Military

US military seeks biodegradable bullets that sprout plants

US military seeks biodegradabl...
Also imperative is that animals are able to safely consume the plants that sprout from the bullets
Also imperative is that animals are able to safely consume the plants that sprout from the bullets
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Also imperative is that animals are able to safely consume the plants that sprout from the bullets
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Also imperative is that animals are able to safely consume the plants that sprout from the bullets

Perhaps because of the damage it can cause when it strikes a target, not all that much attention is given to the damage caused by ammunition that doesn't. But with the hundreds of thousands of training rounds used by the US Army either left on the ground or lodged a few feet beneath, there are a few environmental concerns at play. The Department of Defense is now looking at ways to clean up after itself, putting out the call for the development of biodegradable ammunition loaded with seeds that sprout plants after being discharged.

At military facilities across the US and indeed around the world, a huge number of rounds are fired for training purposes, ranging from low-velocity 40 mm grenades, to mortars, to 155 mm artillery rounds. All of these feature components that can take hundreds of years to biodegrade, and falling onto the ground in such great numbers means that finding and cleaning them up is no small task. But left behind, they can corrode and pollute the soil and water supplies.

So the Department of Defense has put out a call for proposals through the Small Business Innovation Research agency that solve the problem. The DoD describes the solution as a naturally occurring biodegradable material that can replace those used in current training rounds.

It imagines that the biodegradable composites will be capable of holding bioengineered seeds inside (a technology it says has been demonstrated previously), that won't germinate until they have been in the ground for several months. Then plants will sprout from the discharged ammunition that actively remove soil contaminants and consume the other biodegradable components. Also imperative is that animals are able to safely consume the plants.

The DoD is looking for applications up until February 8, and says the contractor will initially develop a process whereby biodegradable composites with embedded seeds can be used to make 40 to 120 mm training rounds that meet the performance requirements of existing training rounds. Beyond that, the contractor is also expected to explore ways these kinds of materials with integrated seeds can be used for purposes other than defense.

Source: Small Business Innovation Research

15 comments
Bob Flint
The seed you need is in your heart, not inside a bullet.....unless you plan on reforesting acres of wasteland.
Gaëtan Mahon
"Dear? What is that noise? What are you doing?" "Gardening..." "You never cared for gardening before!" "Times changed Hun... Times changed" *taking a deep inhale on a Cuban while reloading the 40mm Grenade Launcher with a Tulip Shot" "May want to cover yourself" "Wha.." *blaam*
Nahor
I wonder how they can get this to work. Will they have different ammunition for different climates? Will they have different ammunition for different regions to avoid destabilizing whole ecosystems because of foreign plants?
MBadgero
Shooting someone with a bullet that contains a plant seed probably violates the Geneva Convention against biological warfare. ("Really, I was planting caster beans...") Hopefully this will go away with the new administration.
ChairmanLMAO
Beyond that, the contractor is also expected to explore ways these kinds of materials with integrated seeds can be used for purposes other than defense.
The fine print - we only look for offensive solution btw. What we actually want is seed bullets to produce - you know - the creature from the black lagoon - or something. Maybe, some trees that produce their own nooses for hanging around - haha get it - hanging around. No seriously, we need an hybrid. Poison Ivy, dandelions, venus fly trap and corpseflower combination applications will be pushed to the front of the line.
K1W1
Why not just shoot high tech fortune cookies you would only need two messages "Gotcha" and "B..... missed"
DaveLongstaff
What a great idea, I would suggest Poppy seeds....
Mark Markarian
Forget it.
This idea is dead.
The Trump Administration isn't going to waste time with this stupidity.
Whether you like it or not,
Bullets are for Killing and
The more likely it is that They will Kill,
The LESS the likely that the bullets will be fired.
RichardKokemoor
The article with its photo is misleading. The ammunition sought is not for small arms - one person cannot carry (or own) a weapon that fires 40mm - 120mm ammunition. This is stuff that is mounted on a tank, plane or ship.
Siegfried Gust
I'm sorry, what am I missing here? The purpose of the seeds is to grow plants " that actively remove soil contaminants and consume the other biodegradable components." Why bother with the seeds and just create biodegradable munitions that don't contain anything that will contaminate the soil. And if they want to remove existing contaminants, there are far more effective ways of dispersing seeds.