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Year the image is reported to have been taken

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Classification groups of key explosive munitions used in conflicts

Munition Category (5)

The impact or effect the munition is intended to have

Functional use (7)

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Tentative Model (109)

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The external organisation that documented the munition

Research Organisation (3)

Colour of the munition pictured

Base Colour (10)

Colour of all, or some, of the markings on the munition

Marking Colour (9)

Language or script of the marking on a munition

Marking Script (8)

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Condition (6)

Munitions have already been fired, dropped, or launched
Delivered Munition
Key features defining the operation mechanisms of a projectile

Mechanical Feature (9)

Whether a munition is guided or unguided

Guidance (2)

Where the munition is launched from and what it targets

Domain (4)

The type of fins visible on the munition

Fins Characteristic (5)

The nominal diameter of a projectile. For most modern munitions, this is expressed in millimetres (e.g. 82 mm mortar projectile), but older artillery gun projectiles may be described in inches.

Calibre (34)

Weight class of the aerial bomb pictured

Weight Class (9)

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Delivered Munition
A munition that has been employed—e.g., fired, dropped, or launched—from a delivery platform. The munition may have either functioned or failed to function.
OSMP539
Analyst Note:
This image depicts either a 9M27K or 9M27K1 cargo rocket (cluster munition). The 9M27K carries the 9N210 high explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG) submunition, whilst the 9M27K1 carries the 9N235 HE-FRAG submunition (ARES).
OSMP554
Analyst Note:
The circled remnant is the hardened steel nosecone of the GBU-39, which renders the munition capable of penetrating more than 3 feet (approx. 1 metre) of steel-reinforced concrete. It is one of several components that often survives the detonation of the munition. (ARES)
OSMP537
2 Analyst Notes:
This munition is assessed to be one of the Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) I variants (GBU-39 series), rather than one of the SDB II 'StormBreaker' (GBU-53 series) munitions, on the basis of contextual information. 'Small Diameter Bomb' is the manufacturer's terminology, whilst 'GBU-39' is the U.S. Air Force designation (also used by many other operators). (ARES)

Collection

How to tell if an artillery projectile has been fired

If an artillery gun projectile appears unfunctioned, it can sometimes be challenging to tell on first glance whether it has been fired and failed to function, or has not been fired at all. In general, munitions specialists look for the following three characteristics in making this determination: Engraved driving bands, where the soft material (typically […]

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OSMP338
Analyst Note:
Many guided (or otherwise complex) munitions like this one are marked with additional information on individual assemblies or components. This can include information on sub-contractors that produced or integrated specific parts of a munition. (ARES)
OSMP501
Analyst Note:
The image is of "a high-velocity shell fired from the main armament of a battle tank," Desmond Travers, former director of the Institute for International Criminal Investigations, told Airwars and AFP. "The calibre appears to be 120 mm, and the shell is fin-stabilised. The maximum effective range is five kilometers, but a skilled tank crew member should be able to hit a target the size of a car." (Airwars)
OSMP481
Analyst Note:
The M-54 ‘high-drag’ series of Soviet/Russian air-delivered bombs can be distinguished by two key identification features: 1.) the ballistic ring located in the forward portion of the bomb (missing in this example); and 2.) the presence of two or four rectangular, longitudinal ‘levelling bars’ (two can be seen in this example). (ARES)
OSMP483
Analyst Note:
Russian air-delivered cluster bombs, such as this one, are often named using a designation that is a compound of the names of the cargo (carrier) bomb and the submunition it carries. For example, this RBK-500 unguided, air-delivered cluster bomb carries 268 PTAB-1M HEAT submunitions, and is thus designated the 'RBK-500 PTAB-1M'. (ARES)
OSMP456
Analyst Note:
This component is one of four pneumatically controlled canards from the guidance section of a Paveway II precision guided munition (PGM) conversion kit. When a Paveway II conversion kit is fitted to a MK 82 series unguided air-delivered bomb (note markings), the munition receives a GBU-12 series designation. (ARES)
OSMP474
Analyst Note:
Cargo rockets often use an internal frame to manage the correct carriage and expulsion of submunitions. These internal frames frequently survive largely intact after the munition has functioned, and may be diagnostic in identifying a munition by type, series, or model. (ARES)
OSMP439
Analyst Note:
The large fragments in this image are typical of 'natural' fragmentation resulting from the rupturing of a thick-walled munition (in this case, an artillery projectile) by the functioning of its explosive payload. (ARES)
OSMP451
Analyst Note:
Although this munition started out life as a mortar projectile of the M492-pattern, it has been modified to be dropped from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and, in its present state, could not be fired from a conventional mortar. As such, it is correctly classified here as an air-delivered bomb. (ARES)
OSMP454
Analyst Note:
The fin assembly in the image bears a strong resemblance to those of other munitions employed in the same incident that have been identified as M49A2 mortar projectiles modified to be delivered by UAV. (ARES)