Airpower Sumary for Iraq and Afghanistan | War in Iraq – Aircraft information


U.S. Central Command Air Forces officials have released the airpower summary for March 31.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped Guided Bomb Unit-31s on an insurgent compound and a GBU-38 on an enemy firing position near Garmsir. A Joint Terminal Attack Controller confirmed targets were directly hit.

Another B-1B provided a show of presence for coalition forces in contact with insurgents near Asmar and Orgun. A JTAC reported it as successful given no engagements were reported thereafter.

Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles dropped a GBU-38 on a building reported to contain a suspected underground hide-out in Sangin. A JTAC confirmed the weapons hit the desired location. One of the two F-15Es also dropped a GBU-12 on a disabled coalition truck, to prevent use by the enemy.

f15 eagle us air force

A Royal Air Force GR-7 Harrier dropped an Enhanced Paveway II munition on an insurgent compound near Garmsir. A JTAC confirmed a direct hit on the target.

In total, 33 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Six Air Force and Royal Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan.

In Iraq, an Air Force MQ-1B Predator fired Hellfire missiles at enemy personnel fleeing from a raid near Samarra. Missile impacts were reported as successful.

Another MQ-1B fired a Hellfire missile at enemy personnel unloading weapons from a vehicle. Missile impact was reported as successful.

Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs provided a show of force, releasing multiple flares, to deter any potential attacks against innocent individuals walking to a local mosque near Baghdad. The A-10s also provided a show of force, again releasing multiple flares, to disperse anti-Iraqi forces who were firing on a coalition police station and compound. Both shows of force were reported as effective.

Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons provided armed overwatch for a planned raid on three houses near Samarra. The pilots also provided reconnaissance along multiple routes and the banks of the Tigris River. The pilots reported all significant findings for possible future action by ground commanders.

Other F-16s provided a show of force to flush out any insurgents during a cordon set-up and search effort near Samarra. The pilots also provided overwatch for a coalition convoy in the same area. No attacks were reported during or after the overwatch.

Near Tikrit, F-16s conducted a show of force to scare off individuals stealing oil from a pipeline. A JTAC confirmed it as successful in that the individuals left the area.

Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets provided a show of force over a suspected enemy small arms position near Baghdad. The F/A-18s then provided overwatch of an ambulance in the same area.

Other F/A-18s reported approximately ten individuals loading objects into a sedan outside a complex and then driving to another location.

Royal Air Force GR-4 Tornados provided a show of force for a coalition convoy receiving small arms fire after a vehicle hit an improvised explosive device near Al Mumammad. The pilots provided overwatch until a medical evacuation helicopter arrived on scene and was airborne.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 62 close-air-support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions provided support to coalition ground forces, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.

Additionally, 20 Air Force, Navy and RAF ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq.

Air Force C-130s and C-17s provided intra-theater heavy airlift support, helping to sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa. Nearly 145 airlift sorties were flown; nearly 660 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 3,250 passengers were transported.

Coalition C-130 crews from Australia and Canada flew in support of OIF or OEF.

On March 29, Air Force, RAF and French air force crews flew 44 sorties and off-loaded more than 2.6 million pounds of fuel which is the equivalent of more than 65 full Air Force Logistics Readiness fuel truck.

F-22A Raptor – The Future of Air Superiority – F22 Video

FA22 Raptors Oct2005

Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT]

The FA-22 Raptor is a symbol of Future Firepower. The Raptor encompasses advanced avionics, a very maneuverable airframe, and the ability to cruise at supersonic speeds without the use of an afterburner which increases it’s effective range. The F-22 can internally carry two 1,000 pound-class Joint Direct Attack Munitions or JDAM’s, along with a variety of air-to-air missiles. By carrying all of it’s munitions internally, the F-22 reduces it’s drag and adds to its stealth capabilities. The raptor can acquire targets and engage multiple targets simultaneously before the enemy aircraft even know what hit them. The f-22 raptor is the future of air superiority. I have included a testing video below so you can see the incredible capabilities of the f22 with your own eyes.

Check out this promotional F-22 video that was produced by Lockheed Martin.

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Click Here to See Another F-22 Post

“The Lockheed Martin F-22a Raptor is fast, has a long range, and is more maneuverable than any other jet in the sky, but it’s crazy dumb when it comes to sending out its data to other jets and ground control. Pilots of the speedy aircraft are required to talk fast, telling other pilots in the area what targets they’ve seen and relaying other information.”

Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, UAV

The predator is an unmanned aerial vehicle that capable of airborne reconnaissance missions over a particular area for up to 20 hours. The predator gives the US military a birds eye view of the battlefield so units can react to emerging threats quickly and decisively. The great thing about the Predator is that you can fly it from a small simulator! Recently the Predator has been equipped with smart bombs or hellfire missiles to make it a fully functional killing machine.

predator uav
Manufacturer: General Atomics, subsidiary of General Dynamics [NYSE: GD]

The Predator has flown numerous missions In Iraq and Afghanistan and is playing a major role in the global war on terrorism. The predator never gets tired and can be used to engage targets on the ground without putting our troops in harms way.

This is a video of a Predator UAV firing a hellfire missile at insurgents planting an IED in Iraq, demonstrating its attack capabilities.

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Also See: A-10 Warthog and Predator Airstrike on Insurgent AA Machine Gun

Depleted Uranium Munitions – Rounds, Armor | 120mm | 30mm

Depleted Uranium is a relatively recent development in military weapons and technology. Depleted Uranium is one of the heaviest elements on earth giving it tremendous power when coupled with ammunition. Depleted Uranium rounds are usually of a higher caliber such as the 120mm rounds fired out of the Abrams Tank, although 30mm rounds are also made for engaging light armored vehicles. DU is even being used in sniper ammunition for long range applications. Depleted Uranium technology allows ammunition to be shot much further than conventional munitions, and delivers a much more devastating payload. Tanks equipped with depleted uranium shells can easily compromise conventional armor from 3-5 K/m out. Due to its extreme density, depleted uranium is being used in Tank armor, as well as some other military vehicle’s armor including aircraft.

depleted uranium

The side effects of Depleted Uranium are being studied, but some research has shown signs of depleted uranium contributing to cancer rates in Iraq. After a DU shell is fired from a tank the radioactivity can spread for up to 190 miles in the wind. and has been found in water sources in Iraq.

The OICW – Objective Individual Combat Weapon – the M-29

Manufacturer: Alliant Tech Systems [NYSE: ATK]

OICW Assault Rifle of the Future

It was decided by the Department of Defense (DoD) in the 1970’s that the limit of effective rifle technology had reached it’s peak. Basically, rifles had reached the pinnacle of accuracy, weight, and reliability under the current chain of development seen around the world. Given modern training and sighting technologies such as scopes, once can theoretically assume that every shot fired will hit its intended target. So the question remained, what obstacles to achieving a kill do modern soldiers still face in a firefight? The answer, ironically enough, are physical obstacles. Walls, berms, embankments, boulders, nearly anything large enough to provide cover for a hiding enemy soldier. In comes the new technology of the OICW. To increase the hit probability in the small arms is to introduce a weapon that will fire explosive and fragmentation warheads, combined with the smart fusing and sighting / aiming technologies. Simply put, design a weapon that can kill people that are in hiding. For example, a soldier takes fire from behind a wall, with the OICW, the soldier with shrapnel.

This OICW assault rifle video should get the point across.

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The OICW program was actually cancelled and will be replaced by the FCS Future Force Warrior system.

AH-64 Apache Helicopter Attack Video

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Mfg: Boeing [NYSE: BA]

The Apache is likely the most lethal killing machine ever built. The 30mm turret mounted below the pilot moves with the pilot’s helmet-mounted optical target selection system, which allows the pilot to aim the weapon without operating a joystick, simply look at it, and it can be killed, day or night, rain or shine. In this video, troops on the ground have called in an attack on a building that insurgents are hiding inside. The Apache fires its 30mm cannon and hydra rockets, which utterly devastate the structure. Despite only the complete destruction of the front section of the building, people hiding in the rear would likely be killed as well due to the shock waves and shrapnel from the high explosive rounds and hydra rockets. Either that, or they will be dealt with by a second pass by the Apache or by a wave of US soldiers sweeping the area for damage assessment and mop up.

This is an Apache Attack Helicopter gun camera video. It depicts a close air support attack on a building in Iraq.

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Click Here to See an Apache Attack on Personnel

Click Here to See an F-16 Attack on Personnel

Click Here to See an AC-130 Gunship Attack on Personnel

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