Friday, January 21, 2022

US Army awards contract to General Dynamics for disposal of depleted uranium

The U.S. Army Contracting Command has awarded General Dynamics a contract for demilitarization and disposal of depleted uranium.

The U.S. Department of Defense said Wednesday that the General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, part of  General Dynamics Corporation, won $27,5 million for demilitarization special ammunition that uses depleted uranium, a by-product of the uranium enrichment process.

Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 20, 2026, according to the U.S. Department of Defense contract announcements.

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Depleted uranium (DU) is natural uranium that has been changed by the removal of the more radioactive isotopes, leaving it about 99.8% 238U. Depleted uranium has 40% less radioactivity than natural uranium

The military uses DU as armor to protect military tanks and their crews from enemy anti-tank munitions. DU is also used as armor-piercing projectiles because of its high density, ability to self sharpen as it penetrates a target, and propensity to ignite on impact at temperatures exceeding 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The GAU-8 Avenger 30mm gatling gun is designed to fire high explosive incendiary and armor-piercing depleted uranium rounds. Photo by Senior Airman Greg Nash

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Executive Editor

About this Author

Colton Jones
Colton Jones is technology editor for Defenсe Blog. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere.

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