By Bert Kinzey
Contents: Unmanned Aerial cars (UAV); U. S. army: wrestle plane; U. S. military: aid plane; U. S. military: the traditional Mariner Flies a brand new undertaking; Marine Air Operations; U. S. Air strength: The Strategic Bombing crusade; U. S. Air strength: The Tactical Air crusade; U. S. Air strength: aid airplane; Aerial guns: Air-to-Air Missiles; Aerial guns: Joint Direct assault Munitions (JDAM); Aerial guns: Laser Guided Bombs (LGB); Aerial guns: Air-to-Ground Missiles; Aerial guns: usual Bombs; Coalition companions.
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Extra resources for U.S. Aircraft Weapons of Operation Iraqi Freedom
The IEDand RPG-initiated ambush became the key tactic of the insurgents, with the IEDs growing in size and sophistication as the Coalition responded with both tactical and technological innovations to combat them, spearheaded by the Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO). With a lack of up-armored patrol vehicles in 2003 and 2004, SOF units were forced to improvise by scavenging metal plate to be fashioned by unit mechanics into makeshift armor for their GMVs until up-armoring kits and larger numbers of M1114s became available.
The heavy armor would then escort the SF element out after the target was breached and exploited. THE RISE OF THE MRAP The first MRAPs appeared in limited numbers in Iraq as EOD and combat engineer vehicles, such as the BAE Land Systems RG-31. Originally designed based on South African and Rhodesian bush war experience, generically MRAPs are based on a V-shaped or curved lower hull that directs the blast from a land mine or IED around and away from the vehicle. Additionally, MRAPs are generally fully enclosed vehicles, belying their origins as EOD vehicles, with windscreens and viewing ports fitted with heavy ballistic glass.
Foremost is the turret-mounted CROWS II remote weapons station (RWS) with M2 Browning. Other changes are the bewildering array of antennae servicing multiple types of communications and electronic countermeasures (ECM) systems, the hood-mounted satellite communications (SATCOM) antennae, and the driver’s thermal camera mounted on the roof. All SF soldiers utilizing the RG-33, and its cousin the RG-31, must complete a pre-deployment week-long course in driving and manning the vehicle and using its weapon systems and communication suites.