Debate and Discussion

Use Of Depleted Uranium
Phantom Penguin at 4:24AM, May 24, 2007
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Depleted Uranium (DU) is used is nearly all large rounds fielded by the US military along with several other countries.
DU is also used in tanks rounds and armor. Why? Its 70% denser then lead and cheap to make.
The problem? Its radioactive, poisionous, and its side effects stay in you and your family forever.

I've had my life saved by DU products, but for what? Just to die slowly from cancer, or to have my children be stillborn or malformed?

DU is mostly documented as caused ‘Gulf War Syndrom’
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_War_syndrome

But the US military will not say it does anything bad to you or your family.
But outside the military doctors have confirmed traces of DU are found in urine of veterens that served in Iraq or Afghanistan. The military won't supply the test to see if your poisioned by the substance, you must go to a hospital and pay out of your own pocket to get it done.

the WHO and UN have both wanted to ban it, but they know no one would follow the ban.

more information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depleted_uranium
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
lothar at 5:55AM, May 24, 2007
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yea , i heard about that shit a couple of years ago , i didn't know it was that widespread in use . i was under the impression they only used it to blow up tanks and stuff like that.
Also, in addition to the soldiers getting poisoned by DU, are all the Iraqi kids who i heard play with that stuff.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
ozoneocean at 11:27AM, May 24, 2007
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Iraqi kids will be more likely to breathe it in than play with it. It tends to disintegrate and burn up on impact.

Most of the data that says it's safe comes from the US government and US military sources (or studies that they have funded). Meanwhile healthgroups elsewhere are pretty much 100% against it and it's use in training situations it has been limited time and again when that training is held in civilian areas. I know the US military was banned from using it in exercises in a training ground a couple of hundred Kms south of me for instance. And for training generally there were moves to develop safer rounds made with different materials: which suggests that people are well aware of its dangerous effects and are deliberately down playing them in order to continue its use- because it's cheap and provides such a big edge in armour and penetration.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Aurora Moon at 11:34AM, May 24, 2007
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it's as ozoneocean said. They'll claim it's safe and such so that they have the avtanage over enemies. Hey, if the US wins wars with it, then the effects on their soldiers wont matter!
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
Phantom Penguin at 12:19PM, May 24, 2007
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I am already showing symptoms of DU poisioning, and its only been a few years for me.

In Iraq burned out tank hulks from 1991 are still laying about, some are still freaking smoking. In the area in and around Basra, Iraq they saw a 438% increase in birth defects and stillborns.

Yes when training we don't use the DU tank rounds saying “they cost to much”. But the training around cost more then the DU ones. Maybe its because Radcliff and E-town, Kentucky complained of having a shortness of breath and a increase in birth defects, those towns are less then two miles away from most of the tank ranges.

In Germany we never ever used live DU rounds because the German army (which also fields DU weapons and armor) knows what it can do.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
ozoneocean at 1:54PM, May 24, 2007
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Phantom Penguin
Yes when training we don't use the DU tank rounds saying “they cost to much”. But the training around cost more then the DU ones.
That's exactly true! They are more expensive so the cost argument is an interesting lie… The cheapness of the DU rounds is even one of the arguments for continuing the use of them on the battlefield

- Tungsten isn't quite as effective, it's more expensive and harder to work. Meanwhile DU is actually a waste product from the nuclear power industry: this is the Uranium that's separated from the rest because it's not radioactive enough. It's not non-radioactive as is sometimes claimed by it's political advocates, it's just not radioactive enough to make bombs with or provide nuclear power…

That's like going into a prison, executing all the murderers and then claiming all other other prisoners were safe to let out because they're not murders. lol!
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Phantom Penguin at 3:47PM, May 24, 2007
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It pretty disgusting.

There's plenty of court cases about it. Sick soldiers trying to get disablity pay. So far though, nothing.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
Cthulhu at 3:54PM, May 24, 2007
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Making cancer-causing weapons, and armor, because it costs less?! I think I'm going to puke. What ever happened to the good people that only wanted what's best, not what costs less? Sure, it makes good stuff, but why?! Seriously, whoever decided that that was a good idea should be killed. Painfully.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:55AM
ccs1989 at 11:53AM, May 26, 2007
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Wow, I'd never heard about this before. That sucks. Yet another reason to hate the military-industrial complex.

Still, the neo-cons must see this as a gift. They get to kill off people in the Middle East through cancer, and make cheap armor!

PP, you need to get out of there.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:38AM
Defilia at 7:57AM, June 11, 2007
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actually i dont know if the danish army uses DU for armor and AP-shells.
i certainly hope they dont.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:10PM
ozoneocean at 8:30AM, June 11, 2007
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There are quite a few armies that wouldn't use it actually… The nuclear power industry in the US makes DU a very cheap and attractive proposition because it's simply a waste by product of the early stages of refinement. But elsewhere it isn't so readily available. I doubt Australia uses it, we might, but I'd tend to doubt it because while our uranium mining industry is one of the largest in the world (or at least the deposits are), our nuclear power industry has been limited to a single experimental facility (because of political opposition), so it just wouldn't be viable to produce our own, thank goodness!

