US Army Places Massive
The US Army has placed a US$38 million order with the arms manufacturer
Alliant Techsystems (ATK) for a new type of 120-mm DU ammunition for
its main battle tank.
The follow-on contract announced by ATK extends the original contract
for M829A3 tank rounds and brings the total value of the rounds ordered
in 2006 up to US$77 million. Once the new pact is completed, ATK will
have delivered 35,000 M829A3 rounds to the military.
ATK claims that the price is worth it because it gives the U.S. M1A1
and A2 Abrams tanks unmatched punch "designed to ensure that
U.S. armoured forces maintain battlefield supremacy."
Based on a depleted-uranium penetrator, the West Virginia-produced
round is billed as the most advanced armour-piercing kinetic-energy
ordnance available. "Its state-of-the-art composite sabot, propellant,
and penetrator technologies give it outstanding accuracy and lethality,"
The M829A3 specifications show that the 22.3-kilogram round uses 8
kilograms of solid propellent to attain a muzzle velocity of 1,555
meters per second. While the velocity is not as fast as other U.S.
120-mm rounds, the 10kg projectile is heavier than the others.
ATK are renowned for their contempt of international law and produce
some of the most dangerous weapons available. Their landmines, cluster
munitions and DU shells will be causing post-conflict hazards for
civilians for years to come.
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