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WX
02-21-2006, 10:08 PM
Just had a bloke telling me that US troops are training at shoalwater bay military exercise area with live du weapons.
Now apparently AMP forces stopped mucking about with this sh*t back in 86.
Anyone know if there is any truth in this story?

BrianW
02-21-2006, 10:30 PM
Not sure they ever made weapons out of depleted uranium. They would be very heavy! ;)

paladin
02-21-2006, 10:35 PM
ammo...made from DU...extreme armor piercing capability...

Dolly Varden
02-21-2006, 10:40 PM
if they are,your country will hve a radiation hazard to worry about for the next few thousand years

Dutch

LeeG
02-21-2006, 10:44 PM
can you melt it to make keel ballast?

Bob Smalser
02-21-2006, 11:06 PM
Truth? I doubt it.

Every DU round I'm aware of has a lesser-range/lesser-penetration training round of tungsten or similar. We only shoot the real thing in peacetime training at approved test sites that get cleaned up.

Many countries we train in have various protest groups that claim we'll use DU there to inflame public sentiment. One of yours currently is a medical group (MAPW?) hammering the WA govenment over their lease of training areas to the USN. They have claimed that DU will be used, but from my experience as a user of Army and Close Air Support DU weapons....I seriously doubt it. I've never even seen one fired where nobody was shooting back.

[ 02-21-2006, 11:13 PM: Message edited by: Bob Smalser ]

jbelow
02-22-2006, 12:04 AM
Here is an ideal ! Shoot a few lead bullets to shield the radiation after shooting the DU bullets . :D

Dave Fleming
02-22-2006, 12:35 AM
can you melt it to make keel ballast? It was done for one of the America's Cup boats off Newport but disallowed after protest from some of the other boats.

WX
02-22-2006, 01:48 AM
That was my feeling Bob I can't imagine the AMF allowing contamination of an area used for ongoing military training...it bad enough having unexploded conventional ordinance kicking around.

George.
02-22-2006, 06:44 AM
Why do US troops train in Western Australia to begin with? Not enough empty deserts in the US?

ahp
02-22-2006, 09:56 AM
Someone please correct me if I am wrong. The real reason to use DU is the chemical characteristics of uranium. It spontaineusly burns when exposed to air.

The round has a steel jacket and is filled with uranium. When piercing armor the jacket is pealed off and esposing the uranium to air. The uranium immediately bursts into flame and splatters all over the inside of whatever it has penetrated. The tank (or whatever) crew usually doesn't make it out the hatch. Nice stuff!

Keith Wilson
02-22-2006, 10:05 AM
DU is used for armor-piercing because it is extremely dense. It's not particularly reactive, does not spontaneously burst into flame any more than steel does, and is about 70% as radioactive as naturally-ocurring uranium. There's a lot of controversy about how harmful to people it is - the radiation is very low level. This is an issue about which it's really really hard to separate reality from BS.

[ 02-22-2006, 10:07 AM: Message edited by: Keith Wilson ]

Dolly Varden
02-22-2006, 10:08 AM
:rolleyes: yeah all the iraqis, and american vets with gulf war syndrome are full of **** slackers who need to be brought up on charges

John of Phoenix
02-22-2006, 10:18 AM
DU can be used to engage the enemy at greater distances than tungsten penetrators or high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) rounds because of improved ballistic properties. When they strike a target, tungsten penetrators blunt while DU has a self-sharpening property. DU ammunition routinely provides a 25 percent increase in effective range over traditional kinetic energy rounds.

On impact with a hard target (such as a tank) the penetrator may generate a cloud of DU dust within the struck vehicle that ignites spontaneously creating a fire that increases the damage to the target. Due to the pyrophoric nature of DU, many of the DU particles and fragments that are formed during and following impact and perforation will spontaneously ignite, resulting in a shift of the particle size probability distribution function to a smaller mean diameter. As a result of physical differences between DU and its oxides, the oxide particles tend to crumble under relatively weak mechanical forces, further shifting the particle size to an even smaller mean diameter. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/du.htm

Keith Wilson
02-22-2006, 10:29 AM
Yeah all the iraqis, and american vets with gulf war syndrome are full of ****, slackers who need to be brought up on charges. Calm down, man! I didn't say, or even think that. I just said it's hard to tell what's true and what's BS.

htom
02-22-2006, 10:38 AM
You seem to be confounding phosphorous, plutonium, and uranium.

uranium: http://www.eh.doe.gov/techstds/standard/hdbk1081/hbk1081e.html

pyrophoric metals: http://www.eh.doe.gov/techstds/standard/hdbk1081/hbk1081c.html

As a DU projectile strikes an armored target, it spalls into a fine dust which burns at a very high temperature, aiding penetration by melting the armor. One of the purposes of coating such a surface is so that it won't spall in the gun barrel that fires it (sabots achieve the same end and provide a velocity increase which increases the impact); another is to prevent corrosion, which is, I suppose, a kind of very low grade combustion, but not in the normal use of the word.

