The Weapon That Won't Go Away

Saddam never got a chance to use his SUPERGUN, a powerful megacannon capable of hurling chemical, biological or nuclear warheads hundreds of miles. U.N. forces dismantled two models in Iraq last year, one an incomplete version with a barrel 165 yards long. But Western intelligence agents in the Middle East are nervously tracking another design that is much easier to build. Unlike earlier models, the new weapon uses ordinary 1/8-in. bridge wire, a steel fiber common in the construction of suspension bridges. Spun while red-hot around large-diameter steel pipe, the wire strengthens the barrel enough to withstand the pressures of firing...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!