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In next-gen bombs and bullets, casing explodes


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Pentagon has quietly been working on a new arsenal of advanced weaponry that replaces metal casings with "reactive materials," normally harmless matter that combines to release explosive amounts of energy on impact, tearing targets apart with violent fury.

In development for more than 30 years, the research is beginning to bear fruit, and may soon spawn more powerful bombs, warheads that tear apart stone and concrete, mines that can be set to stun or kill, and grenades that can swat rockets or mortar rounds out of the sky like flies.

"You can get effects that are more precisely tailored to a particular target," says John Pike, director of Washington military research group GlobalSecurity.org. "And you're able to get a greater effect out of a smaller munition."

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