How Prepared Is The Army In Terms Of Weaponry?
Is the U.S. Army adequately equipped with the right weapons to defend the country in the worst event of war?
The U.S. Army undoubtedly has no shortage of lethal weapons. They have an arsenal of expensive and very complex lethal weapons. And while these weapons have earned the praise and support of politicians and defense contractors, the troops in the field may not share the same sentiment.
But regardless of what the field troops feel about these weapons, the U.S. Army has an astonishing amount of firepower which it can deliver in various settings – from small-war counterinsurgency operations to big-war mechanized and sophisticated combat operations. Five of the best lethal weapons are in the U.S. Army’s arsenal inventory and they include:
AH-64 Apache Helicopter
How can an aircraft be the Army’s best weapon for the forces on land? It might sound ironic but given the various conflicts the military has fought in recent years, airpower is undoubtedly the most decisive factor and it is likely that the AH-64 Apache helicopters will remain as such, on the battlefields for many years to come.
How deadly can the Apache chopper be? It has:
- Hellfire missiles
- A 30-mm cannon
- Highly-sophisticated sensors
All these spell range, speed and firepower – all of which are needed to hit the targets long before they come within firing distance of the U.S. Army ground troops. The Apache helicopter is equally useful at decimating enemy armored columns or hunting down insurgents. During Operation Desert Storm, this lethal weapon delivered well to the expectations of the military higher ups. Even during the most recent Afghan war, the Apache choppers did not disappoint and fail.
Even without support from the US Air Force or the U.S. Navy aircraft, the US Army ground troops can rely on their own air support on the battlegrounds. Clear and precise communications between the ground troops and the Apache pilot are critical to the success of any ground mission. Using the AN/PRC-77 Handset, the ground troops can exchange situational reports with the Apache support troops.
M-1 Abrams Tank
This deadly tank has proven its power during Desert Storm as it decimated the Soviet-made armor used by the Iraqi forces in 1991. Having been around since the 1980s, the M-1 Abrams tank has not been relieved of its important role and function during any conflict. It has been used in the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with a minimum number of M-1 tanks destroyed.
Hailed as one of the world’s best battle tanks, the M-1 Abrams and all its variants form the backbone of the U.S. Armed Forces. The latest upgraded version, the M-1A2 SEP has:
- A 120-mm cannon
- Top-speed of over 40 miles per hour due to its complex gas turbine engine
- Depleted-uranium armor with thickness of up to 3 feet
- Weight of 60 tons
This is the current version of the M109 self-propelled howitzer, originally adopted in the 1960s by the U.S. Army, first used in the Vietnam War. The M-109A6 Paladin’s hard-hitting artillery system that fires 155-mm projectiles has been tested during the Gulf War and recently in Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. The Paladin can:
- Fire the GPS- or laser-guided Excalibur shell
- Shoot a 155mm shell up to a range of 20 miles using rocket-assisted projectiles
It may have taken a back seat in recent small wars but that should not be mistaken as retirement because the U.S. Army has already ordered the latest Paladin version which is the M-109A7, the first delivery of which will commence in 2015.
TOW Anti-Tank Missile
Anti-tank missiles may be the strength of the Soviet Union as they are considered the king of anti-tank missiles, but the U.S. Army has its fair share of expertise in the anti-tank missile game. TOW is a tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided anti-tank missile. With close to 45 years in service the U.S. TOW anti-tank missiles have destroyed tanks, many of which are Russian tanks in a number of wars – Vietnam, Arab-Israeli, Iran-Iraq, and recently, Syria. There’s a newer version – TOW 2B which comes in versions with:
- Aero model that explodes above a tank to penetrate thin top armor
- Bunker-busting missile
M-2 .50-Caliber Machine Gun
Can an 80-year old machine gun still be considered one of the U.S. Army’s best deadly weapons? By all means yes! The M-2 .50 Caliber Machine Gun aka M-2 “Ma Deuce” has never grown old in terms of blasting away opponents of countless wars. The M-2 machine gun has seen service as an anti-aircraft, anti-personnel, and anti-vehicle machine gun that fires as strong as a small cannon. A new upgraded version, M-2A1 is available with a quick-change barrel and a night-flash suppressor.
With these 5 lethal weapons currently in US arsenal inventory, shouldn’t enemies think twice?