Do not approach munitions
under any circumstances
Country or territory where the image was reported

Location (8)

Year the image is reported to have been taken

Year (11)

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)

The specific model of munition pictured

Tentative Model (109)


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)

Condition of the munition pictured

Condition (6)

Key features defining the operation mechanisms of a projectile

Mechanical Feature (9)

A soft metal band around a projectile, usually located near its base
Driving Bands
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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Driving Bands
A soft metal band around a projectile, usually located near its base. Driving bands are most common to artillery gun projectiles.
Analyst Note:
The M825A1 155 mm smoke projectile makes use of white phosphorus (WP) to generate a brilliant white smoke. Whilst WP does have incendiary effects, the method of dispersal in the case of the M825A1 is optimised for screening and marking purposes. (ARES)
Analyst Note:
Some artillery projectiles, such as this M150 type, use a hexachloroethane-based composition (HC) to generate smoke for screening or marking purposes. In many armed forces, HC smoke munitions have partially replaced those relying on white phosphorus for similar effects. (ARES)
Analyst Note:
Once fired, four canards will deploy from the forward (ogival) section of these M982 Excalibur guided artillery projectiles. The narrow-shaped ports through which the canards deploy are a good indicator of a guided or extended-range artillery projectile. (ARES)
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)
Analyst Note:
In this image, a Ukrainian soldier is using an M1155 Enhanced Portable Inductive Artillery Fuze Setter (EPIAFS) to input the target coordinates and set functioning parameters for an M982 Excalibur guided artillery projectile. (ARES)
Analyst Note:
This artillery projectile is a non-lethal type designed to carry propaganda leaflets. Externally, it strongly resembles other variants carrying lethal payloads, although this particular model has a distinctive all-red colour. The leaflets are expelled from the base of the munition by the action of a small explosive charge, after a set amount of time has elapsed after firing (determined by the fuze). (ARES)
Analyst Note:
Whilst most mortars are smoothbore guns, some have a rifled bore. These M1101 120 mm mortar projectiles feature a 'pre-rifled' driving band—that is, a driving band with grooves cut at the factory to fit the mortar's rifling. (ARES)
Analyst Note:
Not all munitions have a lethal purpose. This is a type of ‘carrier’ or ‘cargo’ munition designed to carry and dispense a non-lethal payload—in this case, propaganda leaflets. (ARES)
Analyst Note:
This image depicts a Ukrainian-made version of the Soviet-era OF-25 152 mm artillery projectile, the designation of which is not publicly known at this time (May 2024). The yellow base colour was commonly found in batches produced by Ukroboronprom in late 2022. Later batches returned to a grey base colour. (ARES)
Analyst Note:
Whereas many cartridges are of the 'fixed' type—with the propellant charge contained entirely within the cartridge, and the cartridge case crimped around the projectile—the OF-540 artillery gun projectile is a type of 'semi-fixed' ammunition. A round of semi-fixed ammunition is separated into two groups of components: the projectile and fuze; and the cartridge case, primer, and one or more propellant charges. These two component groups are typically combined at the time of loading the gun, or shortly beforehand. The majority of ammunition fired by artillery systems is either semi-fixed or 'separate loading' (see Glossary). (ARES)
Analyst Note:
In the Ukraine conflict, several groups have offered a service whereby financial supporters can have a message of their choice marked on a munition. Such messages are often references to memes or popular media. The middle artillery projectile shown here is marked with “omae wa mou shindeiru”—an English transliteration of the Japanese phrase お前はもう死んでいる (“you are already dead”), which appears in the popular Fist of the North Star manga and anime series. (ARES)