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Mission 33 - Weapons and Vehicles
Fallujah Vigilant Resolve

 Friendly Forces
M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) light machine gun
M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) light machine gun
The SAW is a lightweight, gas-operated machine gun fed by a magazine or metallic link-belt that disintegrates. It is man-portable and designed to combine a high volume of fire with accuracy almost equal to a rifle. [show more...]
The SAW entered the field in the mid-1980ís to fill in the gap caused by the retirement of the Browning Automatic Rifle 30 years earlier.

Primary function: 5.56 mm light machine gun for use in infantry squads
Weight: With bipod and tools, 15.16 pounds (6.88 kilograms); 200-round box magazine adds 6.92 pounds (3.14 kilograms); 30-round magazine adds 1.07 pounds (0.49 kilograms)
Maximum effective range: 3,281 feet (1,000 meters)
Rate of fire: cyclic, 725 rounds per minute; sustained, 85 rounds per minute


5.56-millimeter M4 carbine with M203 grenade launcher
5.56-millimeter M4 carbine with M203 grenade launcher
This weapon was designed as a shorter, lightweight alternative to the M16A2 rifle, to give soldiers the ability to engage the enemy with accurate, lethal fire at close quarters. [show more...]
Gas operated, and air-cooled, it has a collapsible stock and can be fitted with rubber bullets for crowd control. The M4A1, the version made for Special Operations Forces, has a full automatic mode. But the tradeoff for making a shorter, handier version of the M16 has been in penetration, velocity and accuracy over longer ranges.

Primary function: 5.56 mm rifle for close-quarters battle
Weight: 7.92 pounds (3.6 kilograms)
Maximum effective range: area target, 2,624.8 feet (800 meters); point target, 1,650 feet (500 meters)
Rate of fire: 45 rounds per minute, semiautomatic
Other features: Can be fitted with M203 grenade launcher
Used by: Marine Expeditionary Units and U.S. Army units


RPK-74 Machine Gun
After the new AK-74 assault rifle entered service, the RPK-74 light machine gun was developed from the rifle. [show more...]
The RPK is essentially a variant of the AKM assault rifle with a longer, heavier barrel and is fed either by a 40-round curved box magazine or a 75-round drum magazine.

It can also use the AKM's 30-round box magazine. The RPKS-74 version with folding butt was intended for airborne paratroops. These machine guns differ from the AK-74 assault rifle in barrel length and weight, sight windage mechanism, butt shape, dimensions weight and the design of the recoil compensator.

Primary function: 7.62 mm squad machine gun
Weight: Up to 15 pounds (7 kg) depending on magazine
Rate of fire: 150 rounds per minute in automatic mode
Maximum effective range: 2,640 feet (800 meters)


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


.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.

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)

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


HMMWV
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...]

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


AH-1W Super Cobra
Used for day or night, the Super Cobra is designed to escort a force of attack helicopters for a land or amphibious assault, and provide close fire support with its 20mm cannon and up to four rockets or missiles. [show more...]

But where it really proves itself is in air-to-air combat and firing anti-radar missiles to blind the enemy just as the blow falls.

Length: 58 ft.
Height: 14 ft.
Altitude: 10,000 ft.
Speed: 169 mph
Range: 294 miles
Crew: Two


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.

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

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.


H-53 Sikorsky helicopters
H-53 Sikorsky helicopters
The "Super Stallion" Sikorsky H-53 helicopter is powered by three 4,380 shp engines, making it the most powerful helicopter in the militaryís arsenal. Deployed with the US Marine Corps heavy lift helicopter squadrons, the Stallions serve aboard the USMC amphibious assault ships. [show more...]
Super Stallions excel in both scorching desert heat and sub-zero temperatures. With the power to lift an aircraft as heavy as itself, the H-53 is the only bird capable of elevating the 155mm Howitzer, its crew, and ammunition-- or 16 tons of supplies, vehicles, and troops. Thanks to air-to-air refueling capabilities, the H-53ís range is nearly limitless.

H-53s have been involved in the evacuation of the US Embassy in Somalia in 1990, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991, and in evacuation missions in Albania, Zaire, and Sierra Leone.

Factoid: In June of 1995, Sikorskys were sent into Bosnia to rescue Air Force Capt. Scott O'Grady six days after his F-16 was shot down.

Height: 29 ft
Length: 99 ft
Wingspan: 79 ft
Wing area: 4,901 sq ft
Empty Weight: 33,228 lb
Max Weight: 69,750 lb


AH-64A Apache helicopter
Made by Boeing, the AH-64A Apache is a flying arsenal. Armed with a 30 mm chain gun, and a complement of Hydra rockets and Hellfire missiles, itís capable of intense, close-quarter fighting, day or night, in practically all environments. [show more...]

Designed as an extremely effective tank-killer, itís GPS navigation systems and high maneuverability allow it to pop up from behind a hill, deliver a lethal salvo of missiles, and drop down before enemy guns can engage. It has a twin-engine, four-blade design, with a two-person seating configuration. The pilot sits in back of the cockpit, aided by a Pilot Night Vision Sensor, and the co-pilot gunner sits in front, using a Target Acquisition Designation Sight to destroy armor quickly and effectively. Its only drawback is that it requires a huge ground support crew to keep it flying and fighting. (photo courtesy of Nicki Mennekens)

Height: 13 ft
Length: 58 ft
Weight: 10.5 tons
Crew: Two
Speed: 227 mph
Range: 300 miles, unrefueled (more than 1,200 miles with refueling)


 Enemy
AK-47 Kalashnikov rifle
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 under extreme conditions such as low temperatures, from moving vehicles, and after being dunked in water, mud, or sand. [show more...]
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.

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)


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.


RPG-7 rocket propelled grenade launcher
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. Itís light enough to be fired by one person, but an assistant usually stands to the left of the gunner for protection. [show more...]
The launcher first ejects the grenade out 10 meters, and then the grenadeís 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 gunnerís first shot, but the shaped charge in the grenade can punch through all known armored vehicles.

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


M67 Fragmentation grenade
This is designed to be thrown about 40 meters and explode into fragments with a kill radius of 5 meters, and a casualty-producing radius of 15 meters. [show more...]
The M61 model has only 5.5 oz. of explosive, with a coil of serrated wire inside the body for fragmentation.

Weight: 14 oz.
Explosive: 6.5 oz., Composition B.




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