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Maybe it was a weapon made of ''mirror matter'', see here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2463143.stm and http://www.ph.unimelb.edu.au/~foot/ Quoting Hassan <firstname.lastname@example.org>: > http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292236-2336437.php > > Army Times - October 27, 2003 > > ‘Something’ felled an M1A1 Abrams tank in Iraq – but > what? > Mystery behind Aug. 28 incident puzzles Army officials > > By John Roos > Special to the Times > > Shortly before dawn on Aug. 28, an M1A1 Abrams tank on > routine patrol in Baghdad “was hit by something” that > crippled the 69-ton behemoth. > Army officials still are puzzling over what that > “something” was. > > According to an unclassified Army report, the mystery > projectile punched through the vehicle’s skirt and > drilled a pencil-sized hole through the hull. The hole > was so small that “my little finger will not go into > it,” the report’s author noted. > > The “something” continued into the crew compartment, > where it passed through the gunner’s seatback, grazed > the kidney area of the gunner’s flak jacket and > finally came to rest after boring a hole 1½ to 2 > inches deep in the hull on the far side of the tank. > > As it passed through the interior, it hit enough > critical components to knock the tank out of action. > That made the tank one of only two Abrams disabled by > enemy fire during the Iraq war and one of only a > handful of “mobility kills” since they first rumbled > onto the scene 20 years ago. The other Abrams knocked > out this year in Iraq was hit by an RPG-7, a > rocket-propelled grenade. > > Experts believe whatever it is that knocked out the > tank in August was not an RPG-7 but most likely > something new — and that worries tank drivers. > > Mystery and anxiety > > Terry Hughes is a technical representative from Rock > Island Arsenal, Ill., who examined the tank in Baghdad > and wrote the report. > > In the sort of excited language seldom included in > official Army documents, he said, “The unit is very > anxious to have this ‘SOMETHING’ identified. It seems > clear that a penetrator of a yellow molten metal is > what caused the damage, but what weapon fires such a > round and precisely what sort of round is it? The bad > guys are using something unknown and the guys facing > it want very much to know what it is and how they can > defend themselves.” > > Nevertheless, the Abrams continues its record of > providing extraordinary crew protection. The four-man > crew suffered only minor injuries in the attack. The > tank commander received “minor shrapnel wounds to the > legs and arms and the gunner got some in his arm” as a > result of the attack, according to the report. > > Whatever penetrated the tank created enough heat > inside the hull to activate the vehicle’s Halon > firefighting gear, which probably prevented more > serious injuries to the crew. > > The soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 70th Armor Regiment, > 1st Armor Division who were targets of the attack > weren’t the only ones wondering what damaged their > 69-ton tank. > > Hughes also was puzzled. “Can someone tell us?” he > wrote. “If not, can we get an expert on foreign > munitions over here to examine this vehicle before > repairs are begun? Please respond quickly.” > > His report went to the office of the combat systems > program manager at the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and > Armaments Command in Warren, Mich. A command spokesman > said he could provide no information about the > incident. > > “The information is sensitive,” he said. “It looks > like [members of the program manager’s office] are not > going to release any information right now.” > > While it’s impossible to determine what caused the > damage without actually examining the tank, some > conclusions can be drawn from photos that accompanied > the incident report. Those photos show a pencil-size > penetration hole through the tank body, but very > little sign of the distinctive damage — called > spalling — that typically occurs on the inside surface > after a hollow- or shaped-charge warhead from an > anti-tank weapon burns its way through armor. > > Spalling results when an armor penetrator pushes a > stream of molten metal ahead of it as it bores through > an armored vehicle’s protective skin. > > “It’s a real strange impact,” said a source who has > worked both as a tank designer and as an anti-tank > weapons engineer. “This is a new one. … It almost > definitely is a hollow-charge warhead of some sort, > but probably not an RPG-7” anti-tank rocket-propelled > grenade. > > The well-known RPG-7 has been the scourge of lightly > armored vehicles since its introduction more than 40 > years ago. Its hollow-charge warhead easily could > punch through an M1’s skirt and the relatively thin > armor of its armpit joint, the area above the tracks > and beneath the deck on which the turret sits, just > where the mystery round hit the tank. > > An RPG-7 can penetrate about 12 inches of steel — a > thickness far greater than the armor that was > penetrated on the tank in Baghdad. But the limited > spalling evident in the photos accompanying the > incident report all but rules out the RPG-7 as the > culprit, experts say. > > Limited spalling is a telltale characteristic of > Western-manufactured weapons designed to defeat armor > with a cohesive jet stream of molten metal. In > contrast, RPG-7s typically produce a fragmented jet > spray. > > The incident is so sensitive that most experts in the > field would talk only on the condition that they not > be identified. > > One armor expert at Fort Knox, Ky., suggested the tank > may have been hit by an updated RPG. About 15 years > ago, Russian scientists created tandem-warhead > anti-tank-grenades designed to defeat reactive armor. > The new round, a PG-7VR, can be fired from an RPG-7V > launcher and might have left the unusual signature on > the tank. > > In addition, the Russians have developed an improved > weapon, the RPG-22. These and perhaps even newer > variants have been used against American forces in > Afghanistan. It is believed U.S. troops seized some > that have been returned to the United States for > testing, but scant details about their effects and > “fingerprints” are available. > > Still another possibility is a retrofitted warhead for > the RPG system being developed by a Swiss > manufacturer. > > At this time, it appears most likely that an RPG-22 or > some other improved variant of the Russian-designed > weapon damaged the M1 tank, sources concluded. The > damage certainly was caused by some sort of > shaped-charge or hollow-charge warhead, and the > cohesive nature of the destructive jet suggests a more > effective weapon than a fragmented-jet RPG-7. > > A spokesman for General Dynamics Land Systems, which > manufactures the Abrams, said company engineers agree > some type of RPG probably caused the damage. After > checking with them, the spokesman delivered the > manufacturer’s verdict: The tank was hit by “a > ‘golden’ RPG” — an extremely lucky shot. > > In the end, a civilian weapons expert said, “I hope it > was a lucky shot and we are not part of someone’s test > program. Being a live target is no fun.” > > *John Roos is editor of Armed Forces Journal, which is > owned by Army Times Publishing Co. > > > > __________________________________ > Do you Yahoo!? > Protect your identity with Yahoo! 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