These munitions have been prepared for action (i.e. primed, fused, or armed) and deployed in a manner to pose a risk to operations, installations, or personnel, yet remain unexploded for various reasons such as malfunction or design, among other reasons.
UXO presents a tremendous risk to day to day operations in a given area, even after decades of dormancy. UXO exists worldwide, and poses a potentially lethal risk in any area in which it is present.
The threat presented by UXO is rivaled only by its prevalence. Unexploded Ordnance dating as far back as the late 1800’s is encountered in nearly every industrialized country. In former combat areas or former defence sites (such as firing ranges and testing sites). Particularly heavy concentrations of UXO exist in regions that have encountered substantial bombing during past wars.
Such regions include Germany, France, Belgium, Lebanon, the United Kingdom and particularly Laos, which remain the most heavily bombed country in history.
In Laos alone, UXO has taken more than 50,000 lives since 1964.