I used to use powdered aluminum as rocket fuel. Lots of metals burn quite well once they're not bound up with themselves.

Bob Smalser
02-22-2006, 10:46 AM
Originally posted by John Teetsel:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> DU can be used to engage the enemy at greater distances than tungsten penetrators or high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) rounds because of improved ballistic properties. When they strike a target, tungsten penetrators blunt while DU has a self-sharpening property. DU ammunition routinely provides a 25 percent increase in effective range over traditional kinetic energy rounds.

On impact with a hard target (such as a tank) the penetrator may generate a cloud of DU dust within the struck vehicle that ignites spontaneously creating a fire that increases the damage to the target. Due to the pyrophoric nature of DU, many of the DU particles and fragments that are formed during and following impact and perforation will spontaneously ignite, resulting in a shift of the particle size probability distribution function to a smaller mean diameter. As a result of physical differences between DU and its oxides, the oxide particles tend to crumble under relatively weak mechanical forces, further shifting the particle size to an even smaller mean diameter. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/syst ems/munitions/du.htm (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/du.htm)</font>[/QUOTE]Read on.


The major health concerns about DU relate to its chemical properties as a heavy metal rather than to its radioactivity, which is very low. As with all chemicals, the hazard depends mainly upon the amount taken into the body. Medical science recognizes that uranium at high doses can cause kidney damage. However, those levels are far above levels soldiers would have encountered in the Gulf or the Balkans.

Gulf War Syndrome is more about our country's lack of health care than it is about DU or Iraqi WMD.

Here's more objective data on health concerns from the same source:


Because depleted uranium emits primarily alpha radiation, it is not considered a serious external radiation hazard. The depleted uranium in armor and rounds is covered, further reducing the radiation dose. When breathed or eaten, small amounts of depleted uranium are carried in the blood to body tissues and organs; much the same as the more radioactive natural uranium. Despite this, no radiological health effects are expected because the radioactivity of uranium and depleted uranium are so low.

Most soldiers and civilians will not be exposed to dangerous levels of depleted uranium. However, in certain circumstances the exposures may be high and there would be a risk of heavy metal poisoning that could lead to long-term kidney damage for a few soldiers, as well as the increased risk of lung cancer. A small number of soldiers and civilians might suffer kidney damage from depleted uranium if substantial amounts are breathed in, or swallowed in contaminated soil and water. The kidneys of a few soldiers may be damaged if they inhale large quantities of DU after their vehicle is struck by a penetrator or while working for long periods in contaminated vehicles. Large numbers of corroding DU penetrators buried in the soil may also pose a long-term threat if uranium leaches into water supplies. Long-term sampling, particularly of water and milk, is required to detect any increase in uranium levels around areas where DU has been used on the battlefield.

Anecdotal reports of deaths and illnesses among US veterans of the Gulf War who worked for long periods in heavily contaminated vehicles prompted a number of investigations. The voluntary Veterans Affairs DU Medical Follow-up Program began in 1993-1994 with the medical evaluations of 33 friendly-fire DU-exposed veterans, many with embedded DU fragments. An additional 29 of the friendly-fire victims were added to the follow-up program in 1999. In 1998, the scope of the program was expanded to include Gulf War veterans who may have been exposed to DU through close contact with DU munitions, inhalation of smoke containing DU particulate during a fire at the Doha depot, or by entering or salvaging vehicles or bunkers that were hit with DU projectiles. The published results of these medical evaluations indicate that the presence of retained DU fragments is the only scenario predictive of a high urine uranium level, and those with embedded DU fragments continue to have elevated urine uranium levels ten years after the incident. It is unlikely that an individual without embedded DU fragments would have an elevated urine uranium level, and consequently any uranium-related health effects.

In late 2000 and early 2001, various news reports, mostly European, reported allegations of an increase in leukemia cases related to exposure to DU while serving in the Balkans. Subsequent independent investigations by the World Health Organization, European Commission, European Parliament, United Nations Environment Programme, United Kingdom Royal Society, and the Health Council of the Netherlands have all have discounted any association between depleted uranium and leukemia or other medical problems among Balkans veterans.



[ 02-22-2006, 10:54 AM: Message edited by: Bob Smalser ]

paladin
02-22-2006, 10:51 AM
Uh...John...your notes indicate that du rounds were first used in the late 70's.....but I know they wuz used in vietnam.....I gotta piktoor somewhere of a russion tank that looks like it wuz made of swiss cheese.....

