U.S. Army's handy EFP

The M2 Selectable Lightweight Attack Munition: America's explosively formed projectile (EFP)

Mark Rutherford
The military establishment's ever increasing reliance on technology and whiz-bang gadgetry impacts us as consumers, investors, taxpayers and ultimately as the defended. Our mission here is to bring some of these products and concepts to your attention based on carefully selected criteria such as importance to national security, originality, collateral damage to the treasury and adaptability to yard maintenance-but not necessarily in that order. E-mail him at markr@milapp.com. Disclosure.
Mark Rutherford
Defense Tech

The jury is still out on whether the EFPs (explosively formed projectiles) wreaking havoc in Iraq are home-brewed or made in Iran. But one thing's certain: The U.S. military is no slouch when it comes to meting out the molten metal.

The M2 Selectable Lightweight Attack Munition (SLAM) has been mass-produced by Alliant Techsystem for the U.S. Army since 1990. Like its jihadi counterpart, the M2 consists of a circular explosive with a shallow cavity fitted within a thin metallic liner at the business end. Upon detonation, the liner morphs into a lethal, molten slug that can pop through a BMP like a hot skewer through Khaled's kabob. You can bet China and Russia have there own versions, though nowhere as slick as the M2.

The SLAM can be triggered by the heat or magnetic signature of a passing vehicle or by a timer--or it can be detonated by an operative sitting across the street sipping his tea. Perfect for special ops, combat engineers or anyone else who needs to sneak up on an enemy vehicle, parked aircraft, ammo/fuel dump in a hit-and-run mode.