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Norwegian People’s Aid supports Peru’s plans to destroy its cluster munition stockpile

Disarmament experts from Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) have conducted a research and development (R&D) mission in Peru, to support the government with its plans to destroy its stockpiled cluster munitions.

Extraction of AO1-SCh submunitions. Photo: David Hewitson

Colin King/Kay Gamst working on the BME 330. Photo: David Hewitson

AO 2.5-RT submunitions. Photo: David Hewitson

Team briefing. Photo: David Hewitson

Extraction of SNA submunitions. Photo: David Hewitson

Colin King/Kay Gamst Extracting AO1-SCh submunitions. Photo: David Hewitson

Demolition of AO1-SCh submunitions. Photo: David Hewitson

The mission was undertaken in cooperation with the Peruvian Air Force from 04-08 May, at the Puntos Lobos logistic base in the Pucusana District, south of Lima.

Peru has three types of stockpiled cluster munitions, RBK 250-275 bombs, each containing 150 AO1-SCh submunitions; RBK-500, each containing 60 AO-2.5RT submunitions; and BME 330 C/SNA, each containing 180 SNA submunitions.

During the mission, NPA demonstrated the breakdown and destruction of the Russian/Soviet produced RBK cluster munitions. NPA has prior experience in destroying stocks of these cluster munitions in other countries.

The BME 330 is a Spanish produced bomb, which NPA has not previously dealt with, and for which little information is available. It is a more advanced cluster munition, where the submunitions have time delay and anti-disturbance functions. Prior to the R&D mission, thorough risk assessments and an understanding of how the bomb and submunitions work were developed. While in Peru the team was able to utilize this information to take apart the bomb and submunitions, in order to fully understand how they function and to develop good procedures for breakdown and destruction.

The R&D mission to Peru was very successful, with excellent cooperation with our Peruvian counterparts, who are keen to start stockpile destruction.

NPA is now analyzing the information gathered during the mission, and will prepare a report containing recommendations, to present to the Peruvian Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their consideration.

Peru ratified the 2008 Convention on Cluster in September 2012, and the treaty officially entered into on 1 March 2013. The treaty mandates that Peru must destroy its stocks as soon as possible and within eight years of joining the convention.

This requirement is the most effective way to ensure that no state that joins the convention will ever use cluster munitions again.

Stockpile destruction has been one of the biggest successes of the convention so far, with many States Parties already finished destruction and most others with plans to finish long before their deadline.

NPA provides expert assistance to countries requiring support in the destruction of their cluster munition stockpile.

03.06.2015 |