Bob Smalser
02-22-2006, 10:55 AM
Originally posted by paladin:
Uh...John...your notes indicate that du rounds were first used in the late 70's.....but I know they wuz used in vietnam.....I gotta piktoor somewhere of a russion tank that looks like it wuz made of swiss cheese.....Those were the first TOW missiles, I believe.

Just a wire-guided HEAT round.

John of Phoenix
02-22-2006, 11:11 AM
My best friend/roomie in flight school was probably the guy who shot that tank. It was an SS-11, the predecessor to the TOW. Quite slow, limited range and you had to stay in a dive from firing until impact. But effective.

He said the inside of those tanks had a smell he'll never forget.

This is the test bed. The actual aircraft and missile weren't nearly so colorful.

http://www.aircav.com/huey/uhgal03/ss_11.jpg

Bob Smalser
02-22-2006, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by WX:
That was my feeling Bob I can't imagine the AMF allowing contamination of an area used for ongoing military training...it bad enough having unexploded conventional ordinance kicking around.I'll waltz through a field of DU penetrators any day before I tiptoe through a field full of electropieziomagnetic-fuzed warheads (Lucky Crystal or Piezoelectric Crystal). Nasty duds that can go off just by looking at them hard. Found in AAA rounds, tank rounds, ant-tank rounds. Keep the kiddies away from old impact areas, as trespassing scrap hunters in this country get blown up rather regularly.

TXDinghySailor
02-22-2006, 05:01 PM
Originally posted by Dave Fleming:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />can you melt it to make keel ballast? It was done for one of the America's Cup boats off Newport but disallowed after protest from some of the other boats.</font>[/QUOTE]I believe Isabelle Autissiuer (not sure on the spelling) also used it as ballast in one of her BOC races. Apparently it's pretty popular for high-tech, almost no limits races.

WX
02-22-2006, 05:33 PM
George, you would be surprised at the installations the US has in this country. When the British Commonwealth folded we just swapped bosses.
Us Marines sometimes train at the Jungle Warfare Training Ground not far from here. My son met a few when he was in the reserve.
This thread has been quite informative.

ccmanuals
02-22-2006, 05:40 PM
It is my understanding that du is found in the head of bunker busters.

tom

paladin
02-22-2006, 07:09 PM
in the above ref. to Isabelle Autissier....In the 86/87 BOC my 60 footer was constructed and I obtained permission to use (from the U.S.) DU as ballast...as the boat was completed and set for the trial runs to the Azores, the rules committee got wind of it...and there were no rules in existance barring DU from being used as ballast...they had a very quick meeting and ruled against using DU as ballast as they said it would give my boat an unfair advantage...I told them to get screwed...eventually sold the boat, and never entered another race....

paladin
02-22-2006, 07:13 PM
I believe..I was told ...that the rounds used were 20mm with du projectiles fired from a gatling......the local spooks from our hangar were sent out to inspect and make a report....source of my remarks..

John of Phoenix
02-23-2006, 02:15 PM
Chuck, what time frame was this?

We had a few birds with wing mounted Vulcans that were great against anti-aircraft guns, .50 cal and 23mm, but we didn't get them until early '71 and they had quite a few problems early on.

Man, those 20mm du rounds would have been nice for Lamson 719 in Laos. I hit a T-72 with a couple pair of 17lb rockets and it did nothing. Left some marks, almost like bruises, but it kept on rolling.

They finally got some little 6lb HEAT warheads during the battles of An Loc and Loc Ninh in '72 and the Cobras eventually managed to stop the tanks with them. Those 20mm du rounds would have been much more efficient.

paladin
02-23-2006, 03:37 PM
It was after '71.....I was in Northrun Thailand for almost a year and then was sent to Quinhon...and bounced between there and Dong Ba Tihn special forces camp until they transferred me over to the Canucks for the cease fire and transfer treaty guys until April 75...then back to Thailand for a few months, then got to play with the suthrin africans for three months in their war games....they tried to get me to go direct hire and stay in SEA but they wuz only paying about 30K per year with the "State Department".....

htom
02-23-2006, 05:09 PM
Chuck, we really want you to write a book!

paladin
02-23-2006, 08:33 PM
...a little at a time.....

WX
02-24-2006, 05:47 AM
Talking of bunker busters the Brits during WW2 developed a couple of bombs, the Tallboy and the 10 ton Grand Slam. These were designed to be used against U-Boat pens and viaducts etc.
Designed by Barnes Wallis. These things went deep, no matter what was in the way.