Wednesday, July 14, 2010

U.S. Military to Purchase New "Green Bullets" - M855A1 Enhanced Performance Rounds

Even the military is going "green."

The Marine Corps intends to purchase 1.8 million rounds of the Army’s new green bullet in addition to the millions of U.S. Special Operations Command cartridges already downrange as the service looks to find the best replacement for its Cold War-era ammo.

The new environmentally friendly M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round is on the way to U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, Army officials said, with about 1 million rounds arriving soon. The updated 5.56mm round is touted as more effective than old M855 ammunition and, in some cases, 7.62mm rounds currently in use.

The new M855A1 will be used by the Army to replace the Cold War-era M855 round, which was developed in the 1970s and approved as an official NATO round in 1980. In recent years, troops have widely criticized it, saying it is ineffective against barriers such as car windshields and often travels right through unarmored insurgents, with less-than-lethal effects.

The Army plans to buy about 200 million rounds of the new ammunition over the next 12 to 15 months, Army officials said late last month. The announcement came 11 months after the service had to halt the program when the M855A1 lead-free slug failed to perform under high temperatures.

Source: Military Times

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