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Mission 36 - Weapons
Fallujah: Operation al-Fajr (Dawn)

 Friendly Forces
M16A2 Assault rifle
M16A2 Assault rifle
The M16A2 is the standard issue for the US Army. With a heavier, firmer barrel than its predecessor, the M16A1, the A2 allows for the firing of NATO standard SS 109 type (M855) ammunition, also used with M249 Squad Automatic Weapons (SAWs). [show more...]
The rifle cartridge range is farther and more effective than ever before. The M16A2 can also fire all NATO standard 5.56mm ammunition and, equipped with the M203 Grenade Launcher, can fire 40mm missiles.

Lightweight, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed, the M16A2 can be fired from the shoulder or the hip. A selector level allows the soldier to shoot in modes of automatic fire, in 3-round bursts, or single-shot semiautomatic fire. A muzzle compensator improves the control and accuracy of the M16A2, and a fully adjustable rear sight has been enhanced for wind and range changes.

Factoid: The M16A2 has a modified upper receiver that changes the way cartridges are ejected. They used to hit left-handed shooters in the face.

Effective range: 550 meters
Reload time: 4.9 seconds
Cyclic rate of fire: 800 rpm
Maximum range: 3,600 meters
Weight (loaded): 8.79 lbs
Length: 39.63 inches

Barrett M82A1 (USA made) sniper rifle
The Barrett is a semi-automatic, air cooled, box-magazine-fed rifle chambered for the .50 M2 Browning Machine Gun cartridge. It operates on the short recoil principle, and works with a Unertl 10-power scope and an additional box magazine. [show more...]
The basic M82A1A rifle is equipped with bipod, muzzle brake, carrying handle, metallic sights, and 10-round box magazine. Itís designed both to kill men, and destroy material.

Weight: 32.5 lbs.
Maximum effective range (on equipment-sized targets): 1800 m.

.50 caliber machine gun
At 550 rounds per minute, the .50 caliber can be placed on ground mounts and on most vehicles for use as an anti-personnel and anti-aircraft weapon. [show more...]
This automatic has a maximum range of 4.22 miles, and ammunition may be fed from the left or right side.

Factoid: The .50 caliber was used as a sniper weapon by US forces during the Vietnam War.

Length: 61.42 inches (156 centimeters)
Gun: 84 pounds (38 kilograms)
M3 Tripod (Complete): 44 pounds (19.98 kilograms)
Total: 128 pounds (58 kilograms)
Bore diameter: .50 inches (12.7mm)
Maximum effective range: 2000 meters with tripod mount
Maximum range: 4.22 miles (6.8 kilometers)

HMMWV-mounted Gatling guns

The GAU-19/A offers superior firepower in a lightweight weapon. Easily adapted to a variety of military vehicles, GAU-19/As can be found on the ground supported by armored personnel carriers and HMMWVs.

Against light vehicles, impediments, or ground forces, the GAU-19/A is preferred for its lightning-fast delivery of devastating firepower. A soldier can pump out 2,000 shots per minute with the GAU-19/A, providing extraordinary close combat protection.

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The versatile GAU-19/A can also be mounted and operated from utility and scout helicopters to provide reliable protection for landings in hostile territories. The Gatling can also be used at sea where light patrol boats and large naval crafts employ the weaponry to combat offshore threats.

Weight: 139 pounds with feeder and transfer unit
Length: 46.5 inches
Rate of fire: Up to 2,000 shots per minute
Muzzle velocity: 2,910 feet per second
Average recoil force: 500 pounds at 2,000 shots per minute

AK-47 Kalashnikov rifle

Durable and widely available, the AK-47 is a Russian 7.62mm assault rifle. The AK fires 100 rounds per minute even through extreme conditions such as low temperatures, from moving vehicles, and after being dunked in water, mud, or sand.

One drawback is low muzzle velocity, which makes the relatively heavy round arc at long ranges. Other drawbacks are the jams, dents, and overheated barrels that can make the weapon tough to handle. But the downsides pale in comparison to what the AK-47 offers a fighter: an easy-to-maintain gun that can deliver a high volume of fire. This is why the AK-47 has been one of the most used assault rifles in the world since the early 1950s. [show more...]

Factoid: The AK-47ís inventor never earned a single ruble for the 100 million AKs in the world today. He didnít patent it.

Primary function: 7.62-mm assault rifle
Weight: 9.4 pounds (4.3 kilograms) with 30-round curved box magazine
Rate of fire: 100 rounds per minute/cyclic 600 rounds per minute
Effective range: 990 feet (300 meters)

RPG-7 Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher
A shoulder-fired, muzzle-loaded, grenade launcher, the RPG-7 fires a variety of grenades from a 40-mm launch tube. It's light enough to be fired by one person, but an assistant usually stands to the left of the gunner for protection.

The launcher first ejects the grenade out 10 meters, and then the grenade's internal motor ignites and speeds it toward the target with fins that cause it to rotate slowly. Crosswinds can cut accuracy down by 50% for the gunner's first shot, but the shaped charge in the grenade can punch through all known armored vehicles. [show more...]

