From e-bombs (electromagnetic pulse bombs) to smart bombs to revamped, revised cruise missiles, the United States Military has an arsenal of high tech weapons that have marked a turn in the way wars are fought. Some of the weapons currently in use, during this 2003 war on Iraq have greatly improved since the 1991 Dessert Storm War against the same adversary. Now we have technology that has become known as surgical precision. It seems strange to hear a general say we are at war but plan to preserve life and that we will have minimal casualties. Today's technology has forever changed the face of war. I plan to discuss just a few of these technological advances in the weapons being used in the current conflict with Iraq.
The B-52H Stratofortress is one of the United States Air Force's most consistent bombers. It is an old airplane, but it is the most capable long-range strike platforms that we are using in the current War Theater. It is capable because of the highly trained crew inside its cockpit. Airmen train very hard in order to fly the B-52H. The plane has five crewmembers, the Pilot, Co-Pilot, Electronic Warfare Officer, Radar Navigator and Navigator. The forty-year-old, $50 million airplane can carry as many as twelve different types of weapons, such as GPS - (global position system) or laser-guided bombs and missiles. Some of these require a release window of 20 to 30 seconds and other munitions are even more accurate requiring a smaller release window. The crew actually lives in this plane until the mission is complete. It has two floors, the Navigator is downstairs with all of his/her needed equipment, and the rest of the crew is upstairs. I found it rather amusing to learn that the B-52H has an oven, bed and a toilet in the cockpit (kind of makes it the deadly RV of the sky). The B-52H is the workhorse of the modern United States Air Force. During this 2003 campaign it is flying from Britain and launched air launched cruise missiles - (ACLMs) on Baghdad.