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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Army Introduces Ammo Destroyer

RIA Novosti

16:02 08/02/2012 MOSCOW, February 8 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian military is introducing new technology for destroying obsolete ammunition, with the straightforwardly-named “Destroyer” set to replace the current dangerous practice of just blowing up old bombs and rockets, Rossiiskaya Gazeta said.

The Destroyer is a metal rod containing an incendiary mixture that is attached to an old military round and burns out the explosives inside it, the governmental daily said on Wednesday. The device is triggered by an electric discharge.

“There’s no detonation or blast wave in the process. Not even much noise, just a pop on ignition,” Yevgeny Meshkov, a spokesman for the Central Military District, was cited as saying.

The Destroyer, developed by an unspecified enterprise in the Urals, passed testing and is being introduced throughout the military district, which houses dozens of arms depots, Meshkov said.

Curiously, the army would be paying for the Destroyers not with money, but with empty shells from ammunition rounds, which amount to tons of metal that can be sold or used for industrial purposes.

Two arms depots in the district blew up in separate incidents in 2011, pelting neighboring villages with tons of old ammunition rounds, which resulted in mass evacuations, massive damages and several deaths. The incidents – not the first, but the most spectacular of their kind in recent years – brought into spotlight the army’s obsolete technologies for destroying old ammo.

The Defense Ministry currently has 6 million tons of obsolete ammunition rounds in store and plans to destroy half of them by 2014. Some 160,000 tons of these would be undone using the Destroyer, Rossiiskaya Gazeta said.

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