Air Weapons: JDAM Putting Artillery Out of Business


November 16, 2005:
American smart bombs and missiles
have been getting a major workout during the last few months of fighting in
western Iraq, and have been about 75 percent accurate. The air force
controllers, who travel with ground combat units, have used new equipment, and
lots of combat experience, to get smart bombs on target within minutes. The air
force controllers, and the bombers overhead, are getting smart bombs on target
so quickly and accurately, that ground commanders are favoring the bombs over
calling their artillery. This is partly because of the new 500 pound JDAM,
which is a one shot solution to the typical terrorist tactic of running into a
building to make a glorious last stand. The enemy gunmen never seem to catch on
to the fact that going into a building, simply brings down a smart bomb within
ten minutes. One bomb, one building. Artillery requires several shells to do
the job, and our troops know that the enemy is more likely to survive a
shelling than a bombing.

There have been no serious friendly fire casualties. Troops often like to get
as close to the target as possible, so they can rush it once the bomb goes off,
to get any survivors (before they escape), or simply to occupy a new position
before any nearby enemy fighters get their bearings again. In addition, there
is also some use of Maverick and Hellfire missiles by helicopters and aircraft.
But the smart bombs are preferred, because they leave the bombers immune to any
ground fire.


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