Depleted Uranium is a relatively recent development in military weapons and technology. Depleted Uranium is one of the heaviest elements on earth giving it tremendous power when coupled with ammunition. Depleted Uranium rounds are usually of a higher caliber such as the 120mm rounds fired out of the Abrams Tank, although 30mm rounds are also made for engaging light armored vehicles. DU is even being used in sniper ammunition for long range applications. Depleted Uranium technology allows ammunition to be shot much further than conventional munitions, and delivers a much more devastating payload. Tanks equipped with depleted uranium shells can easily compromise conventional armor from 3-5 K/m out. Due to its extreme density, depleted uranium is being used in Tank armor, as well as some other military vehicle’s armor including aircraft.
The side effects of Depleted Uranium are being studied, but some research has shown signs of depleted uranium contributing to cancer rates in Iraq. After a DU shell is fired from a tank the radioactivity can spread for up to 190 miles in the wind. and has been found in water sources in Iraq.