Factoid: In the Mogadishu ambush, it was an RPG the Somalis used to down the Blackhawk.

Primary function: Shoulder fired anti-tank weapon
Weight: 15.2 pounds (6.9 kilograms)
Effective range: 1,640 feet (500 meters)
Rate of fire: Four to six rounds per minute
Ammunition: 85 mm grenade
Other features: Can penetrate 260 mm armor

M120 120mm Mortar
M120 120mm Mortar
Although the M120 requires a truck or tracked carrier to move it, it still weighs much less than a field artillery piece and packs excellent explosive power. Using a horseshoe-shaped "cheese charge" to propel it from the tube, it ran reach targets up to 7,000 yards away. [show more...]
Min. Range: 166 yds.
Kill radius: 70 yds.
Cannon Assembly: 110 lbs.
Bipod: 70 lbs.
Baseplate: 136 lbs.
Trailer: 399 lbs.

M252 81mm Medium Extended Range Mortar
M252 81mm Medium Extended Range Mortar
Developed jointly with the UK to replace the M29A1, the mortar uses a blast attenuation device on the muzzle to reduce blast effects on the crew. Itís ideal for airborne, air assault, mountain, and light infantry units.

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Maximum effective range: 5700 yds.
Minimum Range: 80 yds.
Length: 56 in.
Mortar Assembly: 35 pounds
Bipod: 26 pounds
Baseplate: 25.5 pounds
Sight Unit: 2.5 pounds

M224 60mm Lightweight Company Mortar System (LWCMS)
M224 60mm Lightweight Company Mortar System (LWCMS)
Ideally suited to support airborne, air assault, mountain, ranger, and Special Operations Forces, the M224 is a smooth-bore, muzzle-loading weapon with a high angle of fire. It can be drop-fired or specially fitted with a lightweight baseplate and trigger-fired. It has a spring recoil system to absorb the shock of firing. [show more...]

Factoid: Though its primary rounds are new, long range ammo, it can fire all types of older ammunition, making it an excellent "jack of all trades" mortar.

Length: 40 in.
Weight: 46.5 lbs.
Max. range: 2.17 miles
Max. rate of fire: 30 rounds/min.

IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices)
IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices)
Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are based on conventional military explosives that are readily available around Iraq. [show more...]

Many IEDs consist of artillery shells that are scavenged from around various storage depots or mines and disguised in any way imaginable: in concrete blocks, garbage bags, ice-making molds, and even in the carcasses of dead dogs. Hidden along the roadside or in parked cars, IEDs can be detonated by a wireless remote control, such as a doorbell switch, and witnesses have reported roadside bombs calmly detonated by men sitting in vehicles some distance from the target.

Varying widely in shape and form, all IEDs consist of a fuse, explosive material, detonator with power supply, and a container. Unexploded shells or other ordnance can be easily used for this kind of device, by linking it to a landmine with a detonating cord. Through a process called "boosting," several landmines can be stacked on top of each other, with only the deepest mine wired with a fuse so that itís invisible to metal detectors, and the blast is intensified.

Factoid: Improvised explosive devices are the number one cause of all coalition casualties in Iraq.

M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank
M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank
The M1A1 Abrams has a classic tank design, and even though it looks big and bulky, it can stop on a dime. It has some cool, self-protection systems. Itís able to mask its own presence with two six-barreled M250 smoke grenade launchers that fool enemy thermal imaging. [show more...]

It also has an overpressure clean-air conditioning air system, a radiological warning system, and a chemical agent detector to protect itself from nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare. The tank uses a special fording system to cross rivers and surf zones and has an electronically-operated mine-clearing blade system that disregards landmines up to six feet ahead.

The M1A1 holds a four person crew. The Commanderís station has six periscopes for a 360 degree view. The Commander can fire the main gun independent of the Gunner, and the Gunner's sight has automatic target cueing which eliminates the need for verbal communication between the two soldiers. An Independent Thermal Viewer (ITV) provides day and night vision and automatic sector scanning. The night vision Thermal Imaging System (TIS) alerts the crew of enemy presence within 10 meters of accuracy and enables the tank to maneuver not just in darkness, but also in poor visibility conditions caused by sand, dust, and smoke.

The Abrams has some serious firepower. Itís got the .50-caliber Browning M2 Heavy Barrel, M240 machine guns, the Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot (APFSDS), and High Energy Anti-Tank (HEAT). The APFSDS round is a long, non-explosive rod that uses kinetic energy to impact enemy steel at about 2,900 feet per second. It creates a mini-volcano that spills molten metal inside the target. In the absence of full penetration, the impact alone creates a fragmenting effect, which shatters the interior of the armor. The HEAT round is like a conventional explosive, blowing through armor with one of the most sophisticated and deadly targeting systems in modern warfare.

