Armor: December 15, 2003

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One reason M-1 tanks are still seen during combat operations in Iraq is because they have a new shotgun type shell for use against hostile infantry. The XM1028 shell holds 1100 10mm tungsten balls that are propelled out of the gun barrel and begin to disperse. The tungsten projectiles are lethal at up to 700 meters. The official, " requirement is to defeat equal to or greater than 50% of a 10 man squad with 1 shot and equal to or greater than 50% of a 30 man platoon with 2 shots." Production of the shell began last year, with up to 30,000 shells (costing over $3,000 each) to be produced. Some 2,000 shells have been produced so far, with another 3,000 being built in 2004 and 5,000 in the year after that. In Iraq, the M-1 tank rolls down the road with an XM1028 round loaded and the gunner looking through his sight for potential targets. If attackers do pop up, a hail of 10mm projectiles can be fired at them in seconds. At night, the XM1028 is even more lethal, for many hostile Iraqis still don't realize that the thermal sight on the M-1 makes people clearly visible at night to the gunner, especially if they are carrying AK-47s or RPG launchers. The Iraqis still tend to bunch up, which allows one XM1028 round to wipe out entire teams of hostile fighters.  The M-1 using the XM1028 shell is the world's largest shotgun.

 


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