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GlobalSecurity.org In the News

The Press Interprise (Riverside, CA) March 21, 2003

Advancing steadily, U.S. forces broaden their campaign against Iraq

Apache gunship enters the fray

The $ 22 million AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter has been upgraded from its Persian Gulf War-era peer. It can hit targets at longer ranges and fight more effectively at night and in bad weather.

Fire-control radar

Can locate, classify, prioritize more than 128 stationary and moving targets on ground, in air

Two-man crew

Pilot (rear), co-pilot gunner

Navigation system

Includes thermal imager, daylight television; pilot night vision lets crew navigate, attack in darkness

Weaponry combined to suit specific mission

70 mm unguided rockets
* Range: About 4 miles
* Number on board: Up to 76

Hellfire antitank missile
* Range: About 5 miles
* Number on board: Up to 16

30 mm machine gun
* Range: About 1.5 miles
* Rounds on board: 1,200; fires 625 rounds a minute

Attacking targets
1. Apaches fly low to ground using hills, other terrain for protection
2. Real-time images from navigation system appear in eyepiece of crews helmet-mounted sight
3. Radar detects enemy day or night, in adverse weather; weapons fired at enemy

Sweeping into action

The 101st Airborne Division, known as the Screaming Eagles, is one of the worlds most potent fighting forces. It has deployed in northern Iraq.

H-60 Black Hawk

The Armys workhorse can move an entire 11-man platoon, an HMMWV vehicle, a howitzer cannon, or supplies.


The officers and troops prepare for the operation while reconnaissance and attack helicopters gather data about enemy locations and make initial missile strikes.

Initial landing zone

An artillery brigade lands, dropping troops, trucks and cannons. On the ground, the brigade engages the enemy while bombing the next landing zone to keep it clear.

Second landing zone

A second brigade sweeps to the flank of the enemy using precise communication to arrive moments after artillery fire has ceased, ensuring a safe drop. The enemy is then forced to defend in two directions.

OH-58 Kiowa Warrior

The Armys main reconnaissance helicopter flies low and out of sight. A mast-mounted sight collects information about the enemy and digitally relays it to the rest of the battalion.

AH-64 Apache One of the worlds deadliest weapons, the AH-64 uses its ability to fly low behind cover and its precision Hellfire missile system to defeat the enemy before troops even hit the ground.

Stationed on high seas

U.S. Tomahawk missiles and satellite-guided bombs are being launched from U.S. ships in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. But theyre not the only ships in the fray. Heres a look at the roles U.S. warships play:

The centerpiece of the battle group, the aircraft carrier is home to squadrons of jet fighters, bringing them within striking distance of Iraqi sites.

Eyes of the fleet

An E-2C Hawkeye, equipped with radar that can track thousands of targets within 150,000 square miles, provides early warning for the carrier. Crew of 5

Air wing

Squadrons of fighter jets provide combat air support to ground forces. During last years bombing campaign in Afghanistan, Navy planes worked from as far as 2,000 miles away from the carrier.


Attack submarines the USS Montpelier and USS Cheyenne fired missiles at Iraqi sites. Submarines also can destroy enemy ships and gather intelligence on foreign forces. They also transport special forces troops. 13 officers, 121 enlisted

Guided missile destroyer

The USS Milius and the USS Donald Cook are among the ships launching Tomahawk missiles at Iraqi sites. Guided missile destroyers are generally used for defense against air attacks. 23 officers, 300 enlisted

Guided missile cruiser

The USS Bunker Hill and USS Cowpens are launching missiles. A cruiser can protect a carrier from an attack with its high-power radar system. 24 officers, 340 enlisted


Used for antisubmarine warfare, destroyers also conduct maritime intercept operations forcing entry onto a foreign ship suspected of smuggling illegal weapons or carrying terrorists. Destroyers are supplied with Tomahawk cruise missiles. 30 officers, 352 enlisted

Oiler/supply ship

A fuel storage ship for the carrier air wing, cruisers, destroyers and frigates. 40 officers, 627 enlisted


Frigates are also used for anti-submarine warfare and maritime intercept operations, but do not carry long-range missiles. 13 officers, 287 enlisted

Most powerful U.S. tank

Often called the worlds best heavy tank, the M1A2 Abrams is fast and heavily armored, with a deadly computer-aimed main gun.

Crew positions

M1A2 commander has night-vision viewer, weapon control and navigation consoles; linked to other M1A2s via radio, computers

Three versions
Very similar externally
M1, built 1980-85
M1A1, 1985-93
M1A2, since 1993

Gas turbine engine 1,500 horsepower, 0.6 mpg
* Top speed: 42 mph
* Combat range: 125 mi. a day
* Weight: 68 tons
* 32 ft. long
* 12 ft. wide
* Cost: $ 4.3 million
.50-cal. (12.7 mm) machine gun

Main gun: 120 mm (4.7 in.); can hit targets 2 mi. (3 km) away

Armor: Steel and depleted uranium

Sources: U.S. Army, GlobalSecurity.org, Janes, Federation Of American Scientists, Boeing, U.S. Navy, Carrier: A Guided Tour Of An Aircraft Carrier By Tom Clancy


Copyright 2003, The Press Enterprise Co.