Factoid: The tremendous size and weight of the Abrams means even the C-5 Galaxy, the largest cargo aircraft in the US Air Force inventory, can only handle one tank at a time. Nearly all of the Abrams tanks deployed in the Gulf War, approximately 2,000 of them, had to be shipped overseas via cargo boats.

Crew: 4
Length: 32.25 ft
Width: 12.0 ft
Height: 8.0 ft
Weight: 67.6 tons
Top Speed: 41.5 mph
Armament: 120 mm

Bradley Fighting Vehicle
Bradley Fighting Vehicle
Donít let its old school looks fool you. The Bradley is a highly technological piece of battlefield weaponry. [show more...]

Though itís been around for 20 years, todayís Bradley includes a state-of-the-art digital fighting system that makes it a highly survivable, deadly land hunter. Thanks to the TOW Anti-Tank Missile system it employs and its continuous 360-degree navigational ability, the Bradley can combat heavy enemy armor from a secure distance. One fully automatic feature on the Bradley is the dual target tracking gun target adjustment and sighting. The Commanderís Independent Viewer allows the commander and the gunner to pursue and attack the enemy with timing and precision.

Factoid: A TOW missile coming off a Bradley is able to destroy any vehicle it encounters, and on the battlefield, it can reach a speed of almost Mach 1.

Crew: 3
Cavalry Scouts: 2
Infantry Dismounts: 6
Length: 21'2"
Width: 10'6"
Height: 9'9"
Weight: 50,000 lbs
Road Speed: 45 mph
Range: 300 miles
Engine: Cummins VTA-903T water-cooled 4 cycle diesel.
Armament: 25mm cannon (Chain-gun)
7.62 mm coaxially mounted machine gun
TOW missile launcher with twin tubes
Average unit cost: (TY$) $3.166M

An acronym for High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle, the Humvee is a four-wheel drive, diesel-powered automatic. Designed to run over any terrain and in all weather conditions, models can be armed with mounted machine guns, TOW or stinger missiles. [show more...]

Humvees are droppable from a variety of aircraft, and its high power-to-weight ratio, four-wheel drive and high ground clearance combine to give it outstanding cross-country mobility.

Factoid: The Humvee has a snorkel kit which allows it to ford 60" of water.

Length: 15 ft
Width: 7.08 ft
Height: 6.00 feet reducible to 4.5 feet
Weight: 5,200 lbs
Engine: V8, 6.2 litre displacement, fuel injected diesel, liquid cooled, compression ignition
Horsepower: 150 at 3,600 RPM
Transmission: 3 speed, automatic
Transfer Case: 2 speed, locking, chain driven
Electrical System: 24 volt, negative ground, 60 amps
Brakes: Hydraulic, 4-wheeled disc
Max Speed: 65 mph

OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter
The Kiowa can fly up to 147 miles per hour, and can carry arms such as Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, Stinger air-to-air missiles, Hydra 70mm rockets, and .50 caliber heavy machine guns. Designed to excel at night operations, Kiowas have advanced thermal imaging, laser rangefinder and optical boresight systems. [show more...]

Factoid: Kiowa Warriors were employed at night to search for and guard debris over Texas after the space shuttle Colombia disaster.

Crew: 2
Max Gross Weight: 5,500 lbs (armed)
Empty Weight: 3,289 lbs
Height: 12 ft, 10.6 in
Width: 6 ft, 5.4 in
Length: 33 ft, 4 in
Rotor Diameter: 35 ft
Max Cruise Speed: 128 mph
Range: 299 miles (sea level, no weapons, 10% reserve)
Ceiling: 19,000 ft
Armament: Air-to-air Stinger (ATAS) (2 round launcher); .50 caliber machine gun (500 rounds); HYDRA 70 (2.75 in) rockets (7-shot pod); HELLFIRE missiles (2-round launcher)

AC-130H Spectre gunship
With two 20mm Vulcan cannons, one 40mm Bofors cannon, and a 105mm Howitzer, the Spectre is designed to deliver a withering hail of gunfire to a target with pinpoint accuracy to support ground operations. [show more...]

Also, the crew is specially trained to use the platform in urban environments - Spectres were earmarked for the Iranian hostage rescue mission in the event of a firefight on the streets of Tehran. The planeís fire control system can distinguish friendly forces wearing small pieces of infrared tape as armbands - avoiding them, and destroying everything else. Recent modifications allow the gunships to download Predator video quickly and accurately to improve accuracy and decrease the chances for friendly fire. While providing close air support, the plane flies in a distinctive bank, with on wing tilted down - which allows its guns to keep a bead on whatever pops up, and shred it before it presents a problem.

Factoid: Spectres were earmarked for the Iranian hostage rescue mission in the event of a firefight on the streets of Tehran.

Height: 38 ft.
Length: 98 ft.
Wingspan: 132 ft.
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 155,000 lbs.
Crew: 14
Speed: 300 mph
Range: 1,500 miles (unlimited with in-flight refueling)