Here are the pictures from this "Mystery Projectile".....maybe 'we' can come up with just "what" did this or caused this, eh?
The white piece of paper in the photo above covers where the tanks armor was penetrated.
The red circle in the photo above marks where the side armor of the M1A1 tank was penetrated.
A close-up view of the penetration of the side armor (in the turret well).
Whatever penetrated the hull, continued inside the tank, going through a hose behind the gunners seat.
The projectile continued through the back of the gunners seat. The gunner was in the seat at the time and his flak jacket was damaged, and he reported
that it felt like someone had hit him in the back with a hammer.
The mystery projectile continued under the breech of the main gun and damaged a safety guard.
The mystery projectile then came out the other side of the safety guard.
The mystery projectile then went through the turret networks box.
The mystery projectile round then went through the breaker panel. The mystery projectile (or stream of hot plasma) finally hit the opposite side of
the tank, making a hole some 45mm deep.
And the link to the article:
"ARMORED WARFARE: Mystery Projectile Penetrates M-1
"October 31, 2003: The U.S. Army is not saying much about the "mystery projectile" that went through the side skirts and side armor of an M-1A1
tank last August 28th. Whatever it was just barely missed the tanks gunner (it went through the back of his seat and grazed part of his flak jacket)
and put a pencil size hole nearly 50mm deep into the four inch thick armor on the other side of the tank. The damage may have been done by a
projectile, not a shaped charge (which uses a jet of super-hot plasma to burn a hole in armor and put a quantity of plasma and molten metal inside the
tank.) No known RPG would do that kind of damage. But some Western anti-tank rockets generate a different kind of plasma jet that might create the
kind of damage done. A U.S. 25mm armor piercing shell (fired from the gun mounted on the M-2 Bradley armored vehicle) uses a small penetrator, but
that penetrator is of depleted uranium, which burns like a flare once it is inside its target. One major unknown is the large number of portable
anti-tank weapons (especially Russian and Chinese models) that have not been tested against the M-1 tank. It's not unusual for new weapons to have
unpredictable effects once they are first used in combat. Until the army releases more information, if they have any, the mystery lingers."
I'm thinking a SABOT 'blue' round or a SABOT shelled munition fired from a fairly high-caliber rifle of such. From my readings on this and digging
a bit...I have read that a DU round will do the same. Also, it seems that the "mystery projectile" entered in/at the 'center of mass' of the M1,
indicating a long distant shot.
What do you guys and gals think....any information on this would be nice, as would opinions.
[Edited on 31-10-2003 by Seekerof]