Pentagon covers up flaws in Soviet arms -- Aspin

Soviet tanks and guns are beset with problems which the Pentagon never mentions in an effort to mislead the American public, a member of the influential House Armed Services Committee says.

Rep. Les Aspin (D) of Wisconsin released a list of Soviet equipment now in the hands of the US Army which an investigation by his staff showed to have a wide array of faults. He charged the Pentagon overestimates Soviet strength and ''tends to mislead the public into thinking we need to spend more on defense than we really do.''

Among problems he cited is the turret of the most common Soviet tank, the T- 62, which he said cannot be operated until two minutes after its power system is turned on.

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