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Israel and Depleted UraniumDexter Phoenix Salem-News.com
The not-so-secret illegal dirty weapon is a hazard to Israel and her enemies.
(SALEM, Ore.) - I have been reading a lot of criticism on Tim King’s story, "Israel's Declining Sperm Quality Tied to Depleted Uranium Exposure", about the question of Israel using depleted uranium rounds in Lebanon recently, or any other place for that matter.
Well the tank round that was mentioned on Tim's story a few weeks ago, I was told... from a source I shall not disclose (due to another up and coming story of a very sensitive nature) is from the kinetic energy penetrator.
It is used for many different combat situations including armor-piercing (for cheap brick buildings, in a country that was not using tanks at the time?... I guess?!).
These rounds are extremely adaptive when creating the desired round for the right job, from “chemical” energy penetrators to armor piercing.
The principle of the KE penetrator, is that it uses its kinetic energy, which is a function of mass and velocity, to force its way through armor. The modern KE weapon maximizes KE and minimizes the area over which it is delivered by a very high velocity muzzle, which mostly came from a very clever and reliable design which first originated from Germany via their main modern battle tank of today.
They use a state of the art barrel called the Rheinmetall 120 mm gun also known as a smooth bore tank gun, which the Americans have (under license from Germany) in their Abrams tanks.
So that puts Britain out of the equation of having any involvement in supplying or making any depleted uranium rounds for Israel’s smooth bore guns that they use on their Merkava Mark IV main battle tanks... which use a smooth bore 120 mm gun.
The new barrel on this particular Israeli tank had been updated and modified in 2006 (from the previous versions) that is now capable of firing a wider variety of projectiles, including HEAT and sabot rounds like the APFSDS kinetic energy penetrator.
The British use a rifle barrel for their Challenger Mark 2 battle tanks (and yes we do use depleted uranium, but found the kenetic penetrator rounds to be particular unstable for the rifle's barrel design). It's only now that Britain has brought out a new upgraded smooth bore for their main battle tanks.
The Merkava tank dates back to the 1960s. Plans were drawn up to isolate Israel's military industry from foreign reliance.
Israel's economy and national reserves, backed by U.S. military grant aid, (which created a legal loophole) allowed Israel to purchase nearly any kind of military weapons or equipment; related to land, sea, or air, from friendly nations, without any questioning or reasoning.
During this period of time, due to Israel's infrastructure, they were not capable of producing those items domestically.
In 1965, Israel's military establishment initiated research and development for a domestically produced tank, the Sabra (Not to be confused with the modern Sabra Tank).
Initially, Britain and Israel collaborated on a development of Britain’s Chieftain main battle tank, that had entered British Army service in 1966.
However, in 1969, Britain decided not to sell the tank to Israel for political reasons! For once the British managed to get out in time and let America carry on with their 'no questions asked' military financial aid is still going on to THIS day!
Deadly Rounds for All
This particular tank round that we are talking about, is also designed to maximize the mass of whatever volume is occupied by the projectile, which makes the densest metals practical, which is one of the reasons DEPLETED URANIUM is often used FOR THIS TANK ROUND!
KE penetrators for modern tanks are commonly 2–3 cm in diameter, and 50–60 cm long, as more modern penetrators are developed, their length tends to increase and the diameter to decrease.
However the development of heavy forms of “reactive” armor designed to shear long rod penetrators has prompted the reversal of this trend in the newest U.S. rounds.
To maximize the amount of kinetic energy released on the target, the penetrator must be made of a dense material, such as tungsten carbide or "DEPLETED URANIUM“ alloy (Staballoy).
The hardness of the penetrator is of less importance, but is still a factor as abrasion is a major component of the penetrator defeat mechanism.
As Depleted Uranium is itself not particularly hard, it is alloyed with nickel, zinc or both. Depleted Uranium is what the military class as a "pyrophoric"; the heated fragments of the penetrator ignite after impact on contact with air, setting fire to fuel and/or ammunition in the target vehicle, thereby compensating for the lack of an explosive warhead in the penetrator.
I am getting tired of being questioned about something I did see and witness. Israeli troops were very secretive and very protective over those particular rounds that I had taken pictures of.
There is absolutely no reason as to why Israel cannot obtain depleted uranium to make weapons out of.
As long as America is watching them very closely, and I am very sure still assisting them in military research and development.
As long as they are obtaining enough material to be able to make the whole of the middle east glow up from space like some Pink Floyd concert, then they will still keep using it, as well as keep denying it... a bit like Israel saying they had "no Nukes", but the locals were pretty keen, and very proud to boast about Israel having more nuclear warheads than most other countries in the world.
Dexter Phoenix has worked as a staff and freelance photographer since the mid-1990's and has a wealth of professional experiences on his resume. We welcome his presence to our staff and Salem-News.com.
This native of Great Britain moved to Los Angeles in 2007, where he photographed general news, general Interests, sports, freelance model photo work, and also stock images. In his career Dexter has had photos published: World wide, in many magazines and newspapers and online. Throughout the course of his career he has experience with technology of all imaginable types. In his career as a photographer Dexter has covered stories in Norway, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, France, Mexico, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey, Somalia, Tunisia, Algeria. Angola, Iran, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Colombia, United States. Email inquiries about photo purchase to Dexter at the above address.
You can email Dexter Phoenix, Salem-News.com Photographer/Reporter, at email@example.com
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