You've come to an old part of SW Online. We're still moving this and other older stories into our new format. In the meanwhile, click here to go to the current home page.

Pentagon's new top gun

by ANDREW WHITE | June 22, 2001 | Page 2

WASHINGTON--The Pentagon has a new dream weapon.

Alliant Techsystems Integrated Defense is building the U.S. military's new infantry rifle--which it brags will be 500 times more lethal than the old-fashioned M-16.

Dubbed the "Objective Individual Combat Weapon," the new gun will have a lightweight, ergonomic design--and two barrels, one of which will fire 20 mm shells.

This will give it a firepower once limited to helicopter gunships and armored personal carriers.

According to Alliant, the weapon will have an effective range of about two-thirds of a mile.

Advanced sighting systems will see through walls and other objects, and the 20 mm shells will blast through them--making Alliant's selling pitch "No place to hide" horribly appropriate.

The Army won't get its new gun until 2009, but when it does, it will have to spend an estimated $15,000 apiece--plus $25 for every high-explosive bullet.

Pentagon officials hope the weapon will "revolutionize" modern warfare--in other words, making it easier to force other countries to submit.

The military's corporate developers can certainly pat themselves on the back for a barbaric job well done.

Home page | Back to the top