Weapons Systems and Platforms

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SERDP and ESTCP’s Weapons Systems and Platforms program area supports the development and demonstration of innovative technologies that enable the Department of Defense to:

  • reduce or eliminate the use of hazardous materials in its production and maintenance processes
  • reduce hazardous waste streams
  • better understand and mitigate emissions and other environmental impacts that result from its operations

DoD owns and operates hundreds of major industrial facilities that manufacture and repair the military equipment, weaponry, and munitions needed to protect and defend the nation. The military operates more than 12,000 aircraft, 10,000 tanks, hundreds of ships and a multitude of other vehicles and weapons systems. The manufacture, maintenance, and operation of these systems impact workers, the environment, and the surrounding communities.

Manufacturing and maintenance activities, such as painting and cleaning, are costly and may require the use of toxic compounds that can generate hazardous waste. This can result in environmental damage and increased life-cycle costs. DoD operations involving aircraft and engines of all types result in air emissions and noise that are subject to regulation. Energetic materials ranging from explosives to pyrotechnics often contain toxic materials that result in hazardous waste at manufacturing facilities and potential contamination at training sites.

DoD is committed to increasing the sustainability of its weapons systems to minimize environmental impact while maintaining performance to protect the troops. In support of this goal, SERDP and ESTCP areas of investment include:

  • Developing green alternative energetic compounds
  • Understanding and mitigating military noise and emissions
  • Removing hazardous materials such as hexavalent chromium and volatile organic compounds from manufacturing and repair processes
  • Examining the use of alternative fuels and hybrid technology in vehicles
  • Determining the impact of using lead-free solder in electronic components