Safe Alternative to DU?
Anti-tank shells tipped with DU may be phased out if an alternative material proves its worth. The US Army is expected to award a contract this week for the manufacture of prototype ammunition incorporating a "liquid metal" alloy. The new rounds could be in service within two years. Liquidmetal Technologies, an R&D company based in Tampa, Florida, says it can get comparable performance from penetrators made of an exotic alloy of tungsten.The new contract is for a test batch of 30-millimetre ammunition of the type used by American A-10 "tank buster" aircraft, which fired some 75 tonnes of DU during the recent Iraq conflict. It must be remembered however that large stockpiles of DU weapons exist and will take years to run out.
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Page last updated: January 28, 2003