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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.''

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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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