(Trends Wide) — Almost 3 million service members. 4,800 defense sites on seven continents. An annual budget of more than US $ 700,000 million. The US military is considered the world’s leading fighting force.
Here’s a look at some of his most important weapons.
A US official said Tuesday that six of the massive eight-engine bombers would be dispatched to Diego Garcia Air Base in the Indian Ocean.
There are about 75 B-52s in the active and reserve fleets of the US Air Force. They can carry a mixed load of 35 tons of munitions that includes bombs, mines and missiles.
The aircraft, which first entered service in 1952, have been upgraded over the years to carry air-launched cruise missiles. Each B-52 can carry 20 cruise missiles.
Once released from the bomber, cruise missiles use internal guidance and their own turbofan motors to fly and engage independent targets with warheads weighing up to 1,360 kilograms.
B-2 stealth bombers
Heavy bat-winged bombers can carry conventional and nuclear weapons. The US Air Force’s fleet of 20 operates from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, but can depart from bases such as Diego Garcia or the island of Guam in the Pacific.
In a conventional conflict, the four-engined B-2 can carry two GBU-57 massive artillery penetrators, the largest non-nuclear bombs in the US arsenal.
These 13,607-kilogram, 30-foot-long bombs are designed to strike deep into the ground to take out missiles and command complexes that are beyond the reach of other non-nuclear weapons.
The B-2 can also carry a variety of other weapons and has been tested in conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Four-engine bombers, of which the U.S. has more than 60 in its fleet, can carry the largest payload of any aircraft in the Air Force (over 34,019 kilograms), cruise missiles, gravity bombs, and mines. naval.
In the past, B-1s have been used extensively to launch joint direct attack munitions, essentially free-fall bombs with guidance systems attached to their tails, which can place them within 5 meters of their target.
F-22 stealth fighters
The US Air Force has about 180 F-22s, considered the most capable fighter jets in the force.
In addition to its ability to take on the best that fighter jets have to offer, the stealthy F-22 can carry two joint direct attack munitions and radar-guided air-to-ground missiles.
In the early days of any conflict involving US forces, the F-22s, with their ability to remain undetected by enemy radar, could be expected to target air defense sites, opening up the airspace for attacks. tracking less stealthy aircraft and cruise missiles.
Guided missiles and attack submarines
The US Navy owns dozens of submarines that can remain submerged and potentially launch hundreds of Tomahawk cruise missiles at land and sea targets.
The most capable of these submarines, four Ohio-class guided missile submarines, can carry up to 154 Tomahawks.
Each of those missiles, armed with a 453 kilogram warhead, can hit independent targets up to 1,609 kilometers from its launch site.
Additionally, each missile can carry information on 15 targets in its guidance system, allowing it to change destinations mid-flight.
In addition to the Ohio-class submarines, the US Navy and Los Angeles-type ships, more than four dozen of them, can carry Tomahawks, albeit in smaller numbers.
There are 11 active aircraft carriers in the US Navy fleet, 10 of the Nimitz-class and one of the Ford-class.
While those numbers seem big, only three or four are likely to be ready for battle at any one time.
Starting Monday, the US Naval Institute showed a carrier, the USS Harry Truman, in the Middle East.
The freighters can hold more than 60 aircraft each, including F / A-18 fighter jets, with a combat range of more than 2,300 kilometers, carrying two air-to-ground missiles each.
In addition to carriers, the Navy operates nine amphibious assault ships, which are essentially small aircraft carriers.
These ships carry the newest fighter jet in the US Army, the Marine Corps F-35B stealth fighter. The F-35Bs can carry two guided bombs with a combat radius of approximately 805 kilometers.
Like freighters, less than half of these ships are likely to be ready for combat at any one time. One, the USS Bataan, is close to the Middle East, the USNI fleet tracker shows.
Destroyers and cruisers
The US Navy’s fleet of cruisers and guided missile destroyers can operate in conjunction with carriers in carrier strike groups, or independently.
The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers number over 70 on active duty and form the backbone of the Navy’s fleet. Each can carry up to 56 Tomahawk cruise missiles to strike land and sea targets.
Ticonderoga-class cruisers also carry cruise missiles, albeit in smaller numbers than destroyers.
Both ships provide the Navy with its most advanced missile defense system, AEGIS. The system, which communicates target information between various platforms, can target low-level ballistic missiles that threaten ships, or even targets on the ground.