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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.

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