German Newspaper challenges German policy of no DU tank ammo

leopard_2a6_2A recent article in German newspaper Die Welt makes the claim that German tungsten based APFSDS 120mm ammunition is ineffective against the armor of Russian T90 MBTs.  The author of the article, Han Ruhle, was the Chief of Policy Planning Staff in the German Department of Defense 1982-1988.  He lays the blame for the lack of effective depleted uranium APFSDS round in the German inventory at the feet of German environmentalists and anti-nuclear activists.  The article states that:

Currently, the Bundeswehr has a limited effective means of anti-tank ammunition with the DM63, an arrow-tungsten-based ammunition. Their penetrating power is indeed improved significantly over the old munitions and corresponds with the enhanced 120-millimeter cannon to just the level of the old uranium core ammunition of the US from the 80s. However, this is not enough to penetrate the newer versions of the T80- and T90 tanks.

The full article can be viewed here (in German).  This article comes at a time when the German military has suffered a number of embarrassments regarding equipment effectiveness, procurement and readiness.  The G36 rifle has come under criticism for inaccuracy at high temperatures, the Puma IFV has suffered a series of delays and cost overruns and earlier this year a German unit on exercises was shown with broomsticks substituted for missing gun barrels.

Not surprisingly, the decidedly pro-Russian news site Sputnik International pounced on this article, declaring “German Army has no Chance against Russian Tanks

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