If we did use it though it'd probably be limited to DU penetrator rounds for our tanks and 25mm rounds for the autocannons on our ASLAVs. …It's also possible they'd be used if we have any Phalanx defence systems on the newer ships we've bought from the US, or by the Vulcan cannons in our F/A-18s. I don't know, we might actually use it, but I don't think we do.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Phantom Penguin at 12:24PM, June 11, 2007
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The Aussie army uses it also. They use the same tank rounds as the US.

Most if not all AP rounds use DU because of super dense it is.

any kenetic engergy (KE) rounds use it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
ozoneocean at 1:24PM, June 11, 2007
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You mean with heavy machine guns as well? Or just cannon and tank guns?
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Phantom Penguin at 2:01PM, June 11, 2007
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Machine gun AP rounds are not DU. They just fly at a really high speed, and are ment to overcome body armor.

KE or Sabot rounds are Anti-Armor around ment to overcome tank or AFV armor, and since to make these out of tungsten is more money and not as dense people choose DU.

DU is not in ‘small arms’ rounds, just your large calibur tank guns.

But the Phallanx anti-aircraft gun and Vulcan gatling gun use DU because of the size of their AP rounds.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
ozoneocean at 2:42PM, June 11, 2007
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That's exactly what I thought :)
But I know that not all cannon rounds are DU. And navies like the Dutch (I think) use the American Goal Keeper system which uses a 30mm round, don't use DU because it's felt that the extra mass of the 30mm round is enough (planes, ships and missiles not being armoured afterall).

-From what I've managed to on it, it appears that Australia stopped using DU in 1990 and there are other indications that point to us not using it as well. I'll keep looking though.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Phantom Penguin at 11:34AM, June 12, 2007
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The only anti aircraft system I know of that uses DU is the American Phallanx system. But its used by much of the world.

I thought the aussie army used the same MBTs as we did?
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
ozoneocean at 12:22PM, June 12, 2007
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What I got about DU was from various political enquiries into it… NOT 100% reliable mind you because as you well know polititians are unreliable and not that bright as a species… Plus, they're easy to fool, so info I've gained from that source may still be subject to error.

As far as I know Australia only recently took delivery of the Abram's we bought and this is the first year we've used them -only 59. They're stripped of all their DU armour though. Apart from that we've used German Leopard1s since the 70's I think.

The ASLAVs are just Aus versions of the US LAVs with the same Bushmaster 25mm cannon.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Phantom Penguin at 12:17PM, June 13, 2007
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Well you guys made a good choice, the Leo is much better (if anyone sees this i'm done for!)

I know the DU in the armor is in the top panel which was welded on to make the wieght class for ‘Heavy Tank’. Without it its still a damned armor box.

As far as I know the LAV-25 use the same 25mm the Bradly's use, which fires DU AP rounds.

But to you Aussies I only hope we take the same route.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
ozoneocean at 2:43PM, June 13, 2007
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Phantom Penguin
Well you guys made a good choice, the Leo is much better (if anyone sees this i'm done for!)
The Leo is the upgraded Leopard II though isn't it? We don't have that… Just old Leopard 1s and 59 “new” Abrams :)

I didn't know that about the details of the DU armour! ^^
I know there's some reason why we decided not to have it that probably doesn't have to do with health… Maybe to increase the range and/or performance while sacrificing protection? There was some criticism about the choice, but then if we go into action using them it'll either be in a support role for the US or against regional powers who we totally outclass in equipment anyway -even though our army is way smaller than some around here.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Phantom Penguin at 2:56PM, June 13, 2007
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Yeah theres the Leopard A3 out now, I saw it when I was in Germany, its awesome. Even the Leo 1 is way more roomy then the Abrams.

Do you guys have the M1A1? Or the M1 abrams?
The US uses some crazy computerized monster called the A2 now. I like my old tank with the dials and switchs….

But yes the DU was just a add on. It cuts out probably 10+ tons and adds a bit of get up and go when you turn up the heat if you take it off.

The armor protection is fine without it i'm sure, RPGs shrug off our tanks like fly bites on a person.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
ozoneocean at 3:39PM, June 13, 2007
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I'm pretty sure it's the M1-A1. I say “new” because they're only new to us. They're all well used actually. :)
But nicely battle tested, which not many other recent tank models are!
So the new A2's aren't all nicely mechanical? That'd be like driving an Apache with tracks.

Speaking of DU, though, it's interesting how the pro-DU lobby tries to pretend that DU is basically just like lead… That's rather disingenuous because even though you can get DU that's not very radioactive, it's not all necessarily like that. The very radioactive ore is more sought after and more valuable, what is left over and not so useful to the nuclear power and weapons industry is what can become “DU” even though it might not actually be all relatively benign uranium 238 like its advocates would like to pretend!
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Phantom Penguin at 4:27PM, June 13, 2007
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The new A2 uses computer screens and crap check it out:

thats the drivers screen/control pad.

The problem with DU is not that its super radioactive. Its that its half life is something like 100 billion years! So billions of years from now Iraqis and other folks will still be suffering from DU fired in 2003.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM

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