of anything stronger than 40-bit encryption. One man decided to become a munition himself! (http://www.treachery.net/~jdyson/tattoo.html)

The U.S. Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (http://pmdtc.org/) has published the United States Munitions List (http://pmdtc.org/usml.htm) with 21 categories of munitions:

  1. Firearms, Close Assault Weapons and Combat Shotguns
  2. Guns and Armament
  3. Ammunition/Ordinance
  4. Launch Vehicles, Guided Missiles, Ballistic Missiles, Rockets, Torpedoes, Bombs, and Mines
  5. Explosives and Energetic Materials, Propellants, Incendiary Agents, and Their Constituents
  6. Vessels of War and Special Naval Equipment
  7. Tanks and Military Vehicles
  8. Aircraft and Associated Equipment
  9. Military Training Equipment
  10. Protective Personnel Equipment
  11. Military Electronics
  12. Fire Control, Range Finder, Optical and Guidance and Control Equipment
  13. Auxiliary Military Equipment
  14. Toxicological Agents, Including Chemical Agents, Biological Agents, and Associated Equipment
  15. Spacecraft Systems and Associated Equipment
  16. Nuclear Weapons, Design and Testing Related Items
  17. Classified Articles, Technical Data and Defense Services Not Otherwise Enumerated
  18. Directed Energy Weapons
  19. [Reserved]
  20. Submersible Vessels, Oceanographic and Associated Equipment
  21. Miscellaneous Articles

The Bible mentions "munition" in this general sense of "weapons of war": And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision. (Isaiah 29:7)

  Results from FactBites:
Cluster Munition Coalition, Stop Cluster Munitions (1483 words)
This problem was brought about by the use of cluster munitions that contain large numbers of submunitions that are not guided and that fall to their target freely.
New cluster munitions that are precision guided have not been widely used and no assessments of their impact on civilians have been made.
In addition if increased reliability led to an increase in the numbers of cluster munitions used and the number of situations in which they are used this would heighten both their immediate impact and their post-conflict impact.
Israeli Cluster Munitions Hit Civilians in Lebanon (Human Rights Watch, 24-7-2006) (1117 words)
The photographs contain the distinctive marks of such cluster munitions, including a diamond-shaped stamp, and a shape that is longer than ordinary artillery, according to a retired IDF commander who asked not to be identified.
Close-up of a M483A1 DPICM artillery-delivered cluster munition present in the arsenal of an IDF unit in northern Israel.
Cluster munitions are increasingly the focus of discussion at the meetings of the Convention on Conventional Weapons, with ever more states calling for a new international instrument dealing with cluster munitions.
  More results at FactBites »



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