October 9, 2015

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War Munitions

Tomahawk Cruise Missile

Used for long-range, subsonic land attack warfare.

Length: 18 feet, 3 inches; with booster: 20 feet, 6 inches.

Diameter: 20.4 inches

Range: Land attack, conventional warhead: 600 nautical miles; 690 statute miles

Speed: About 550 mph

Warhead: Up to 1,000 pounds.

AGM-88 HARM missile

Used for air-to-surface anti-radiation attacks on hostile radar installations

Length: 13 feet, 8 inches

Diameter: 10 inches

Range: 80+ miles; 57+ nautical miles

Speed: 760+ mph

Warhead: Up to 146 pounds.


Used as a heat-seeking, air-to-air missile.

Length: 9 feet, 6 inches

Diameter: 5 inches

Range: 10+miles

Speed: Supersonic

Warhead: 20.8 pounds

Phoenix Missile

Used as a long-range, air-launched air intercept missile

Length: 13 feet

Diameter: 15 inches

Range: In excess of 10 nautical miles; 115 statute miles

Speed: In excess of 3,000 mph

Warhead: 135 pounds

Harpoon Missile

Used as an air-, surface- or submarine-launched anti-surface (anti-ship) cruise missile.

Length: 12 feet, 7 inches – air launched

Diameter: 13.5 inches

Range: Over-the-horizon, in excess of 60 nautical miles

Speed: High subsonic

Warhead: Penetration high-explosive blast 488 pounds

Sparrow Missile

Used as an air-to-air and surface-to-air radar-guided missile.

Length: 12 feet

Diameter: 8 inches

Range: More than 30 nautical miles

Speed: More than 2,660 mph

Warhead: 90 pounds

BLU-82 "Daisy Cutter"

The BLU-82 is a 15,000-pound GP bomb. The warhead contains 12,600 pounds of GSX slurry and is detonated just above ground level by a 38-inch fuse extender. The weapon produces an overpressure of 1,000 pounds per square inch.

Length: 141.6 inches

Diameter: 54 inches

Warhead: 15,000 pounds

Air Launched Cruise Missile

  • The ALCS is launched from B-52 or B-1B bombers.

  • It is considered the most accurate missile in existence.

  • the ALCS is capable of delivering a warhead twice the size of that on the Tomahawk -- 2,000 pounds as opposed to 1,000 pounds.

Bunker Busters

  • The U.S. developed a gigantic bomb whose characteristics remain classified to destroy bunkers of the Iraqi military during the Gulf War.

  • The bomb, which is guided by lasers to its target, is known as a GBU-28 and could be used against caves or deep bunkers in Afghanistan.

Cluster Bombs

  • Cluster bombs are generally used against troop formations.

  • They are highly controversial because of the high percentage that do not explode and remain dangerous long after the battle ends.

  • The bombs explode, spreading smaller bomblets over a wide area.

Anti-Missile Forces

  • The newest version of the Patriot missile, the PAC-3, is being deployed in small numbers.

  • The latest Patriots are said to be a huge improvement over Gulf War-era batteries, which often wasted expensive rounds on Scud debris or misfired altogether.

Thermobaric Hellfire Missiles

  • Thermobaric weapons were first used extensively on al-Qaida caves in Afghanistan.

  • Thermobaric filling is now being developed for Hellfire missiles, which are carried by most U.S. helicopters, many attack aircraft and the Predator drone.